Rory MacNeil, a rugged old Scotsman, travels to San Francisco to seek medical treatment. He moves in with his estranged son Ian, as he sees his life getting transformed through a newfound bond with his baby grandson.


Jose Luis Sampedro (based on the novel 'La Sonrisa Etrusca' by), Michael McGowan | 4 more credits »
7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Cox ... Rory MacNeil
JJ Feild ... Ian
Thora Birch ... Emily
Rosanna Arquette ... Claudia
Aero Kapow Epps Aero Kapow Epps ... Jamie (as Oliver Aero Kappow Epps)
Echo Boom Epps Echo Boom Epps ... Jamie (as Elliot Echo Boom Epps)
Treat Williams ... Frank Barron
Emanuel Cohn ... Academic Man
Peter Coyote ... Professor
Tim Matheson ... Weiss
Clive Russell ... Campbell
Josh Stamberg ... Jeff Stradlow
Sandra Santiago ... Frida
Julie Ow ... Exam Nurse
David Ashton David Ashton ... Fraser


Brian Cox is Rory MacNeil, a rugged old Scotsman who reluctantly leaves his beloved isolated Hebridean island for San Francisco to seek medical treatment. Moving in with his estranged son, Rory's life will be unexpectedly transformed through a newly found love for his baby grandson.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Film based on the book of the same name by Spanish writer, humanist and economist José Luis Sampedro See more »


References Groundhog Day (1993) See more »

User Reviews

The great social divide between rural Scotland and San Francisco.
19 September 2020 | by TxMikeSee all my reviews

The Etruscans predated the Romans, they were the ancient people that generally dominated the territory we know today as Italy. One scene in this movie is in a museum and an ancient Etruscan sculpture has the two people smiling. The Etruscan Smile.

This movie stars Brian Cox as 70-something Rory MacNeil, a ferry operator in rural Scotland. He is stubborn and gruff and thinks his home is without doubt the most wonderful place in the world. He is not totally well and he travels to San Francisco where his adult son lives with wife and young son.

It is immediately clear at the airport that the dad and son do not get along. So most of the story is actually about the two of them meeting in the middle, mending relationships, and the dad dealing with his diagnosis.

Good movie, Cox is his usual reliable self. The cinematography includes spectacular shots in both Northern California and rural Scotland. My wife and I watched it on DVD from our public library.

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English | Scottish Gaelic

Release Date:

1 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Etruscan Smile See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,729, 10 November 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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