MIA MADRE, a drama directed by Nanni Moretti and starring John Turturro and Margheritta Buy, will open this Friday, Aug. 26, at Pasadena’s Laemmle Playhouse 7.
MIA MADRE tells the story of Margherita (Margherita Buy), a film director trying to juggle the demands of her latest movie and a personal life in crisis. The star of her film, a likeable but eccentric American actor (John Turturro) flown in for the production, is mostly a problem to work with, turning long days into difficult ones. At the same time, Margherita tries to keep things afloat as her mother’s illness progresses and her home life is in tumult.
Moretti plays Margherita’s brother. While the director says that the movie is not autobiographical, it was deeply informed by the experiences he had during his mother’s illness. Wanting to keep the story and the dialogue of the film real, he re-read the journal that he kept during that difficult time. The mother in the film, played by Giulia Lazzarini, is depicted as a beloved school teacher just like the director’s own mom.
The story is narrated in two modes that intermingle – dream and reality. Sometimes it takes a bit to understand whether a scene is happening in real time, or whether it is a dream or a memory, and this difficulty is intentional. The director wanted to present the film as Margherita feels life, with a different narrative style corresponding to each of her various emotional states. After all, he says, this is the way humans live, with all of our emotions, our past, our present, and our dreams, coexisting in one same brain.
MIA MADRE is poignant, often sweet, heartbreaking at others, sprinkled with comedy that is appreciated and that is also real. Humor becomes a survival tool during a person’s most desolate moments. The film is certainly thought provoking and beautiful.
MIA MADRE won Ecumenical Jury prize in Cannes in 2015, and Margherita Buy received the Best Actress prize at Italy’s 2015 Donatello Awards for it. MIA MADRE has been called Moretti’s “most personal film.”
The dialogue is in Italian and English, with English subtitles. The movie is 107 minutes long and not rated. Tickets go on sale Monday at 7 p.m. and can be purchased by following this link.
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