Nanni Moretti (We Have a Pope) has a strange facility for taking a potentially resonant premise, and dunking it in oddball farce to the point that much of the emotional force is lost. Here he follows a veteran director named Margherita (Margherita Buy) who’s struggling to complete her latest film while dealing with personal crises like the end of a relationship and the failing health of her mother (Giulia Lazzarini). The story weaves effectively through layers of dreams and flashbacks, and Buy’s performance captures a woman realizing how much she’s missing in her personal life. But much of the plot focuses on her frustrating interaction with her leading man, a pompous American actor (John Turturro), and the comic relief built into his inability to memorize his Italian lines or his rambling stories about Kubrick pulls attention away from that key dynamic of Margherita confronting mortality. This may be an attempt at a contemporary, gender-swapped spin on Fellini’s 8 ½, but if not for the title, it might be easy to forget that this is supposed to be about Margherita’s mother.
Director: Nanni Moretti
Producer: Nanni Moretti and Domenico Procacci
Cast: Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini, Nanni Moretti, Beatrice Mancini, Stefano Abbati, Enrico Ianniello, Tony Laudadio, Lorenzo Gioielli, Pietro Ragusa, Tatiana Lepore, Monica Samassa, Vanessa Scalera, Davide Iacopini, Rossana Mortara, Antonio Zavatteri, Camilla Semino Favro, Domenico Diele and Renato Scarpa