Roman audiences get into Mom’s Head
by Boyd van Hoeij
The Alice in the City section of the ongoing RomeFilmFest offers a total of 14 films made for and by young people. Besides film professionals and regular festival-goers, the films are also shown to local school audiences. In the case of today’s Alice in the City title In Mom’s Head [+see also:
film profile], the youngsters reserved the film a warm welcome.
The first feature film of French director Carine Tardieu is an unusually dense story about everyone’s right to happiness as seen from the perspective of Lulu (Chloé Coulloud), a boyish 15-year-old who pulls no punches. There are times she would like to hit everyone at school in the face – and in some cases she actually does – while at home she worries about her ill and depressed mother Juliette (the always dependable Karin Viard).
There are times she wishes her mother would be dead, but when she discovers that before her birth Juliette used to be happy with another man (Kad Merad), there is only one thing she can think about: track the man down so her mother can be happy again, a supportive and loving father (Pascal Elbé) notwithstanding.
“It is more important for Lulu to see her mother smile rather than follow any strict moral code,” the director explained in Rome during a Q&A session with local pupils. “For adolescents it is important to understand that their mothers are women too.”
In Mom’s Head combines moments of magical realism with very truthful and realistic scenes that directly touch on the life of adolescents in a family context. It does not shy away from swear words, nudity, sex and ugly character truths, which makes the film refreshingly honest (and unsuitable viewing for primary school children).
Christophe Rossignon produced the film for Nord-Ouest Production, with backing from France 2 Cinema, Rhônes-Alpes Cinema, M6 Films and UGC. The latter also distributed the film in France and handles international sales.
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