My House in Umbria
|My House in Umbria|
|Directed by||Richard Loncraine|
|Produced by||Robert Allan Ackerman|
|Written by||William Trevor (original novel)
Hugh Whitemore (screenplay)
|Music by||Claudio Capponi|
|Edited by||Humphrey Dixon|
|Distributed by||Home Box Office|
My House in Umbria is a 2003 HBO made-for-television movie, based on the novella of the same name by William Trevor and published along with another novella in the volume Two Lives. The film stars Maggie Smith and was directed by Richard Loncraine.
Emily Delahunty (Maggie Smith) is an eccentric British romance novelist who lives in Umbria in central Italy. Mrs. Delahunty settled in Italy to flee from a somewhat traumatic past which still haunts her, and lives alone apart from her servants, who put up with her eccentricities. One day while travelling, the train she is on is bombed by terrorists. After she wakes up in a hospital, she invites three of the other survivors of the disaster to stay at her Italian villa for recuperation. Of these are The General (Ronnie Barker), a retired British Army veteran, Werner (Benno Fürmann), a young German photographer, and Aimee (Emmy Clarke), a young American girl who has now become mute after her parents were both killed in the explosion.
As the group recovers from their ordeal (in which The General lost his daughter, and Werner lost his girlfriend and suffered considerable burns to his arm), the explosion is being investigated by Inspector Girotti (Giancarlo Giannini), a local policeman. Responding to the warmth and kindness of Mrs Delahunty and the others, Aimee begins to speak again, while the local authorities seek out any relatives who might be able to take her in. They eventually locate her uncle, Thomas Riversmith (Chris Cooper), a university professor in the U.S. He agrees to take Aimee back to the U.S. to live with his wife and himself, though they have little time for (and no experience with) raising children and are particularly concerned about trying to raise a child who has been through such a traumatic experience.
Mrs. Delahunty grows to like her new housemates and invites the General and Werner to stay indefinitely. She also works hard to find common ground with Aimee's uncle and tries to convince him to leave Aimee with her in Italy rather than taking the child back to America to a loveless home. Meanwhile, Inspector Girotti discovers that Werner was involved in the terrorist attack on the train. Mrs. Delahunty reluctantly admits that she has come to the same conclusion, but Werner departs in secret before he can be confronted. Although disappointed by the revelation, Mrs. Delahunty is delighted to learn that the General intends to stay on and that Thomas has allowed Aimee to remain as well. The film ends with Mrs. Delahunty embracing her new circumstances, having finally resolved her inner turmoil.
The plot departs substantially from that of Trevor's somber novella.
- Maggie Smith as Mrs. Emily Delahunty
- Chris Cooper as Thomas Riversmith
- Timothy Spall as Quinty
- Emmy Clarke as Aimee
- Ronnie Barker as The General
- Benno Fürmann as Werner
- Giancarlo Giannini as Inspector Girotti
- Libero De Rienzo as Dr. Innocenti
- Cecilia Dazzi as Rosa Crevelli
- Much of the film was made on location in Italy, including Cinecittà, Rome, Lazio, Siena, and Tuscany.
- Primetime Emmy Awards
- Outstanding Made for Television Movie (nominated)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (Smith, won)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (Cooper, nominated)
- Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special (nominated)
- Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special (nominated)
- Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special (nominated)
- Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special (nominated)
- Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special (nominated)
- Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special (nominated)
- Golden Globe Awards
- Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (nominated)
- Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Smith, nominated)