Deftly balancing comedy and drama, My Mother is a film that leaves audiences laughing hysterically in places, but drying their eyes by the conclusion. Primed for a miserable realist drama about a woman watching her elderly mother's slow decline from pneumonia, My Mother frequently surprises the viewer with its perceptive prodding of the relationship between a determined female director and her annoying lead actor, played with relish by John Turturro. It could have been a real slog, but with expertly timed moments of extremely welcome levity, My Mother is instead a surprising treat.
Film director Margherita (Margherita Buy) is struggling with the endless stresses of making a movie, while also coping with the added heartache of looking after her dying mother. The film she is directing is about a factory full of workers being threatened by impending layoffs and her lead actor from America is causing her extra concern by fluffing his lines and acting erratically on set. Her personal life is a bit of a mess, with a relationship recently ended and a daughter off skiing with the girl's father, Marguerite’s ex-husband. Confronted with the demands of working on the set, and the crushing inevitability of her mother's illness, Margherita's mind is torn between two places at once, leading her to re-evaluate her relationships.
Read the rest of my review of Mia Madre at Tastic Film Magazine.