Credit: <i>Mia Madre</i>

Writer-director Nanni Moretti (The Son’s Room) drew on his own life experience for this study of an Italian filmmaker (Margherita Buy) trying to shoot a movie while, at home, her mother is slowly dying. The domestic scenes, which include Moretti himself as the filmmaker’s brother, are well played but familiar, giving way to ham-handed dream and reverie sequences that illustrate the heroine’s growing anxiety at her approaching loss. Fortunately the movie-production scenes deliver plenty of laughs, courtesy of John Turturro as a vain, temperamental American movie star who blows take after take and dines out on his stories of an imagined creative partnership with Stanley Kubrick. The movie within the movie, starring Turturro as a haughty factory owner clashing with his workers over layoffs, is Moretti’s little inside joke about his own left-leaning early features. In Italian with subtitles.