Marcello Mio (2024) Cannes Film Festival

May 21st, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Christophe Honoré Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Fabrice Luchini, Nicole Garcia, Benjamin Biolay, Melvil Poupaud, Hugh Skinner, Stefania Sandrelli | France, Drama 120′

A girl wakes up one day feeling a bit sorry for herself and decides to dress up like her late father in this starry, soft-hearted nepo-baby flick from French director Christophe Honore.

Of course Chiara is no ordinary girl, she is the likeable daughter of Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni and her penthouse apartment overlooks Paris’ Tour Montparnasse. After turning up for a casting in a new film, the director (Nicole Garcia) asks her to play her role “more like Mastroianni than Deneuve.” And this sets Chiara contemplating the past in a film imbued with the spirit of Paris, and of French and Italian cinema.

Clearly more like her father than her mother Chiara decides to take on Marcello’s famous guise from Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, chopping off her hair and donning a black tailored suit to take a trip down memory lane – speaking Italian – for her role in a film that poses everlasting questions but never really lives up to its high-concept premise instead playing out in a series of jokey vignettes, musical interludes and reveries.

Catherine Deneuve looks proudly on as Chiara is mentored by Fabrice Luchini, schmoozes ex lover Melvil Poupaud, parties with musician Benjamin Biolay and hooks up with a ginger-haired Spaniel padding through the nighttime streets of Paris where she also bumps into Hugh Skinner’s lovelorn British soldier taking time out from his NATO barracks (that’s the film’s fascinating revelation – and qualifies its entry in the Queer Palme competition). Fizzing with fun and nostalgia this is a lovely little film but Palme d’Or material?. @MeredithTaylor


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