Nino Micelli (Pierrino Mascarino), an elderly Italian peasant, is coming to America for the first time in his life. He sent a letter off to his nephew Robert Micelli (Joe Mantegna) and his wife Marie (Anne Archer) to announce his arrival, but their 12 year-old old daughter Gina (Gina Mantegna) misplaces it so nobody knows Nino is on his way.
Nino has not seen his nephew in over 30 years and is excited to reconnect with his American family. When Marie picks him up at the airport, Nino is only carrying his violin and a suitcase full of homemade wine. But in his heart Nino brings with him a love of good food and drink, music, and most importantly, a love of family and of life itself. Not only are the Micelli’s surprised by Uncle Nino’s arrival, but he is equally surprised to find a family that is completely disconnected. Robert, who has just learned from his boss that he is up for a big promotion, is obsessed with his work and getting ahead in life. He has little time for his family, let alone Nino. Marie fills her time with work and running the kids around. She rarely cooks anymore since no one is ever home and is growing tired of being alone. She is beginning to question their way of life.
“Uncle Nino” is a beautifully written and directed story about family and how different generations can influence one another, for good or for bad. Every family has experienced cross-generational tensions between the “good old days” and today’s modern ways. That is what makes this movie so relevant today. “Uncle Nino” inspires the audience to see everyone as unique and valuable, no matter what culture or age group they represent. I highly recommend this fine family movie to anyone who wants to be entertained and moved by the creative ways these three generations are drawn together by an unusual common bond – their love of music.