My Mother


Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

Tragicomedy My Mother (Mia Madre).
"It’s a more slight work than we might have expected from Moretti."

Nanni Moretti’s film about a director shooting a movie while his mother is dying obviously hits close to home. Moretti’s own mother passed away during the shoot of We Have a Pope (Habemus Papam) and has inspired the narrative.

Instead of putting himself in to the picture as the director, he keeps a distance but appears as the brother Giovanni, who is going through a crisis at work as well as coping with his sister’s anxieties about their mother. The director, played by Margherita Buy - one of Italian cinema’s most luminous actors and here working with Moretti for the third time - has to cope with all the myriad complications of a film set and shoot - as well as John Turturro in a comic turn as an American star who fluffs all of his lines.

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Buy not only has her professional troubles but she also has boyfriend whose apartment she is about leave, as well as a teenage daughter emotionally distraught at her grandmother’s impending demise.

The film swings back and forth between the film being shot and real life, and looks at the blurred lines between the two.

It is simply shot and effortlessly engrossing but it does not have the energy or deep emotional engagement of The Son’s Room. There are delights along the way including Turturro driving a car down the street with his view totally obscured by cameras.

Veteran stage actress Giulia Lazzarini acquits herself with distinction as the elderly mother and former teacher. From her hospital bed she is able to show the intelligence and inspiration which endeared to generations of pupils not to mention her grand-daughter.

It’s a more slight work than we might have expected from Moretti. Maybe he should have considered casting himself in the role of the director rather than keeping his distance.

Reviewed on: 16 May 2015
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Tragicomedy, a filmmaker tries to cope with crises.
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Read more My Mother reviews:

Anne-Katrin Titze ****1/2

Director: Nanni Moretti

Writer: Gaia Manzini, Chiara Valerio

Starring: Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini, Nanni Moretti, Beatrice Mancini

Year: 2015

Runtime: 102 minutes

Country: Italy, France

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