Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Movie Review: 'My House in Umbria'

Loneliness and the deep yearning for love are at the heart of this beautiful, gentle movie originally made for HBO cable TV. Mrs Emily Delahunty (Maggie Smith), a romance novelist, lives in Italy and survives a terrorist bombing of the train she is traveling in on her way to a shopping trip in Milan. Most of the people in the carriage die but three of her traveling companions survive - a German journalist, a British general, and a traumatised orphan girl who become mute as a result of the accident. Each of these people continue to suffer as a result of their traumatic experience and, in a spontaneous act of generosity, Mrs Delahunty invites them back to her tranquil home to recuperate. All goes well until the orphaned girl's American uncle turns up to collect her and who despises the relaxed, untroubled lifestyle that Mrs Delahunty has surrounded her charges with. Then things start to get a little rocky. Maggie Smith is delightful in her role as the caring "mother" who dotingly nurtures her residents back to physical and emotional health. A fine, entertaining film with a gentle heart. My Rating: **** (out of 5)

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