From the Vine Parent Guide
The Italian locations are beautiful, but the plot is trite, the dialogue is gosh-awful, and the acting is unconvincing.
Parent Movie Review
Mark Gentile (Joe Pantoliano) is a successful lawyer and business executive until an ethical crisis prompts him to quit his job and return to his roots. Without consulting his long-suffering wife, Marina (Wendy Crewson), Mark buys tickets to Italy and the village he last saw in his youth. In Acerenza, Marco (now going by his Italian name) reunites with childhood friends, sees visions of his late grandfather, chats with the grape vines, and broods over his life’s failures. As he tries to purge his guilt in the confessional, the priest tells him “The answer lies in service to something other than yourself.” Wandering his ancestral land, Marco decides to find meaning in his life by revitalizing the vineyard and providing jobs to the villagers. But he still hasn’t consulted his wife…
From the Vine tries to be a whimsical romance, an ode to love, wine, and Italy. Instead, it feels like a cut-and-paste TV movie. The Italian locations are beautiful, but the plot is trite (and has an irritatingly simple resolution), the dialogue is gosh-awful, and the acting is unconvincing. Pantoliano, in particular, seems to wander about the film in a state of bemused confusion, wondering what on earth he’s doing there – a feeling that will be shared by the audience. Watching him bumble about makes it impossible to believe that he’s a successful corporate executive with an enviable reputation in the business world.
The movie also fails on some of the smaller details. For one thing, the writers can’t seem to decide how much Italian Marco is able to speak. Sometimes he appears to converse reasonably well, and in other scenes he needs a translator. The subtitles are also spotty and not all the Italian dialogue gets translated, which is problematic for those of us who don’t speak the language. On top of these issues are the weird statues that crop up throughout the film. Acerenza is littered with statues – and they move. At least a little bit. They turn their heads or move their eyes, sometimes in apparent editorial commentary on the story. I don’t know if director Sean Cisterna is going for a magical realism element, but it doesn’t work. Effective magical realism will create a sense of wonder or delight, but these statues just seem silly or vaguely creepy in a “Dr. Who” kind of way.
If these issues don’t deter you and you still want to watch Marco stumble around Italy, at least the content issues are relatively minor. The profanity count is relatively low, but the five sexual expletives are disappointing. And it’s not surprising that a movie about a vineyard includes plenty of scenes of people drinking wine. Perhaps the most uncomfortable moment in the film is a scene where stomping on the grapes turns into sex-in-a-vat, but at least we can be relieved that the sexual activity is only implied and not seen. Sadly, this scene is a metaphor for the movie – there’s passion somewhere, but it doesn’t make it to the screen. From the Vine is bland, boring, and not worth the time it takes to watch it.Directed by Sean Cisterna. Starring Joe Pantoliano, Marco Leonardi, Wendy Crewson, Paula Brancati. Running time: 97 minutes. Theatrical release July 10, 2020. Updated July 10, 2020
Watch the trailer for From the Vine
From the Vine
Rating & Content Info
Why is From the Vine rated Not Rated? From the Vine is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: A man is grabbed and handcuffed by a police officer. A drunken police officer fires a gun; no one is harmed. A threat to “cut you” is overheard; no one is hurt.
Sexual Content: A married couple embrace and kiss; subsequent sexual activity is implied.
Profanity: There are seventeen profanities, including five sexual expletives, six terms of deity and an assortment of mild swear words and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink wine frequently. Main characters are shown as intoxicated after a party.
Page last updated July 10, 2020
From the Vine Parents' Guide
Why does Marco go back to Italy? Why is having a sense of meaning such an important part of our lives? What gives your life meaning?
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