A Summer in Genoa

Directed by Michael Winterbottom (eOne)

A mother of two girls (Hope Davis) dies in a car accident. The father 
(Colin Firth) gets an academic position at a university in Italy and takes his daughters along. That’s the sum of the plot. The rest of the picture is a dreamy travelogue of sandy beaches, labyrinthine streets and brief encounters with the mother’s ghost. The girls (Perla Haney-
Jardine and Willa Holland) are wonderful and make the most of their coming-of-age arcs, while Firth and Catherine Keener (as a fellow professor) mostly react in support. A film about mood and snatches of conversation where the gorgeous location is the dominant character, it’s not without charm, but will require lots of patience from anyone but devout Italophiles. (Originally released as Genova in the UK in 2009.)

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