I am a relative straggler Team Marcowhich has played at 54 film festivals around the world and won the Audience Award for Favorite Family Movie in Mill Valley. It will be available on digital platforms this weekend.
Julio Vincent Gambuto’s debut film could be dismissed as formulaic and overly sentimental – but only by misanthropes. It’s a life-affirming feel-good film about an 11-year-old boy addicted to video games and his 76-year-old Italian-American grandfather who introduces him to bocce ball and the rewards of fresh air and friendship.
Owen Vaccaro plays the boy who is raised by a single mother, and Anthony Patellis is his “Nonno”, a bombastic guy who doesn’t know (or wants to know) nothing about electronic devices. There’s not much tension as to where this story leads, but the journey is very entertaining, also because the actors are so committed to their characters.
The filmmaker grew up in Staten Island and the neglected part of New York City is featured prominently. In fact, Gambuto named its production company Boro Five. The credits include a long list of the investors, friends, and local businesses who helped make the film a reality.
Cynics have many other options for entertainment. I really enjoyed this picture and in the end wiped away my tears.