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Mia Madre

Director:  Nanni Moretti
Year Released:  2015
Rating:  1.5

Filmmaker Margherita (Margherita Buy) has numerous emotional breakdowns while shooting her movie about workers' rights because of her mother's illness ... and hyper American actor Barry Huggins (John Turturro) - who isn't fluent in Italian - doesn't make her job any easier. It's a strangely amateurish effort from accomplished (and well-respected) director Moretti: the link between the Buy's testy artist and her ailing Mom doesn't register emotionally (Buy always comes across as "acting," quotation marks necessary) and using Turturro as 'comic relief' (a stereotypically blustery American in Europe) backfires and he comes across as weird and irritating (plus, the film Margherita's making doesn't appear to be the product of a 'well-regarded' auteur). I suspect Moretti was a thrown off a bit by casting a female in the lead role - although he put himself in there as her on-screen brother - since he's typically more graceful with his productions.

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