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Mia Madre (My Mother) Movie Review


Mia Madre (My Mother) Movie Review

Title: Mia Madre (My Mother)

Director: Nanni Moretti

Starring: Margherita Buy, Giulia Lazzarini, Nanni Moretti, John Turturro, Beatrice Mancini, Stefano Abbati.

‘Mia Madre’ (which literally translates My Mother) is a poignant and delicate story of loss, with a touch of irony and self-irony used by the Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti, who took home the Palm d’Or in 2001 for ‘The Son’s Room,’ and has been a regular fixture on Cannes’ Croisette with movies like ‘The Caiman’ and ‘We Have A Pope.’

Margherita (Margherita Buy) is a director shooting a film with the famous American actor, Barry Huggins (John Turturro), who is quite a character on set. Away from the set, Margherita tries to hold her life together while feeling powerless when facing the illness of her mother (Giulia Lazzarini) and the adolescence of her daughter Livia (Beatrice Mancini), with the support of her brother Giovanni (Nanni Moretti), going through a midlife crisis.

The narrative device of a film director (finally a woman!) struggling with the making of a movie certainly rings a bell as regards Italian cinema. But in this case, contrarily to Fellini’s ‘8 ½’, we dig into the artist’s personal life. The strain of the creative process is swept aside. Filmmaking could be a 9 to 5 job, contoured with all the eccentricities of show business, that has to be juggled with family affairs. There’s no business like show business, since when you are down you have to conceal it: even if are not the one in front of the camera you have to wear a mask. In this case the person directing the film, as the leader of a circus and main cog of the cinematic machine, has to hold strong in assisting a mother’s gradual departure, while working and being a parent.

Moretti’s autobiographical film retraces the loss of his own mother, that occurred when he was editing ‘Habemus Papam.’ Many similarities betwixt the fictional and real mother overlap, as his screen-alterego, Margherita Buy, expresses the turmoil and neurosis of the human and the artist approaching adult orphanhood.

Technical: B+

Acting: B+

Story: A-

Overall: B+

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Mia Madre (My Mother) Movie Review

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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