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Mia madre (2015)

R | | Drama | 26 August 2016 (USA)
2:23 | Trailer

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Margherita, a director in the middle of an existential crisis, has to deal with the inevitable and still unacceptable loss of her mother.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Margherita
... Barry Huggins
Giulia Lazzarini ... Ada
... Giovanni
Beatrice Mancini ... Livia
Stefano Abbati ... Federico
Francesco Acquaroli
Anna Bellato ... Attrice
Lorenzo Gioielli ... Interprete
Enrico Ianniello ... Vittorio
Toni Laudadio ... Produttore (as Tony Laudadio)
Tatiana Lepore ... Segretaria di edizione
Pietro Ragusa ... Bruno
Monica Samassa ... Medico
Vanessa Scalera ... Infermiera


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 Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

26 August 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Margherita  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


€7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€1,110,769 (Italy), 20 April 2015, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,098, 28 August 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$301,664, 30 October 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as Dolby 5.1)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This won Margherita Buy her 5th David di Donatello Best Actress award (the Italian equivalent of the Oscars). See more »


References Roma (1972) See more »


Tabula Rasa
Composed by Arvo Pärt
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User Reviews

Moving family drama with a film-within-a-film
9 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

"Mia Madre" (2015 release from Italy; 107 min.; US title "My Mother") brings the story of Margherita (played by Margherita Buy). As the movie opens, we are in the mid of a film shoot, with Margherita as the movie's director. After the day's shoot, she visits her ailing mom (played by Giulia Lazzarini), who was recently hospitalized. Meanwhile Margherita also has to deal with her own issues, including the fact that she doesn't see any future in the relationship with her boyfriend Vittorio. Fortunately she get some help from her brother Giovanni (played by Nanni Moretti). But life becomes yet more complicated when Barry (played by John Turturro) arrives on the set of the film. To tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this movie is directed, co-written and co-produced by Nanni Moretti (who also plays one of the major roles). This is really two films within one: there is the family drama of how a brother and sister are coping with an ailing and hospitalized mother, and then there is the making of the 'social realist' film about a factory that may be cutting one-third of its labor force. It's not clear to me why Moretti choose to combine two two elements into one movie, as they are pretty much existing independently from each other, safe for one aspect: Margherita. That said, the acting performances are tops throughout the movie, perhaps none more so than Giulia Lazzarini as the ailing mother. Also note that John Torturro speaks mostly Italian in this role (I can only assume he already spoke Italian before this movie).

"Mia Madre" premiered at the 2015 Cannes film festival, where it won one of the major prize. Out of the blue and without any fanfare or advertising, "Mia Madre" showed up at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati this weekend. Why it's taken almost 18 months to get a release, I have no idea but better late than never I suppose. The Sunday matinée screening where I saw this at was attended poorly and I can't imagine this will play for more than a week. If you are in the mood for a quality foreign family drama with a lot of great acting performances, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in theaters, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.

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