Directed by Mehdi Avaz, and starring Anders Matthesen, Cristiana Dell’Anna, and Andrea Bosca, Toscana is a Danish romantic drama which is new to Netflix from today. The movie tells the story of a chef who re-evaluates his life, following the passing of his father.
In the movie, Theo Dahl is the head chef at a prestigious restaurant. In the midst of preparing for an important night, he receives a letter informing him that his father has died.
The news comes as a great shock to Theo, and he struggles to process it, but he knows he must get on with his work, even though his father’s death is at the forefront of his mind. A rich and arrogant investor is due at the restaurant that evening and pleasing him is vital for the future of the business.
Theo is aware that he needs to treat the investor well, to ensure the financial security of the restaurant, but on this particular occasion he has no room for the investor’s brash personality. He lashes out and insults him, causing a significant problem for the restaurant.
With the investor pulling out of a potential deal, Theo needs to find a new source of income. This leads him to Tuscany, Italy, and to a property which he has inherited from his father.
Upon arriving in Tuscany, Theo takes a look at his father’s property – a rustic restaurant, situated within a castle. The place needs a little work, but is fine for what it is, and once sold, it could provide Theo with the money he needs.
But over the next few days as Theo familiarises himself with the property, he gets to know his father’s staff better, including waitress Sophia, who is emotionally attached to the restaurant. Through Sophia’s eyes, Theo comes to see his father’s business in a whole new light, giving him much to think about regarding his own life, love, and happiness.
OK, so I’m going to cut to the very core with this movie review, to remove any long-winded bluff and bluster, because I like Toscana. I like Toscana very much.
This is a delightful little movie, which is beautiful to look at, features great performances, and watching it is likely to put you in a very good mood. Those who give it a go will feel instantly transported to Tuscany, while the tone and setting is guaranteed to cheer up a miserable day or enhance an already pleasant one.
The film is best enjoyed with good company, along with the finest bottle of wine your budget can stretch to. I’d also advise stocking up on cheese, bread, and other delicious treats, because you are going to want to snack and indulge throughout this whole picture.
Toscana is a romantic, picturesque piece of film, which focuses on loss and life. It features multiple shots of locations you will want to visit, as well as food you will want to eat, and by the time it is over you will feel inspired to book your next holiday abroad or reconsider what is most important to you in this world.
I should point out that the story in Toscana is very straight forward, and serves up little in the way of surprises. Theo’s journey feels fairly well-worn, and it’s not difficult to work out where the story is going at various points during the movie.
However, none of this is a problem, as Toscana’s simplified approach to storytelling gives the film room to breathe, shine, and work its magic. One of the strengths of this movie is just how relaxed it all is.
Director Mehdi Avaz tells exactly the story he wants to, in a way which doesn’t need to be rushed or compromised. His approach is to use the stunning sights of Italy to capture his audience’s attention, then uses music, cinematography, and his cast to enhance the offering, while his tale slowly unfolds.
And speaking of the cast, all are great in this film, but it is Anders Matthesen who is perfect in the role of Theo. He plays someone who has experienced difficulties in his past, and this has shaped the man he has become, but it doesn’t mean it has to define who he is in the future.
Theo’s journey is one of self-discovery and Matthesen plays the role just right. As with every element of this movie, the casting is spot on and adds so much to the film.
I have nothing negative to say about Toscana. I found the whole film to be highly enjoyable and incredibly relaxing to watch.
The picture is ideal for those looking for something charming, or who want a bit of escapism during the sizzling summer nights, and it is highly recommended. Just remember to stock up on the aforementioned wine and cheese, and you’ll find yourself with the perfect evening.