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My Mother's Smile (2002)
"L'ora di religione (Il sorriso di mia madre)" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  19 April 2002 (Italy)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,375 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 17 user | 24 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

A celebrated painter receives a visit from a cardinal's assistant, who informs him that his mother could become a saint.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ernesto Picciafuocco
Jacqueline Lustig ...
Irene Picciafuocco
Chiara Conti ...
Diana Sereni
Gigio Alberti ...
Ettore Picciafuocco
Alberto Mondini ...
Leonardo Picciafuocco
...
Erminio Picciafuocco
Gianni Schicchi ...
Filippo Argenti (as Gianni Schicchi Gabrieli)
Maurizio Donadoni ...
Cardinal Piumini
Donato Placido ...
Egidio Picciafuocco
Renzo Rossi ...
Baldracchi
Pietro De Silva ...
Curzio Sandali
Bruno Cariello ...
Don Pugni
...
Aunt Maria
Toni Bertorelli ...
Count Ludovico Bulla
Maria Luisa Bellocchio ...
Zia Ernesto
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 April 2002 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

My Mother's Smile  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,167 (USA) (11 February 2005)

Gross:

$40,246 (USA) (9 September 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2002 (#06) See more »

Goofs

When Ernesto looked up his family on the computer Egidio's birth year was listed as 1950. Seconds later when he looks again, it is listed as 1951. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Morning, Night (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Harmonielehre, for orchestra
(1985)
Music by John Adams
Performed by San Francisco Symphony
Conducted by Edo de Waart
© Edizioni A.M.P. su licenza BMG Ricordi (Casa Ricordi)
Per gentile concessione Nonesuch Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products
Nonesuch Records, 1984
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It reminds you how painful it is to THINK
24 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

L'ora di religione is not a beautiful movie in any sense of the word. It is dark, the shadows and lights of Rome are matched by the moody vision of the director. Bellocchio plays with images Fellini style, but doesn't focus so much on the caricature in 8 & 1/2 style, but tries to convey the ambiguity of contemporary religious life. It's the ambiguity of modernity; cell phones versus pictures of the saints, the feared "immaginette" Italian kids grew up with. Nothing can change, but so much has changed. Bellocchio's movie style is ripe with symbols: a fat Jesus crosses the road with a plastic cross. Priests in the Vatican force african kids to climb stairs on their knees: the church is portrayed to exploit the same old mother load: the poor, the weak, the ignorant, the child. At some point Ernesto, the main character masterfully played by Castellitto finds himself involved in an incongruous duel with a symbol of a past so remote it appears comical: he loses the duel instantly as the swords cross. Nothing can change. Yet we can maybe hope to keep our identity, and even if god's pervasive presence deprives us of freedom, as Ernesto's son is taught, falling in love, shouting a blasphemous curse can be an act of individuality. Or maybe not.


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