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Cannes 2015
Chicago, Hawaii

Original title: Mia madre

Directed by: Nanni Moretti

Written by: Nanni Moretti

Cast: Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini

Production country: France, Italy

Runtime: 107 min.

Language: Italian, English

Margherita is a director working on a social-realist film about a factory strike called Noi Siamo Qui (We Are Here), starring Italian-American actor Barry Huggins as the factory owner. Huggins consistently fails to deliver his lines properly and the fraught nature of the shoot is exasperated by unhelpful advice from Margherita to her actors. She breaks up with her boyfriend, an actor in the film, and is divorced from the father of her daughter, Livia. Her brother Giovanni has taken time off work to help care for their ailing mother, Ada, a retired classics teacher who has been hospitalised. Margherita comes to feel guilty for not taking on more responsibility for her mother and reflects on her often cold relations with her family, friends and colleagues.

Initially Moretti satirises filmmaking amusingly. But as real life seeps into the artificiality of the filmmaking and we get to know these people, insights and emotions build beautifully, poignantly on the ties that bind us and the things that matter. Among the excellent principals, top-billed Turturro enlivens things wonderfully, but the real star, Buy, is magnificent. (Empire)

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