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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 1,352 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

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Details

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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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

Tears of the Angels
per soprano, violino, tampura e archi (1995)
Music by John Tavener
Performed by BT Scottish Ensemble with Clio Gould, violino
Conducted by Clio Gould
© Edizioni Chester Music su licenza BMG Ricordi (Casa Ricordi)
Per gentile concessione Linn Records
Linn Records, 1998
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Rollicking Satire of Religion
25 February 2005 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"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.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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