Mia Madre (Nanni Moretti, 2015)

Shots from "Mia Madre"

Mia Madre, Nanni Moretti’s latest film, tells the story of Marguerita (Marguerita Buy), a filmmaker in the middle of making a political drama about a factory strike. She’s dealing with her mother’s failing health and other personal relationships. The film is reportedly based on Moretti’s experiences with dealing with the death of a loved one while making We Have a Pope. So, in essence, Marguerita is something of a Moretti stand-in but the character has shades that wouldn’t quite fit if Moretti played the role, and allows for new wrinkles to Moretti’s cinema (three generations of women). Instead, Moretti settles for a supporting role as Marguerita’s brother, who seems to have abandoned his job in order to care for their mother. His scenes and performance act as counterpoint to the work/life balance difficulties of Marguerita. Mia Madre finds Moretti in European Master mode with measured compositions, Arvo Pärt strings and a general tastefulness that makes the whole project somewhat bland.  And yet it remains of interest.

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