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Promotional poster
Directed by Michael Winterbottom
Produced by Andrew Eaton
Written by Laurence Coriat
Michael Winterbottom
Starring Colin Firth
Catherine Keener
Hope Davis
Release date(s) 27 March 2009
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Genova is a film directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring Colin Firth, Catherine Keener, and Hope Davis. It was filmed in the titular city of Genoa (Genova in Italian) during the summer of 2007. It was written by Wonderland screenwriter Laurence Coriat. It premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival[1] and won the best director's award in the San Sebastián International Film Festival.



A romantic ghost story about two American girls and their British father (Firth) who move to Italy after their mother dies.[2]

Following the death of his wife in a car accident, a college professor (Colin Firth) decides to teach English Literature at an Italian University in Genoa. He is accompanied by his two daughters, aged 16 and 10. The trio occupy a flat in the crowded Genoa streets and soon adapt to the local way of life, taking day trips to the beach and hiring an Italian tutor in musical composition.

The elder daughter begins secretly dating a local Italian teenager, surreptitiously making dates with him behind her father's back. The younger daughter remains close to her father, and still deals with painful memories of her mother's death. Herself a passenger in the car when her mother was killed she was directly responsible for the accident and remains haunted by her image.

The Professor, while enjoying life in Genoa, has to deal with the demands of being a single parent while also balancing his re-emergent love life. One romantic interest is a fellow colleague at the university (played by Catherine Keener) with whom he shared a brief romantic relationship back at Harvard when both were students. The colleague tries to get close to the family, helping with translation and their day-to-day needs in Genoa, but crossing the thin line between good advice and intrusion in their private ways in the process. Another romantic interest is a young Italian student in the professor's literature class. She is brash and idealistic and quickly makes her intentions known to the suddenly single professor.

Matters come to a head one day when the professor makes a lunch date with the Italian student, simultaneously spurning his much older colleague. The eldest daughter gets into a fight with her Italian boyfriend and is forced to hitch a ride home from the beach. Meanwhile the youngest daughter is locked out of the flat due to the lateness of her older sister and instead follows an apparition of her late mother across a busy intersection, almost killing herself and causing yet another car crash, but luckily a minor one. The movie ends with the two daughters beginning their studies at a local Italian secondary school, eager to start a new chapter as a family, having already learned a great deal about family, love, and mourning, on the colourful streets of Genoa.



The film was generally well-received. It currently holds a fresh rating of 78% on Rotten Tomatoes.[3]


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