The thousands faces of healing
Under the Tuscan Sun is a nice surprise, a warming film for the rainy days, to watch near a fireplace while drinking a hot chocolate, leaving out sadness and letting in the love for life, the joy in little things and the ability to see how hard times can hide the greatest of treasures.
The film – based on the namesake book – tells the story of Frances (played by the amazing Diane Lane), an American writer whose world suddenly collapses: she loses her husband and home at the same time and can’t cope with the depression following her painful divorce and the forced sale of her home to her ex-husband’s new girlfriend. One day, her friend Patti gives her a flight ticket to Italy, hoping a holiday will help Francis to recover. Once in Tuscany, Francis falls in love with an ancient abandoned villa in Bramasole, and decides to invest all the money from her American home sale into it, in the hope to start again. The villa, potentially magnificent but in great need of restoration and reconstruction (just like our protagonist’s life is), not only will be the place where Francis faces her ghosts and fears, but also the home where she will be finally surrounded by the family she never had, like the young Polish builder, who’s in love with the neighbour’s daughter, and her friend Patti, who will soon come to visit.
A romantic affair in Rome and Positano will quickly take Francis from the stars to the stalls, but she will have the chance to look inside herself and appreciate the gifts of life, and especially to learn how to have faith and let things happen in their due time.
The film begins with as classic cliché of the heroin (often weak and a loser) who loses everything and has to start again, but it slowly reveals to be a jewel that not only shows with love and wonder the beauty (together with the strengths and weaknesses) of Italy and the Italians, but it also teaches how our attitude and courage to go on – without looking back, without self-pity and without beating ourselves up for what we cannot change or do again – is the key to live in joy and gratitude for every life moment, that we often take for granted but it’s never guaranteed.
Francis will be told by several people that she should stop crying on spit milk and ruminate on the past, but she will only be able to do it when she will open her eyes and see that she’s already has all that she needs. And right in the moment she stops being fixated on finding love and people to take care of, everything will be given to her. Because this is life. It always gives us what we need, even when it seems it’s doing the opposite.