Nanni Moretti’s extraordinary meditation on grief and mortality won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2001. Since then he’s worked on a broader canvas, with lacerating dissections of Italian politics, society and religion in films like The Caiman and We Have a Pope. After serving as President of the Jury at the film festival in 2012, he returns to Cannes next month with Mia Madre. Margherita Buy (in her third consecutive Moretti film) plays a director grappling with stress from every direction. Her mother is terminally ill, her love life is a shambles, her relationship with her teenage daughter is strained, and she’s trying to avoid on-set meltdowns with a temperamental Italian-American movie star (played by John Tuturro).
The Son’s Room is not often cited as one of the most significant Palme d’Or winners, but I saw it at a time of my life when its emotional clarity hit me like a freight train. So I’m excited to see what Sasha has to say about Mi Madre in a few weeks.