They just don’t make films like Team Marco anymore – full of grace, life lessons and compelling characters, nary a swear word in sight.
It’s a wholesome endeavour, filled to the brim with intrigue, delight and some truly rich storytelling. Team Marco was more than a film – it evoked some serious emotion out of me.
I lost my grandfather a few years back, and seeing the relationship between young Marco and his intelligent, no-nonsense Nonno was an emotional throwback. Anthony Patellis is incredible as the authentically Italian grandfather, and his performance made me long for the beautiful moments I spent with my own Papa.
An anxious, tech-obsessed Marco is forced to spend time with his Nonno after his grandmother passes away, and the man comes to live with Marco and his mom. Marco’s absent father, a game guru, leaves him constantly playing the video games his father invents as a way to connect. But his Nonno sees all the things the boy is missing.
Though one of his least commercial efforts, this is by far the best performance from Owen Vaccaro yet as Marco. He and Patellis work in tandem to create an amazing onscreen bond. As Nonno introduces his grandson – kicking and screaming – to world outside his VR, the boy comes to grips and embraces tradition, love and friendship.
Writer-director Julio Vincent Gambuto has created a film that made me laugh out loud, left me with tears running down my face, and I absolutely adored these characters. Team Marco may not be an Oscar contender, but as a relatable, splendid family film, it more than hits the mark.