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|Originaltitel:||The Etruscan smile|
|Regie:||Mihal Brezis & Oded Binnun|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 107 Min|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
Rory MacNeil (Brian Cox) actually wanted to spend the rest of his life on the remote Scottish island of Vallasay, where he was born and has spent every day of his life on earth since. He loves his homeland - despite an old family feud that makes his blood boil again and again. But now he must leave Vallasay and travel to San Francisco. He pretends to be interested in seeing his estranged son Ian (JJ Field) and finally getting to know his grandson. But in reality it is his state of health that forces Rory to take this step. But in the presence of the little boy the old curmudgeon discovers completely new sides to himself and when he meets the attractive Claudia (Rosanna Arquette), something like an extinct fire germinates in him again. But with this fire also comes the realization that he has made some mistakes in his life - and there is little time to make up for it…
The film adaptation of the novel "The Etruscan Smile" by José Luis Sampedro is the feature film debut of the two filmmakers Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun, who were nominated for an OSCAR® award in 2015 for their short film "Aya". With the multiple award-winning producer Arthur Cohn, they have an experienced mentor at their side, who, however, cannot prevent the production from sometimes appearing too awkward. Brezis and Binnun can't breathe life into the characters. Ian's wife Emily in particular, but also side characters like her father remain extremely pale and are nothing more than changing clichés.
There are actually only two reasons why the movie still works quite well. For one thing, the story is simply very beautiful. Sure, it's not very original and the last shot will be predictable by any viewer who pays a little attention, at the latest after the first third. Nevertheless, the last journey of Rory MacNeil can warm the hearts of the audience. And that brings me to the second reason why the film has become worth seeing despite its weaknesses. And that reason is called Brian Cox. He succeeds in getting a lot out of a character that is not exactly well written. It's just fun watching him play. And when his little grandson softens his rough Scottish heart, then you can hardly help but shed a few tears.
Camera work is undoubtedly also one of the film's plus points. Both San Francisco and Rory's Scottish homeland were captured in wonderful images that make it worthwhile to watch "The Etruscan Smile" in the cinema. Altogether not a big success, but a nice feel-good movie, that doesn't offer any big surprises, but a nice story and a great leading actor. And the bottom line is that there is a good one for that: Worth seeing!
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