Colin Firth's most interesting performances seem destined to go unheralded. As Joe, in Michael Winterbottom's Genova, he digs deep into the role of a husband attempting to make a new life for himself and his kids following the death of his wife (Hope Davis) in a car accident, and comes up with a nuanced, subtle performance. Unfortunately, the film hardly surfaced in British cinemas but it's well worth seeking out now on DVD. It re-teams Winterbottom with Laurence Coriat, the writer of what is, for me, the director's best work: the beautiful tough-but-tender portrait of London loneliness and London connection, Wonderland (1999). Though quite different in tone, Genova retains some of that film's intimacy, spontaneity and truth. Joe takes up a teaching post in Genova, taking his two daughters with him. When the family arrive, they have a month to spend together before the new term starts and the film charts their response to the town and its effect upon their grief. While older daughter Kelly (Willa Holland) quickly finds a kind of solace in the company of other teens (albeit one that brings her into conflict with her father) Mary (Perla Haney-Jardine) is haunted by what she feels to be her role in her mother's death, and begins to experience visions of her mother walking in the streets. Employing a skeleton crew, Winterbottom and cinematographer Marcel Zyskind shoot the film mainly handheld; the scenes have a loose, natural rhythm. The city is presented evocatively but unostentatiously and the film wears its Don't Look Now parallels lightly. The conventional child-in-peril ending is a little pat but Genova remains a gem.