ROME – Italian auteur Nanni Moretti, whose latest film “Mia Madre” (“My Mother”) opens wide in Italy on Thursday, says he “would accept anything” from the Cannes Film Festival, as far as what slot his pic might unspool in on the Croisette.
Asked by an Italian journalist at the “Madre” presser whether he would accept screening it out-of-competition Moretti replied: “From Cannes, I would accept everything.”
It was a humble answer from the veteran Italo helmer who in addition to his Palme d’Or-winning “The Son’s Room” (2001), has had five previous films in competition at Cannes: “Ecce bombo” (1978); “Dear Diary” (1994), which won him a directing prize; “Aprile” (1998); “The Caiman” (2006); and “We Have a Pope” (2011). Moretti also presided the Cannes jury in 2012.
Two other Italian films are believed to be in the running for this year’s Cannes competish: Paolo Sorrentino’s buzzed-about “Youth” (“La Giovinezza”), his English-language follow-up to 2014 Foreign Language Oscar-winning “The Great Beauty,” and Matteo Garrone’s ambitious horror/fantasy “The Tale of Tales,” also in English.
Meanwhile, “Mia Madre,” which marks Moretti’s third collaboration with actress Margherita Buy – who in the film plays Moretti’s alter-ego, a film director contending with an ailing mother and other crises – is getting the thumbs up from Italian critics.
Milan’s Corriere Della Sera on Tuesday (April 14) gave “Madre” three stars, out of four. Rome’s Il Messaggero, which gave the film three-and-a-half stars, praised Moretti’s “new maturity” in the film about bereavement which mixes tragedy and comedy. It features John Turturro as a primadonna-ish American actor, while Moretti himself plays the director’s brother.
Italy’s 01 Distribuzione will release it on more than 400 screens April 16, on the same day when Cannes will announce its lineup.
It’s customary for Moretti’s films to be released in Italy before screening at Cannes, though the vast majority of entries unspooling on the Croisette arrive there as world premiers.
Produced by Nanni Moretti and Domenico Procacci on a Euros 7 million ($7.5 million) budget, “Madre” is being sold internationally by Paris-based Films Distribution.
Here is the Italian trailer