My Mother's Smile

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Released 2005

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My Mother's Smile

Movie Summary

Director:
Marco Bellocchio
Released:
2005
Rating:
Not Available
My Mother's Smile, also known as "The Religion Hour," is a 2002 dramatic comedy from Italian director Marco Bellocchio about religion, family and truth. Ernesto (Sergio Castellitto), an artist and avowed atheist, has to face his convictions and moral code head on when his family tries to have his murdered mother beatified as a saint in the Catholic Church. Ernesto's mentally ill brother (Donato Placido) committed the murder three years earlier after their pious mother's repeated attempts to stop his blasphemies. Over those three years, the family had kept their attempt at canonization from Ernesto, and his discovery reopens long-closed connections to the Church that he'd rather stay shut. Compounding the challenge to his atheism are his family's opportunistic plans to profit off their mother's murder and impending sainthood. My Mother's Smile also veers off into more surreal territory inspired by Felini and Lynch, while deep-blacks in the cinematography give the film the look of a Renaissance painting.

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Though the narrative is spotty, and occasionally confounding, there is an epic warmth in the way it's rendered.

  • 75

    San Francisco Chronicle Jonathan Curiel

    An artful look at religious hypocrisy, interfamily dynamics and the way people wrestle with personal history long after the original events are over.

  • 70

    Variety David Rooney

    In the central role, Castellitto's powerfully focused performance manages to keep the complex drama grounded.

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Categories

Drama

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Foreign Language