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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


A stunt double was used for the opening scene in which Brian Cox bathes at a Scottish beach, because the actor found the water too cold. See more »


References Groundhog Day (1993) See more »

User Reviews

Great Story Well Told
24 January 2019 | by mamlukmanSee all my reviews

We saw this at the Palm Springs Film Festival in Jan. 2019. Our question after seeing a movie is always "Could this can been improved?" In this case, the answer is a firm "No." It's pretty much perfect within the bounds of what it set out to do. It tells a realistic story in a straightforward way (no time shifting! Hurray!). It held our attention throughout--no looking at watches. It's pretty much Brian Cox's movie since he is in every scene, and he does a great job. He had to learn Gaelic to play the part, and as far as I can see did a fantastic job.

Is it a comedy or a drama? Both. Certainly the comedic angle is almost always there, but there are touches (esp. the scenes with Rosanna Arquette) where it gets fairly serious and has a serious message. But it never hits you over the head with sentimentality or its "message." The director seems to have found a perfect middle ground. This seems to be getting rarer, so congratulations are in order.

Finally, it reminded me of a 2016 Finnish movie, "The Grump," which also featured a older man who lived in the countryside who visits his son in the big city (Helsinki, in this case). He is technologically inept, leading to several hilarious scenes, and he interferes in his daughter-in-law's business. It was more of a pure comedy than "Etruscan Smile." Curiously, neither Brian Cox nor the director were aware of the Finnish movie.

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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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