By Leslie Pitt @
Nanni Moretti’s latest feature certainly feels like a personal feature. The film deals with an overworked political filmmaker (Margherita Buy), who struggles to cope with balancing her working life while the trauma of a dying matriarch lingers over both herself and her brother (Moretti).
The personal elements of the film creep through not only in the film within a film aspect (which hints at the directors left leaning sensibilities in on a surface level), but with the main thrust of the narrative. Moretti’s own mother passed during the making of his previous feature, and it’s clear from many of the events that occur within the film, Moretti is trying to highlight how such a tragedy permeates through a person’s life, and when the film focuses on the drama, it mostly succeeds.
My Mother’s greatest strength comes from its cast. Margherita Buy, brings a superlative performance as an upfront and direct women, slowly imploding under the strain of her mother’s impending demise. (Moretti left leaning sensibilities are apparent within the film within the film),
Some undercooked subplots are coupled with an over egged john T who looks like his come from a different set to derail both the film he’s in and the film his pretending to be in
This melodrama doesn’t do too badly combining warm comedy with affecting drama, with great female performances. But the film doesn’t hit the complavitive feeling that you’d absorb from Tokyo Story, nor does its director in self crisis achieve anything like 8 ½. The dream sequences here are dreadfully flat.
Those are typical go to references but then again the film at times is quite typical. Refusing to over exhert itself in any real way. It’s drama is quietly effective, it’s humour a tad too over blown. It switches modes abruptly leaving you unsure in wether to go with it.
Yet it’s female centre shows why the Europeans are ahead of us. The lead is a woman in charge of large social cinema project. Her relationships appear but are not her focus, and though the crisis, she never comes across as weak. Even in moments of despair. (Kudos for having a director wandering around aimlessly in an airport as a metaphor for being directionless.)
My Mother is released into cinemas September 25th.