Under the Tuscan Sun (film)

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Under the Tuscan Sun
Under the tuscan sun poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAudrey Wells
Produced by
  • Tom Sternberg
  • Audrey Wells
Screenplay byAudrey Wells
Based onUnder the Tuscan Sun
by Frances Mayes
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyGeoffrey Simpson
Edited by
  • Arthur Coburn
  • Andrew Marcus
  • Todd E Miller
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • September 26, 2003 (2003-09-26) (United States)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$18 million[1]
Box office$58.9 million[1]

Under the Tuscan Sun is a 2003 American romantic comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by Audrey Wells and starring Diane Lane. Based on Frances Mayes' 1996 memoir of the same name, the film is about a recently divorced writer who buys a villa in Tuscany on a whim, hoping it will lead to a change in her life.[2] The film was nominated for the Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Award, and Diane Lane received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance.[3]


Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) is a San Francisco writer whose seemingly perfect life takes an unexpected turn when she learns that her husband has been cheating on her. The divorce—and the loss of her house to her ex-husband and his much-younger, pregnant new partner—leaves her depressed and unable to write. Her best friend Patti (Sandra Oh), a lesbian who is expecting a child, is beginning to think Frances might never recover. She urges Frances to take an Italian vacation to Tuscany using the ticket she purchased before she became pregnant. At first, Frances refuses, but after another depressing day in her gloomy apartment, she decides that it's a good idea to get away for a while.

In Tuscany, her tour group stops in the small town of Cortona. After wandering through the charming streets, she notices a posting for a villa for sale in Cortona. She rejoins her tour group on the bus, and just outside town, the bus stops to allow a flock of sheep to cross the road. While they wait, Frances realizes that they've stopped directly in front of the very villa that she had seen for sale—something she believes is a sign. She asks the driver to stop and she gets off the bus. Through a series of serendipitous events, she becomes the owner of a lovely yet dilapidated villa in beautiful Tuscany.

Frances begins her new life with the help of a variety of interesting characters and unusual but gentle souls. She hires a crew of Polish immigrants to renovate the house. Over time, Frances also befriends her Italian neighbors and develops relationships with her Polish workers, the realtor who sold her the villa, and Katherine (Lindsay Duncan), an eccentric aging British actress who evokes the mystery and beauty of an Italian film star. Later, she is visited by the now very pregnant Patti, whose partner Grace has left her.

Frances meets and has a brief romantic affair with Marcello (Raoul Bova), but their relationship does not last. She is about to give up on happiness when one of her Polish workers, a teenager named Pawel (Pawel Szajda), and a neighbor's young daughter come to her for help. Her father does not approve of him, due to his being Polish and not having a family, yet they are very much in love and want to get married. Frances persuades the girl's family to support their love, by proclaiming that she is Pawel's family, and the young lovers are soon married at the villa. During the wedding celebration, Frances meets an American writer who is traveling in Tuscany, and their attraction for each other points to a romantic future.



Filming locations[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 62% out of 152 professional critics gave the film a positive review, with a rating average of 6.2/10 and the critical consensus stating: "Though formulaic and superficial, Under the Tuscan Sun is redeemed by Lane's vibrant performance."[7]

Diane Lane's performance was highly praised and she was nominated for a Best Actress Golden Globe Award.

Box office[edit]

Under the Tuscan Sun opened well in the United States, grossing $9,751,425 on 1,226 screens, opening at No. 2 in the U.S. box office in the weekend of September 28, 2003. This was more than half of its estimated $18 million budget. The film was a box office success, earning $43,610,723 domestically and a further $15,268,000 internationally, totaling $58,878,723 worldwide.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Under the Tuscan Sun". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  2. ^ "Under the Tuscan Sun". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  3. ^ "Awards for Under the Tuscan Sun". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Full cast and crew for Under the Tuscan Sun". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved Dec 22, 2018.
  5. ^ "Locations for Under the Tuscan Sun". Movieloci.com.
  6. ^ "Locations for Under the Tuscan Sun". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  7. ^ "Under the Tuscan Sun". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved March 5, 2019.

External links[edit]