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Cannes Film Review: ‘Sweet Dreams’

12 May 2016 5:22 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Italy’s famed devotion to the ideal of “mamma” is one of the peninsula’s notable characteristics, yet one would expect veteran director Marco Bellocchio to make something more of this national fixation than the teetering sentimentality of “Sweet Dreams.” Based on Massimo Gramellini’s successful novel, the film is composed of several exquisite stand-alone sequences unsatisfactorily strung together on a thin cord of mother love, in a story of a middle-aged man unable to overcome the loss of his mother when he was nine. Shifting between childhood vignettes suffused with a heart-warming glow and adult scenes of shut-down emotions and retarded development, “Sweet Dreams” will be Bellocchio’s most successful film at home for some time, but international play, despite probable sales, won’t be the stuff dreams are made of.

Those who’ve followed the wide-ranging helmer’s career will be surprised by the noticeable lack of substantive »

- Jay Weissberg

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