Comedy drama written and directed by James D’Arcy. Set in Tuscany, the story follows London artist Robert (Liam Neeson), who returns to Italy with his estranged son Jack (Micheál Richardson) to make a quick sale of the house they inherited from his late wife. Neither expects to find the once beautiful villa in such a state of disrepair. Renovations go badly, with father and son soon finding themselves at odds. As Robert and Jack painstakingly restore the villa to its previous glory, they also start to mend their relationship. The future may now look quite different and surprise them both.
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[after his soon to be ex-wife, Ruth, tells him that her family is selling the gallery] Jack: This gallery is my home, Ruth. I’ve put everything into it. Ruth: Everything except money.
Jack: I’ll buy the gallery. Ruth: [laughs] Did you win the lottery? Jack: I could maybe sell the old Italian house, with my dad. Ruth: The deserted barn no one’s allowed to mention, let alone visit? Your dad’s a selfish p**ck who’s never even been to your gallery. He’ll never sell that place and you know it. Stick to the lottery plan, Jack. I’ll give you a month.
[after Jack comes to collect Robert and finds him with a woman] Robert: Yeah, Jessica, this is my son actually, Jack. Jack, this is Jessica. Jack: Hi, Jessica. Jennifer: [to Robert] F*** you. [she grabs her coat and leaves] Robert: Jessica. Jessica. [pauses, realizes he got her name wrong] Robert: Jennifer? Jennifer. Jennifer. S**t.
Jack: Are you going to read the whole way there? Robert: The Dover road is famously the most boring drive in the British Isles. Ask anyone. Jack: So you’re not going to talk to me then. Robert: What would you like to talk about? Jack: I don’t know, the usual father-son stuff? [Robert puts his book down] Robert: What are your views on Hentai manga? Do you see it as art or pornography? Jack: I meant like how’s work. Robert: Oh, I see. An off the peg conversation.
Robert: Uh, how’s work? Jack: Forget it, read your book. Robert: No, no. This is starting to get really good. Are you eating well? Did you see the game last night? Jack: What game? Robert: You know, the one with the ball.
Jack: We just cheer the place up a bit and get it sold. Robert: Why the rush? I don’t hear from you for months, and then this sudden need to sell the Tuscan house by last Tuesday. Jack: The house that’s been basically empty for twenty years.
Jack: Look on the bright side. You’ll be home on Saturday with a big check, and you can blow your half picking up stray women in bars. Robert: Don’t make assumptions about my current lifestyle based on Jessica. Jack: Jennifer. Robert: Jennifer. F***.
[after arriving and seeing the state of the dilapidated house] Jack: Oh, my God. I’m going to wake up in a minute. Robert: Things always look worse in the dark.
Jack: At least the view’s quite good. Robert: That’s what you’re calling one of the most spectacular convergences of nature ever? The view? Jack: You haven’t even looked at it. Robert: Two cypress trees frame the compositions, subconsciously propelling the eye across the negative space toward the focal point of the perfectly central villa, all unified by these magnificent undulating Tuscany hills.
Robert: The way the light hits those windows, it takes your breath away. Jack: No. That’s the dust doing that.
Kate: [referring to the land of the house] We’ll mark the view as a ten. But the potholes down that drive are a serious drawback. I may have whiplash.
Kate: Now, let’s see what we have here. [sees the tree broken through one of the doors] Kate: Not perhaps the best first impression. Things can only get better. Front door? Jack: Uh… [he looks over the broken front door]
Kate: [referring to the ugly looking mural painting on the wall] Well, I don’t even know what to say about this whole situation. Robert: Do you know Frank Swine? Kate: Should I? Robert: That is my homage to his style. Kate: You painted it? I see.
Kate: There’s a large hole in your roof. Robert: Yes, but it’s got great bones. Don’t you think Kate? Or you prefer Katie? Kate: Just Kate. Plain Kate. Robert: A bonny Kate. And sometimes Kate the cursed, but Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom. From the Taming of the, uh… Kate: The Shrew? Robert: By Shakespeare.
Jack: Do you think we can make a quick sale, Kate? Kate: Well that depends. Jack: On? Kate: On whether you hope to make a profit. Tuscany is a romantic idyll. It’s why all my clients come here. If I were to bring them to this house, in this state, they will say to me, “Kate, you promised me a dream. A dream orchestrated by Puccini, in which my worries would just float off into the infinity pool. But instead, you have delivered me a building site, whose walls seem to have been painted by Mussolini.” Having said all that, if you put your backs into it, I don’t see why you couldn’t turn this around. In the plus column, your plumbing seems to work. People care about that. And I like, as you say, its bones.
Robert: [to Jack] I wouldn’t go on the bathroom for a while if I were you. There’s a large weasel in the sink. That’s not a euphemism.
Jack: We’ll get what we can for the house, isn’t it? It’ll be f*** all. That this is impossible on my own. Robert: Or, we could keep it. Except the weasel. They’re too friendly for my liking.
[to Jack, who’s fallen on the ground after knocking over the tables and chairs] Natalia: Do you need some help knocking the others over?
Jack: Where did you learn to speak English? Natalia: Bugs Bunny. Jack: Huh? Natalia: Bugs Bunny. In Italian schools, kids are forced to watch cartoons for five hours a day just to learn English. Jack: Really? Natalia: Mm-hmm. It’s the laws. Jack: I had no idea. That’s actually pretty cool. Natalia: [chuckles] Of course not. I lived in England for a year. I worked in a restaurant there.
[after Jack’s told her he’s selling their old family house] Natalia: I love that house. Jack: Really? Do you want to buy it? Natalia: Well, I can only pay you with risotto. How many bowls do you want for it? Jack: Three should do it. And I want a nice bottle of red. Natalia: You obviously don’t understand how good this risotto is. Jack: Okay, fine. Two bowls. They have to be big ones. Natalia: I haven’t even seen what it looks like inside. [chokes a little as he eats] Jack: Well, that’s the main selling point.
Robert: When I first saw this house, you can’t imagine how stunning it was. I’ve been thinking. It deserves to have its history honored. Jack: Well, whatever we do, I need to do it quick.
Jack: [referring to the weasel in the bathroom] It’s still there. Okay, well what’s the plan? Robert: Make it jump out the window. Jack: How are we supposed to do that? Robert: One, two, three, “Wah.” Jack: What? Robert: It’s a classic technique, Jack. Tried and tested.
Jack: Let me get this straight. You’re saying we charge the weasel and hope it commits suicide? Robert: Out the window. Jack: The window isn’t even open! Robert: You have a better idea?
[trying to explain to Kate and the builders what they found in the bathroom] Robert: Wiseli. Jack: Ferret. Feratu. Feratu. No, no, no. Lupo. Lupa. [he growls] Jack: It’s like a rat, but good teeth. Robert: It’s big. Jack: The size of a baguette. Like a rat baguette.
[to Jack; referring to the Italian builders as they discuss the hole in the ceiling] Kate: Rough translation, “Very doable.”
[referring to the Italian builders as they discuss fixing the window] Kate: Again, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Not a problem.”
[as the Italian builders are discussing how to fix the fireplace] Jack: “Great news, couldn’t be better?” Kate: You’re a fast learner.
Jack: Do you want to take a picture of the mural or something? Robert: Do I what? Jack: Well, we’re going to have to paint over it. I just wondered if you wanted a memento. Robert: You’re planning on removing one of my paintings? Jack: It’s just to give the buyers half a chance of being practical. Robert: Why? Are you expecting them to be as blind to the beauty of contemporary art as you?
Jack: [referring to the mural] Look, obviously it’s not without artistic merit. Robert: Not without artistic merit? Is that your professional opinion? Jack: What’s that supposed to mean? Robert: Those who can, do, Jack. Those who can’t run their wife’s gallery.
Jack: If you’re so bloody can-do, where are your paintings, huh? You haven’t done anything in forever. Robert: Not true. In the last five years, I’ve completed several paintings actually. I’m warning you, Jack. You touch that wall, and I will not be responsible for the consequences. I will not lift another finger around here!
[as he looks at Robert’s painting] Jack: Wow. Robert: Don’t dare patronize me. Jack: Are the ones you finished as good as this? Robert: They’re terrible. I don’t know if I’d incinerate them.
Jack: [as a couple in the restaurant start kissing] Probably on a Tinder date. Robert: On a what? Jack: Tinder. You know what Tinder is. It’s an app. You know what an app is. Robert: Yeah. I know what a bloody app is, Jack. Jack: Okay, well, Tinder’s a sort of dating app. Robert: On a computer? Jack: No, it’s an app. It’s on your phone. Robert: On your phone? Jack: Yes, it’s an app. Robert: Just stop saying it’s some f***ing app. Jack: Well it is.
Robert: Ugh, I despair. What happened to dancing? The well timed drink? The miracle of a chance encounter? Jack: Well, now, they’ve got this algorithm that replaces chance with probability, so you’re less likely to be disappointed. Robert: Oh, bulls**t. Disappointment is an absolute certainty. Everyone lets everyone down at some point. How you come back from that, that’s romance.
[referring to Robert’s drawing of her] Natalia: Can I see it? Robert: Okay. But remember, you’ll hate it. People, they’re no good at seeing themselves. Natalia: Okay, I’m ready. [he shows her his drawing to reveal he’s drawn a matchstick man, Natalia laughs] Robert: Once you get the eyes, you’re basically there.
Jack: Why do you always do that? Robert: What? Jack: If you ever referred to mum, which is practically never, why is it always “my wife”, “your mother”? Why do you never use her name? She’s called Raffaella. Robert: Yeah. Okay, Raffaella. Jack: And why is that bike all that’s left of her in this whole house? I mean that’s weird, isn’t it? It’s like she didn’t exist!
Jack: [to Natalia] You know, we didn’t have one conversation about mum after she died. Not one. He never even mentioned her death. He just, he told me about how I had to become a man now. Which is a f***ing joke, because what does he know about being a man? I really tried to be a man for him. I didn’t cry at the funeral. I was so proud of that. I look at seven year-olds now and half of them cry when they drop an ice cream. But I didn’t cry. I don’t think I know how to grieve.
[after a prospective buyer leaves due to getting wet black paint on her dress] Kate: Have you ever read Interiors magazine? Robert: Um… Kate: I thought not. If your creativity’s reach is only as far as topping large splashes of misery over your surfaces, may I suggest you enlist some outside help to guide you towards something more commercially advantageous?
Natalia: You know, I looked you up. I Googled you. Robert Foster. You were so good and successful, and then, poof, you disappeared. Robert: Well, I’m very flattered you looked me up.
Natalia: Why are you selling it? Robert: Jack is. Natalia: Jack owns the house? Robert: We own half each. But Jack’s memories of the house are maybe not so good. That’s why I sent him to boarding school. Natalia: You sent him away from you? Robert: I just, I didn’t want him surrounded by reminders of his mother, like me. And it’s harder when you can’t ask your best friend what to do. You know, he was actually happy here once.
Natalia: Why don’t you drive us into town? It’s a really fun car. Robert: I don’t drive. I just don’t. After what happened, because of the circumstances, I couldn’t drive Jack. I couldn’t drive, and couldn’t paint.
[after Robert invites Natalia and her daughter, Anna, for dinner] Natalia: No one ever wants to cook for a cook. Robert: I know my way around a sun kissed tomato. Never doubt an artist when he wants to create. Natalia: Perfecto. And then you can tell me the end of your mountain climbing story.
Jack: “I know my way around a sun kissed tomato?” Robert: What? Jack: You can’t even boil an egg. And what’s this mountain climbing bulls**t? Robert: Well, I went on a very good walk near Chamonix. No, seriously. It took all afternoon.
Robert: [referring to the ragu they had for dinner] It’s an old family recipe. Natalia: Oh, it’s your family recipe? Jack: Well, maybe more like the recipe of the lady who runs the shop that I bought it from. Natalia: Right. Robert: You’ve tasted this ragu before? Natalia: [laughs] I make it for her.
[as Kate is inspecting their paint job on the walls and she looks over to the mural] Robert: I was in agony. My life had just been destroyed. I needed to do something with the pain. Kate: I just moved to Italy. My husband told me for years he didn’t want children, until it was too late for me. Then he got his secretary pregnant. So I upped the stakes and started again out here. Robert: Except, you never really can start again. Kate: No. You can’t.
[after Jack’s told Natalia the real reason for wanting to sell the house] Jack: I can’t follow in dad’s footsteps. You know, he’s so charming, and easy, and talented. I can’t paint like him. But I can make a real success out of the gallery. Natalia: You want to impress him, of course. Jack: He never even came to the gallery. He thinks I’m a failure. Natalia: Really? Did you ask him?
[after Jack finds old toys, photo’s and Robert’s paintings of Jack and his mother] Jack: It’s like you literally locked up all of my memories. Robert: Yes, I think that’s exactly what I did. I tried to find the fastest way for you to be out of pain. Jack: You never let me in. You never f***ing let me in! You never talked to me! Why? Why do you never talk to me?! Why do you hide this from me?
Robert: [to Jack] When the hospital called after the car crash, there was this Italian consultant on the line trying to explain what had happened. But he was speaking so fast I thought you were dead. And I thought I’d lost you both. The despair of finding out that Raffaella was dead, and the relief that you weren’t, you’d think that those two emotions couldn’t exist simultaneously. But they can.
Jack: Do you think about her much? Robert: I think about her every day. You can’t remember, and I can’t forget. Jack: I just stopped trying in the end. Is that weird?
Robert: [as Robert starts crying] I was losing the light. Jack: What’s the matter? Robert: I was supposed to be looking after you down by the lake. You were on your swing, and I was painting. The next thing I know Raffie ran down from the house. Someone had called from town. You had walked all the way to your school, and I hadn’t even noticed you had gone. I was so wrapped up painting! And I should have driven to get you. Jack: But you were losing the light. Robert: I was supposed to be in that car! Oh, God. I’m so sorry, Jack. You’ve lost your mother, and it’s my fault! [as Robert is sobbing, he embraces Robert]
Jack: Ruth left me. We’re getting a divorce. Robert: Oh, thank God. Jack: What? Robert: I’ve been pretty sure for months, but what a relief. Jack: Wait, you knew? Robert: What did I always tell you? Don’t even think about marriage until you’re at least thirty-five. We guys don’t have a clue who we are before that. Jack: Wait, how old were you and mum before you guys got married? Robert: Twenty-nine, but that was a different situation.
[after they’ve decided to buy the house; referring to the mural] Gordon: Obviously this piece of s**t goes. Amy: Right. Looks like Mr. Angry painted it.
Robert: [to Gordon and Amy] You should know that what I’m about to say is not just because of how dismissive you have been of such a beautiful house, or indeed my craft as a painter. Although, let’s face it, that didn’t help. There is nothing musty about this space. And it wouldn’t be improved by either a glass wall, or you living in it. Sale’s off, time to go. What I’m trying to say is, get the f*** out of my house. Kate: Robert, please. Robert: Sorry. Get the f*** out of my house, please. [the couple quickly leave] Kate: Very robust language. Extremely vigorous. F*** them.
Robert: Listen, I just thought that… Jack: You thought what? That one conversation would change everything? That I’d suddenly forget the last fifteen years? Robert: No. I can’t do it, Jack. I just can’t give this house up. Jack: Oh, my God. You never had any intention of selling this place. Did you?
[after Robert gives Jack the money from the sale of his London house] Jack: Where are you going to live? Robert: Italy, I think. I’m going to host painting holidays, would you believe? Kate’s idea actually. Already got a bit of free advertising on my app. Jack: You only have twelve followers. Robert: Don’t knock it. You know who else had twelve followers? [Jack laughs]
[back at the Tuscany house as Robert is teaching painting] Robert: Try for a touch more contrast there, Susan. Maybe the banana wants to be a little less green? Susan: I was aiming for a jungly malaise. Robert: Excellent artistic intention.
Kate: [as he looks at Kate’s painting] I was inspired by your wall. Robert: But I thought you… Kate: It’s grown on me.
[after Jack gives Ruth the signed divorce papers and returns back to Tuscany] Jack: It turns out it was never about the money. But I want a father. [Robert embraces him lovingly]
Natalia: Why didn’t you call me? Jack: I came to see you. You were with your husband, and you looked together. Natalia: He’s the father of my daughter. I have to keep the peace.
Jack: Well, what do we do now? Natalia: We start again. From the beginning. You go. Jack: Oh, you mean now? Natalia: Mm-hmm. Jack: Okay, I’m Jack. Natalia: Hi, Natalia. Nice to meet you. Jack: I’m a hundred percent single. Natalia: This is great news. Jack: I have no job. Natalia: This is terrible news, goodbye. [they both laugh]
Robert: [lreferring to Raffaella] I painted her about a thousand different ways, and barely scratched the surface. This one’s not bad. Jack: I’ll put it on the main wall. Robert: Which main wall? Jack: Kate’s showing me a gallery space in town tomorrow. I’m thinking of this artist called Robert Foster for my first exhibition. You know him? Robert: Uh-huh. That guy? Very rare to see any of his later work. Although, I hear he’s quite busy again. Jack: I heard that whisper. [we then see them both finish painting Robert’s mural on the wall]