1972, Milano. We are just a few days before the general elections. The daughter of a well-known professor is found dead. Mr Bizanti editor in chief of newspaper "Il Giornale", in agreement ... See full summary »
Gian Maria Volonté,
The Prince of Homburg, disobeys orders and leads a cavalry charge in battle against the Swedes, which leads to victory. He is court martialled however for disobeying orders and sentenced to... See full summary »
Andrea Di Stefano,
Antonio, a policeman (carabiniere), has an order to take two children (Rosetta and her brother Luciano) from Milan to Sicily to an orphanage. Their mother has been arrested for forcing ... See full summary »
Enrico Lo Verso,
Two linen fabric dealers with their shops close to one another, battle against each other for more and more costumers. Umberto constantly loses clients because of the tough competition ... See full summary »
Two Italian racketeers come to Albania just after the fall of the communists to set up a fictive firm and pocket the grants. They need a stooge. They choose an old one in a jail : Spiro. ... See full summary »
Enrico Lo Verso,
Burned-out, over-the-hill actor Giovanni returns to Bologna for the funeral of his twin, Pippo, a wealthy suicide unlucky in love. The family tells Pippo's mother it was an accident, but ... See full summary »
When her father, Giancarlo is transferred to Rome from the small country town of Montalto Di Castro, Caterina, a 12 years old girl, will discover her new classmates, a totally new world, an... See full summary »
A pair of working class lovers - a secretary and an accountant, scheme to marry into the rich landed gentry. Their targets are a professor, Vittorio Gordini Malvezzi ,(Glauco Mauri), who is... See full summary »
Marcello is a successful architect, a husband and a distracted father (too) friendly. Marina is a psychologist maladjusted, wife and mother restrained 'eco-solidarity'. Rosa is in the ... See full summary »
Mauro, a judge, is worried about his older sister Marta, who took care of him since he was a boy, and is now affected by psychic problems and suicide fantasies. She seems to recover from ... See full summary »
Ernesto is a successful artist who has his life turned upside down by his family's wishes for the canonization of his murdered mother. His extreme dislike for her ignorant ways brings about a greater connection with his insane brother who killed her, while his other brothers favor her beatification. There is a struggle of wills and will power. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
"My Mother's Smile (L'Ora di religione: Il sorriso di mia madre)" is a rollicking take on Catholicism that's very like how "I Heart Huckabees" treated existentialism, but with even more Tom Robbins-like absurdist humor.
Almost Kafka-like, with a touch of Woody Allen, the central character is the straight man in the joke, particularly with Sergio Castellitto's hang dog look (he was the Italian lover in "Mostly Martha") as he wakes up one morning to discover that his mother is about to be declared a saint.
We see the impact of this hypocritical quest on his ex-wife, brothers, old friends, aunts, priests and other people he has to come in contact with over two days, as everyone has selfish reasons for promoting sainthood. The potential canonization also becomes a vehicle to examine violence, sin, madness, ambition, love, parent/child relationships, philosophy, and art, as the central figure is an artist and the titular expression is captured in a Mona Lisa-like portrait.
The satire goes a bit overboard, though, when the son is challenged to a duel at dawn, though I think there was some point about the pointlessness of archaic societal rules. Small characters are weighted with too many meanings, like a crazy architect seeking to blow up a national monument that figures in a souvenir photograph, a witness whose name is a pseudonym from Dante, a mysterious, beautiful religion teacher, and more symbolism that went by, particularly as this is one of those typical Italian movies where the subtitles seem abridgments of the conversations.
In a lovely twist on the pieta, the most moving scenes are the paternal ones between father and son.
The soundtrack includes beautiful contemporary classical religious music including Adams and Tavener.
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