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CANNES 2024 Competition

Review: Marcello Mio


- CANNES 2024: Christophe Honoré weaves a sleepwalking, cinephilic, conceptual and tender film starring Chiara Mastroianni, haunted by the ghost of her father

Review: Marcello Mio
Chiara Mastroianni in Marcello Mio

"When you left you turned my heart upside down Without you life became a living hell Tangled up in my sheets I think I remember you When you said softly that you only loved me." From the revisited lyrics of Étienne Daho's song Le grand sommeil to Luchino Visconti's film Le Notti Bianche (1957), in which a woman waits in vain on a bridge for a man who gave her a rendezvous a year earlier and where Marcello Mastroianni tries to make her forget the absent man in the hope of replacing him, it's a strange dream, a benevolent plunge into the vertigo of inheritance (biological, filial, cinematographic) that Christophe Honoré invites us to share with the endearing and risky Marcello Mio [+see also:
film profile
, unveiled in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

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"It's not a disguise." Tormented by the memory of her famous father, both through undigested personal grief as a child and by outside pressure (“I hoped you'd play more Mastroianni than Deneuve”) and a professional sense of usurpation, Chiara Mastroianni suddenly decides to take on her father's costume in real life, complete with hat, wig and moustache: she becomes him. Mental confusion? Schizophrenia? A joke? Cruel joke? A simple need for her father? Those close to Chiara (her mother Catherine Deneuve, her partner Benjamin Biolay, her ex Melvil Poupaud, the director Nicole Garcia and Fabrice Luchini as her new friend) are all the more worried because the resemblance is so striking and Chiara can't let go of a character she knows so well. But can you live as if you don't exist? To be more of an idea than a person?

By fully embracing the impossibility of a perfect replica of the father in his daughter, the lies, the pleasure of betrayal, the confusion between filming and memory, reality and fantasy, Christophe Honoré paradoxically succeeds in bringing out a touching form of truth and sincere love beneath the artificiality of the film's concept. From the Trevi Fountain to the gates of the Verano cemetery, from the rooftops of Paris to the former Mastroianni-Deneuve flat where Callas sang on the floor below, from the Luxembourg Gardens to the beach at Formia, from a prison cell to a concert stage, and all the way to the studios of the Italian broadcaster Rai, the film gently reveals its deep, restless feelings. An invocation and a reflection on heredity that is also, of course, a magnificent tribute to a universal actor whose daughter honours him with an exceptional performance.

Marcello Mio was produced by Les Films Pelléas (France) and co-produced by France 2 Cinéma, BiBi Film (Italy)and Lucky Red (Italy). International sales are handled by mk2 Films.

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(Translated from French)

Photogallery 21/05/2024: Cannes 2024 - Marcello Mio

16 pictures available. Swipe left or right to see them all.

Christophe Honoré, Fabrice Luchini, Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Benjamin Biolay
© 2024 Fabrizio de Gennaro for Cineuropa -,

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