Watch My Mother's Smile
- 1 hr 43 min
My Mother's Smile is a 2002 Italian drama film directed by Marco Bellocchio. The movie is centered on a family of devout Catholics living in Rome. The protagonist, Ernesto (Sergio Castellitto), is an atheist, a renowned painter, and a famous art critic. He also has a strained relationship with his family, especially his mother, who is a pious and practicing Catholic.
The movie begins with the announcement that Ernesto's mother has been beatified by the Catholic church, which triggers a series of unexpected events for the family. Ernesto is invited to Rome by his sister to attend the ceremony, but he refuses, claiming that he is busy with his work. However, he eventually changes his mind and travels to Rome to attend the ceremony, where he reunites with his family, including his wife, who is pregnant.
As the family prepares for the ceremony, tensions between Ernesto and his mother escalate, with their differences over religion taking center stage. Ernesto, the black sheep of the family, is an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church, which puts his relationship with his mother and the family under considerable strain.
Ernesto's mother, on the other hand, seems to find solace in her unwavering faith, which gives her strength and meaning. She is convinced that her son will eventually come around and find his way back to the church, which he abandoned as a young man. It's clear that the mother and son have a troubled relationship, based on their differences and resentment, which stem from Ernesto's rejection of his family's values, religion, and traditions.
As the ceremony approaches, Ernesto is forced to confront his mother's past, which holds some secrets that are essential to his understanding of her faith. He visits his mother's confessor, Padre Martini, who reveals that the mother had a deeply traumatic experience that led her to embrace religion. Padre Martini also tells Ernesto about his mother's last confession, a revelatory moment that deepens the mystery surrounding her life and faith.
Ernesto's journey to uncover the truth about his mother's faith is tortuous and riddled with unexpected twists and turns. He discovers that his mother's confessor has been manipulating her all these years, playing on her insecurities, and exploiting her faith for his own nefarious ends. This revelation shocks Ernesto and forces him to reconsider his relationship with his mother, the church, and his own beliefs.
The ceremony, which serves as the backdrop for the family's drama, is a momentous occasion, as the church recognizes Ernesto's mother as a saint. The events that lead up to the ceremony, and their aftermath, are the focus of the movie, which tries to delve into the complexities of faith, power, and family dynamics.
My Mother's Smile is a thought-provoking drama that explores the contradictions and nuances of faith and religion, the intersection between the Church and the State, and the often fraught relationship between parents and their children. It is a movie that offers no easy answers but leaves viewers with many questions and a lot to ponder. The performances are top-notch, especially Sergio Castellitto, who is convincing as the conflicted artist-son who struggles to reconcile his beliefs with his mother's faith. Chiara Conti and Jacqueline Lustig, who play his sisters, also deliver strong performances, adding depth and texture to the family drama. If you are looking for a challenging and absorbing film that tackles complex themes, My Mother's Smile is a movie you should check out.