Mia madre

August 23rd, 2016


Mia madre

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Release Year: 2015

Rating: 6.9/10 ( voted)

Critic's Score: /100

Director: Nanni Moretti

Stars: Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini

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?

Writers: Nanni Moretti, Valia Santella, Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini, Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini, Nanni Moretti, Beatrice Mancini, Stefano Abbati, Enrico Ianniello, Anna Bellato, Toni Laudadio, Lorenzo Gioielli, Pietro Ragusa, Tatiana Lepore, Monica Samassa, Vanessa Scalera, Davide Iacopini, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Margherita Buy - Margherita
John Turturro - Barry Huggins
Giulia Lazzarini - Ada
Nanni Moretti - Giovanni
Beatrice Mancini - Livia
Stefano Abbati - Federico
Enrico Ianniello - Vittorio
Anna Bellato - Attrice
Toni Laudadio - Produttore
Lorenzo Gioielli - Interprete
Pietro Ragusa - Bruno
Tatiana Lepore - Segretaria di edizione
Monica Samassa - Medico
Vanessa Scalera - Infermiera
Davide Iacopini - Impiegato Elgi


Official Website: Official site [Australia] | Official site [Japan]

Country: Italy, France, Germany

Language: Italian, English, French

Release Date: 3 Jan 2015

Filming Locations: Rome, Lazio, Italy

Box Office Details

Budget: €7,000,000 (estimated)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

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

User Review


Rating: 8/10

Nanni Moretti may not be everybody's cup of tea, but his relevance cannot be denied. Very few artists has been so constantly present, so honestly faithful to themselves, and at the same time so careful in portraying the evolution of Italian society in the last decades. You put together the twelve movies Moretti has done in his forty years of activity and you get a perfect course in history of this country. It is not strange, then, that his latest movie looks like an attempt to portray confusion and uncertainty. As almost always, the story is based on personal experience from Moretti. In the past he has made movies about growing up and getting older (Caro Diario), movies about having a son (Aprile), and now he is sharing with the audience his reflections about the recent loss of his mother, frequently mentioned – and, once, even featured – in his works.

The story is about a director trying to complete a movie set in the contemporary scenario of economic crisis, focused on the loss of jobs in an Italian factory after the purchase of the compound from a USA investor. But the director cannot concentrate on the movie, as her old mother is dying in a hospital. There is a big difference between the main story (the death of the mother), which is told in a solemn and painfully slow way, and the story in the story (the script of the director's movie), whose lines and situations are formulaic, simple to the edge of stupidity ("Shit", as John Turturro says honestly in a moment of rage). Losing your mother is something that everybody's know is coming, sooner or later, but this doesn't mean you can be prepared: and in front of this terribly huge moment, everything else seems silly and preposterous.

The overall acting effort is really something to appreciate: Margherita Buy provides a complex, troubled counterpart for Moretti, who has limited himself to a supporting – yet important – role. John Turturro is the bright spot of the story: most of the situations where he is involved are really funny (neurotic Turturro and anxious Margherita Buy are a comedy duo with potential). Giulia Lazzarini portrays the sick mother, her energies slowly fading, with sensibility and measure: a really moving performance. She is by far the emotional centerpiece of the whole movie: in a story where everybody else seems willing to quit everything (relationships, day jobs, movie careers) for lack of meaning, the frail and weakened character of the mother, still willing to teach Latin to his niece until her very last moment and breath, actually teaches through the deep relationships she has with her family, and even with her former students, the surprising strength of human boundaries and love.


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