My Mother (2015)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

Original title:  Mia Madre

Italy/France, 2015.  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .  Story by Nanni Moretti, , , , Screenplay by Nanni Moretti, , Valia Santella.  Cinematography by .  Produced by Nanni Moretti, .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

 combines humour with sentiment in this semi-autobiographical tale of a filmmaker (, filling in for Moretti himself) who is trying to make a politically-minded film with an exasperating Italian-American movie star () while dealing with her mother’s decline in health.  Filming all day and visiting her former Latin teacher mother in the hospital at night, Buy is at her wit’s end trying to stay on top of everything but constantly feeling like she’s failing, her fatigue frequently compounded by nagging dreams that bring up feelings of confusion and regret.  Days of dealing with Turturro’s ego (which he performs beautifully) and the relief of her mother’s sweet nature and vulnerable state eventually add up, giving her a clarity for managing the relationships in her life (including her generous brother played by Moretti).  The director has possibly told this story too soon after living it himself, the film highly enjoyable but feels mainly like it is marking the experience for posterity; there’s not much explored or revealed about either the creative process or the charting of a loved one’s decline, but what is presented is acted beautifully and genuinely moving.  Buy has always had an easy command of the screen and here shoulders the entire thing with the same confidence she has always had, but it would be nice if the film had more wit and not just humour, and more poignancy instead of pure (though never mawkish) sentimentality.

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

European Film Award Nomination:  Best European (Margherita Buy); Best European Director (Nanni Moretti)

Toronto International Film Festival:  2015


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