Mia Madre (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama
Director: Nanni Moretti
Distributor: Cinéart
Duration: 103 minutes

Mia Madre (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Margherita Buy's acting, good pace
Bad: Nothing worth mentioning
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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Life is complicated. That we can all agree upon. There’s work, family, friends, dinner to be made and laundry to be done, the list is endless. When you have to add the care for a relative to that list (but let’s hope you don’t), it becomes even harder to manage. Margherita is in exactly that situation, unfortunately, trying to keep her head above water, but not always managing too well.

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Margherita (Margherita Buy) is a celebrated filmmaker and is working on her new picture, that will tell the story of the acquisition of a factory, causing many people to lose their jobs. While in the midst of the filming process, she hears that her mother (Giulia Lazzarini) has been taken to hospital after taking a fall at home. In the hospital she is well taken care of, but when the doctor calls Margherita and her brother Giovanni (Nanni Moretti) into her office, it becomes clear that the condition of her mother won’t get any better. Giovanni took some time off work to care for their mother, and he does so in a very loving way. Fresh food, company, something to read: he really makes sure that her stay at the hospital is as nice as it can possibly be. While Giovanni is there all the time, Margherita still has a film to make, and doesn’t always find the time and the energy to do as much for her mother as Giovanni does. She spends every spare moment with her, but still she has the feeling that it’s not enough and also, she doesn’t want to face the fact that she might lose her mother in the near future.

Meanwhile, she also has to deal with Barry Huggins (John Turturro), an American actor who is supposed to take the lead in her new film, yet his ego is larger than his talent and he is slowly (or maybe not so slowly) driving Margherita mad. Personally, she isn’t doing too good either, as she just broke up with her boyfriend and has a teenage daughter who she feels is growing more and more distant. She’ll have to find balance again in her life, and finally face the truth.

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Nanni Moretti tells a story that is semi-autobiographical, as he himself lost his mother while he was working on his film ‘Habemus Papam’ (2011). The film has a good flow that is not hasty, yet keeps going at a constant pace. The opening scene already makes you wonder, showing a manifestation of factory workers, until you realize it is part of the movie that Margherita is making. As if a film inside a film wasn’t enough already, there are also certain scenes that are in between delusion and reality. It’s not always very clear which of the two it is, but it definitely adds an extra layer to the film. When seeing this, it’s easy to understand why Moretti is sometimes also referred to as the Italian Woody Allen.

The topic is a rather serious one, but luckily John Turturro livens everything up with his rendition of Barry Huggins. Margherita Buy shows her character Margherita in so many different lights: as a director, as a daughter, a decisionmaker, a mother, a dreamer and so on, and everything adds up perfectly.

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If the film didn’t satisfy your hunger completely, there are still some extras to discover. The first one is a rather typical one with deleted scenes, but nonetheless, a fun addition. The second one called ‘Un Film e Basta’ will give you an insight into what went on on set. With most DVD releases, if there is a making of included, it only lasts around ten minutes, yet this one lasts more than forty minutes. Thus you are able to see in a quiet manner how the film came to be, yet you will have to sit down and take the time if you’re interested to see it.


Mia Madre is a film that tells the story of a woman scared to lose her mother, yet it also tells so much more than that. Margherita’s life is a complicated one, and Nanni Moretti tries to give us a glimpse of what it is like, and what she is thinking. The topic seems to be a rather heavy one, yet the whole becomes much more alive due to John Turturro’s character. The acting performances, storyline and perfect balance between liveliness and seriousness make this picture definitely worth the watch.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Mia Madre (DVD) - Movie Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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