TORONTO - When it’s a movie’s world Premiere, the tendencies of critics veer towards extremes. I have a different challenge: I read the book, “Finding Marcoﾝ by Ken Cancellara, so I know the writer-protagonist and one of the actors personally (Tony Nardi). Like many others of my generation, I identify with Marco Gentile’s “journey”. What’s not to like?
The photography is good – on occasion spectacular – and from a locational perspective, brings out what one expects should be the reaction of any of us who go back in time and place: “wow, I came from a people who worked to create this?”
Yet, the artistry of the producer- director team is to be seen in their focus on the physiology and expressiveness of the human subjects on display. The lense bares the transparency of both the “systems” (contemporary and rustic) and the characters emanating from them for all to see without filters.
But it’s clear the director bought into my own grandfather’s saying: “we were better o when we were worse off”.
In truth, it’s an expression that says serenity comes to those who find, and nurture, those values that have stood the test of time; who devote themselves to the people, places and activities that give their own existence meaning.
For my nonno, like Marco, a world traveller “who had been around the block”, life’s rewards were not necessarily measured in the number successes achieved in a material world – although these matter – but in the enjoyment of home and family, even in the most rustic of environments. Marco and his “reluctant” family embark on a trip and a risk/investment in the past towards a similar journey.
Along the way, they met personalities whose simple exterior belies complex character traits capable of challenging any contemporary corporate boardroom.
Just on the performance of some of those on-screen personalities portrayed in From the Vine, the movie is worth seeing. But, there’s more. Buy the book and see the movie. You won’t regret it.
Kudos to author-producer Ken Cancellara, Director Sean Cisterna for their creation. There are some real-life characters portrayed in all of their realism by some wonderful actors (male and female).
I’m partial to the character performed by Tony Nardi, a Montreal expat who now calls Toronto home. Choose your own. You can’t go wrong.
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