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)