Tuesday, September 6, 2016

[Review] Mia Madre

Margherita Buy is a solid force in Nanni Moretti's sorrow and humor filled melodrama, Mia Madre. But it's John Turturro's comical turn that keeps things afloat and eventually steals the show.

Margherita is a meticulous, no-nonsense film director. But any control over her personal life begins to unravel when she's forced to deal with her mother's deteriorating health and poor prognosis. If that isn't difficult enough, an American actor played by John Turturro comes aboard for Margherita's latest film, and the guy is an absolute nightmare on set (which is actually really entertaining).

It's slowly-paced and un-engaging at times, but the second half displays some nicely emotional moments. The hospital scenes with Margherita and her mother are certainly poignant, as are the ones of her attempting reconnect with her own daughter. In a contrast to that, the film's humor escalates when Margherita and Turturro's tense Director/Actor relationship finally hits the fan in a hilarious scene where Turturro stops and yells "This dialogue is SHIT!" and then goes on to brag about how he's worked for Stanley Kubrick--only to have Margherita fire the proclamations back in his face.

Mia Madre ("My Mother" in case you haven't brushed up on your Italian) is a decent if somewhat minor exploration of the different shades of maternal ties, as well as the tough act of balancing a career when the messiness of life (and death) hits. Also, filmmakers and performers; they're nuts!

( 6.5/10 )

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