I'd say the basic theme of this movie, is redemption and courage, summed up by the last lines of Nonno's poem: " Oh courage! Could you not as well select a second place to dwell, not only in that golden tree but in the frightened heart of me." The grandfather's poem, and struggling through lifes insults with his grand-daughter to finish it, is what binds the characters and defines the overall theme of the movie. Each character has demons, and is need of forgiveness, grace and redemtion. Deborah Kerr's character speaks beautifully to Richard Burtons, about what it is to be human: flaws and all.