Nanni Moretti takes a comic look at the ebbs and flows of his life as he becomes a father for the first time. He struggles with distractions while trying to make a documentary of the Italian national elections.
Because of an accident, Michele (a leader of P.C.I. and a water-polo player) loses his memory. During one water-polo match, strange guys torment him; they want him to remember his past. As ... See full summary »
The young priest Father Giulio returns to Rome, his hometown, after a long pilgrimage. Don Giulio hopes to live peacefully with his family and his friends, but discovers that many of them ... See full summary »
Ferruccio De Ceresa,
Michele is a mathematics professor who just started a new job in a school with some peculiar teaching methods. After a woman in his neighborhood is murdered, Michele meets beautiful ... See full summary »
Nanni Moretti directs himself playing himself in this wry look at life. Presented in three chapters, Moretti uses the experiences of traveling on his motor-scooter, cruising with his friend... See full summary »
Nuovamente nei panni del suo alter-ego Michele Apicella, Nanni Moretti scrive la sua commedia apparentemente più ilare ma anche surreale ed inquietante. Il regista Michele, ancora sulla ... See full synopsis »
Piera Degli Esposti,
These are hard days for Margherita, who is going through a very difficult period in her life. On a professional level first, the middle-aged film director, has started wondering whether the committed movies she has been making are really an actual reflection of the world she lives in ; on top of this, she is in conflict not only with her crew but also, and primarily, with Barry Huggins, a well-known American actor of Italian origin, who proves awfully bad and uncontrollable. On the personal level, things do not get any better - it could even be said they are worse. Margherita has just left her life partner and she has become unable to relate to her teenage daughter. As for her mother, she is now seriously ill and her doctor tries to prepare her brother and her for the worst. Which is unacceptable to the weakened woman who can find salvation only in denial of reality. Will she manage to face up to the facts and to come to terms with herself?Written by
The Italian movie Mia Madre (2015) was shown in the U.S. with its original title. It was co-written and directed by Nanni Moretti. It stars Margherita Buy as movie director Margherita. Margherita is directing a film in which noted U.S. actor Barry Huggins (John Turturro) is the protagonist. Margherita's mother Ada is portrayed by Giulia Lazzarina. Director Moretti has cast himself in the supporting role of Giovanni, Margherita's brother.
Margherita has problems that come from many directions. Her mother is dying--that's really the crux of the plot. She and her brother do their best for her, but it's a slow, downhill battle.
Margherita breaks up with a long-time lover, her daughter from her marriage is having trouble in school, and Barry Huggins is a self-centered jerk. Huggins is a star, and he acts like one. (In the movie, he speaks Italian well, which may be true in real life as well.) I got the sense in the movie that he was a celebrity, but not as great a celebrity as he would like to be. In any event, he is making Margherita's life miserable.
Margherita can't just drop everything to be with her mother. She has a film to direct, and it's not going well. She's in an impossible bind.
Director Moretti gave himself an important supporting role. In fact, the one fault I found with Mia Madre was that Moretti has a long scene with his boss that makes no sense in the context of the film. However, that small self-indulgence is negligible compared to all the great moments Moretti gives us.
Turturro is brilliant. His job is to make everyone--including the audience--dislike him. He does that wonderfully. Margherita Buy is an absolutely brilliant actor. Her emotions are at the surface, and her face portrays each emotion with unbelievable precision. She is the Italian Meryl Streep . (Or Meryl Streep is the American Margherita Buy.) Even if this weren't a great movie, it would be worth seeing just to watch Margherita Buy act. However, it truly is a great movie, and I highly recommend it.
This is one of the rare films that shows three generations of women, all of whom are strong and intelligent. That's another reason to watch Mia Madre.
We saw this film at the acclaimed Dryden Theatre in the George Eastman Museum in Rochester. I don't know if it will go into general release. It's certainly worth seeking out. (Every movie is better seen on the large screen than the small screen, but Mia Madre will work well on a small screen.)
For reasons I don't understand, Mia Madre has a modest 6.9 IMDb rating. This is one of those situations where I say, "Did those people see the same movie I saw?" Find it, watch it, and then judge for yourself.
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