Customer Reviews


23 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pasolini's Brilliant Cinematic Maternal Exploration...
The legendary Pier Paolo Pasolini was an essayist, poet, political activist, and a film maker who made Mamma Roma in the 60s as Anna Magnani requested to make a film with him. The result of the collaboration between the two left the world with a marvelous cinematic experience. However, Mamma Roma was condemned after its release as it was deemed immoral. Mamma Roma is...
Published on July 10, 2004 by Kim Anehall

versus
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mamma Roma
The plot of this early Pasolini is steeped in Italian neo-Realist conventions, but already his style is boldly formalistic. Vivaldi score instead of Nino Rota, languid POV forward tracking shots, snatches of slow-mo, symmetrical compositions that don't come off as simplistic & repetitive a-la Kubrick. Magnani chews up the scenery in her usual way but it works for the...
Published on November 4, 2011 by Charles D. Fulton


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pasolini's Brilliant Cinematic Maternal Exploration..., July 10, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
The legendary Pier Paolo Pasolini was an essayist, poet, political activist, and a film maker who made Mamma Roma in the 60s as Anna Magnani requested to make a film with him. The result of the collaboration between the two left the world with a marvelous cinematic experience. However, Mamma Roma was condemned after its release as it was deemed immoral. Mamma Roma is not Pasolini's most famous film, but it is an essential piece of cinematic history as it tackles many different issues such as the catholic church, prostitution, and parenting.
The tale begins with Mamma Roma (Anna Magnani) who has recently gotten rid of her pimp boyfriend as he has married another woman. Delighted Mamma Roma seeks out her 16-year-old son Ettore whom she has not seen since infancy as she struggles with her guilt of deserting Ettore when he was a baby. She is also ashamed of her past as a prostitute and wants to start over as a fruit vendor and be the mother she never was for Ettore. However, Mamma Roma has no skills in raising a child and is even less equipped to handle a teenager that has been neglected since childhood. This is in the backdrop of Mamma Roma's old boyfriend threatening to unveil her secret to her son, and her political thoughts of injustices in the 60s Italy.
Mamma Roma is an exploration of the symbiosis that exists between mother and son, but Pasolini removes this connection between the Mamma Roma and Ettore as she abandoned Ettore at infancy. The abandonment leaves the audience with the gap between Mamma Roma and Ettore. This gap is closely examined as Mamma Roma and Ettore initially reunite in order to later drift apart due to years of missing parental guidance. Pasolini personifies neglect and poor parental guidance through Anna Magnani, Mamma Roma, who is frenetically trying to be a good mother. Mamma Roma's parental attempts bring an understanding of the symbiosis that connects a mother and her son through parental care, yet her love for Ettore is not enough as her words do not mean anything to Ettore.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Figlio Di Puttana - A PG-13 Review, October 4, 2004
By 
Antonio Giusto (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
That's pretty much what this film is about. For those of you who don't know "figlio di puttana" is Italian for "a whore's son" or "son of a whore". It is a common everyday Italian insult. It's used in the same way as the North American saying "son of a bitch."
This was my first time watching a film by Pier Paulo Pasolini and I was extremely impressed. I plan to watch all of his films in the near future. As I stated before Mamma Roma is a story about a whore (Mamma Roma) and her son (Ettore). I won't write any more about the story than what I already have. A review that reveals too much about a film really doesn't serve as a review but rather as a boring synopsis.
I would like to say that Criterion has done an amazing job with this DVD. The special features on this 2 disc set are really good and contain some very rare documentaries and short films. The DVD also contains Pasolini's previously banned, short and shocking film "La Ricotta." It stars Orson Welles and is a gem worth buying all it's own. It's the best special feature I have ever seen on a Criterion disc. Die hard fans of Orson Welles should really pick this DVD up. Even if they don't like Mamma Roma that short film is worth it alone.
5 Stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film - Great Look, September 13, 2004
This review is from: Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
This is one of my favorite black and white films - it is black and white in the true sense of the words - the whites stand out and the blacks are dark - no half tones. Pasolini and Tonino Delli Colli had a fine collaboration here - the framing is exquisite.

Not to mention the acting, some have said Magnani was the wrong choice (including Pasolini) - but I think she really lights up this film - and provides an emotion no other actress would have achieved.

5 stars without hesitation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ode to mother's love., January 18, 2008
By 
Galina (Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
"Mamma Roma"(1962) the second film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, is the brutally realistic in its depiction of life in the slums of Rome yet lyrical ode to mother's love. Mamma Roma (Anna Magnani), a middle-aged prostitute is ready to quit her profession and to start a new life with her teenage son who had spent his childhood in the country and does not know her well. She wants a better life for herself and a meaningful future for her son, and there is not much her Mamma Roma would not do for her son.
Things don't go as planned, though...

Anna Magnani was renowned for her earthy, passionate, "woman-of-the-soil" roles and she is one of the main reasons to see the film. She is Rome's flesh and soul, its spirit and symbol, its loud laugh and bitter tears.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eternal "Putana" ..., November 2, 2011
By 
Giordano Bruno (Here, There, and Everywhere) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
... is not only the prostitute Mamma Roma, who attempts to recover a semblance of respectability in order to launch her teenage son toward a better career than either farming or petty theft. Mamma Roma is loud, lewd, vulgar, irrepressible, and supremely vital. Her vitality takes a beating, however, as her son responds to her struggles to educate him with his own stubborn individuality. It's obvious from the start that poverty and societal degradation will thwart a mother's bravest intentions. Poverty IS degrading, as portrayed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, the most ardent Communist among the Italian 'neo-realist' film-makers who emerged during and after the Fascist debacle of World War 2. Pasolini was a poet and philosopher long before he began making films, and he was arguably the last poet ever to be able to provoke frantic outrage in a reading public. "Mamma Roma" was his second film, released in 1962. It was and is nowhere near his most shocking or controversial film. In fact, it's a modest melodrama -- no violence, no nudity, no scatology, no sacrilege -- rendered brilliant by Pasolini's powerful script and by the unforgettable acting of Anna Magnani in the title role.

But don't forget that Pasolini was a poet first. This film, so seemingly a tale of personal tragedy, is also a complex symbolist image of Italian society. Mamma Roma the woman is a synecdoche of the city Rome, the "eternal mother" of Western civilization. Rome is as much the title character as Magnani, and Rome is also a worn-out but enduring putana (the Italian word for 'prostitute'). The setting of the story in effect tells the story. Mamma takes her son to live in a spanking new housing project (the EUR district, I believe) that abuts both a vast weedy spread of ruins from the 1st or 2nd Century, chunks of masonry and indecipherable shattered arches, where the young Romans of today misbehave, and an equally vast "thieve's market" adjacent to the produce market where the new Mamma has a fruit stall. On one level, that's merely realism; the city of Rome has always haunted its own ruins. On a more poetic level, that's all of modern capitalist society, a breeding ground of futility for the Poor amid the ruins of departed Grandeur.

I lived in the Rome captured in this film; I arrived in Roma in the 60s and settled in an apartment overlooking the Camp de' Fiori, with its monumental statue of Giordano Bruno. It's quite exciting to see the Roma of that era in a film, apart from the merits of the film per se. Central Roma is not the same today; you'd need to seek out the remotest slums or to go to more southern cities to observe anything like the Italy Pasolini portrayed. The language of this film is also specific to an older Roma. The only character in the film who speaks "school" Italian is a smug priest whom Mamma consults in a single scene. All the others speak distinctive dialects, particularly the lower-class Romanaccio dialect that will defy the understanding even of other Italians. In the Roman dialect, "andiamo" (let's go) becomes "nammo" and "ascolti" (listen) becomes "ao". It's a loud, pushy, exaggerated dialect, and just hearing it makes me nostalgic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un Figlio Di Puttana - A PG-13 Review., September 16, 2004
By 
Antonio Giusto (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
That's pretty much what this film is about. For those of you who don't know "figlio di puttana" is Italian for "a whore's son" or "son of a whore". It is a common everyday Italian insult. It's used in the same way as the North American saying "son of a bitch."
This was my first time watching a film by Pier Paulo Pasolini and I was extremely impressed. I plan to watch all of his films in the near future. As I stated before Mamma Roma is a story about a whore (Mamma Roma) and her son (Ettore). I won't write any more about the story than what I already have. A review that reveals too much about a film really doesn't serve as a review but rather as a boring synopsis.
I would like to say that Criterion has done an amazing job with this DVD. The special features on this 2 disc set are really good and contain some very rare documentaries and short films. The DVD also contains Pasolini's previously banned, short and shocking film "La Ricotta." It stars Orson Welles and is a gem worth buying all it's own. It's the best special feature I have ever seen on a Criterion disc. Die hard fans of Orson Welles should really pick this DVD up. Even if they don't like Mamma Roma that short film is worth it alone.
5 Stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magnani As A Criticized Star, July 3, 2013
This review is from: Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
I find it astounding Pasolini criticized the star, Anna Magnani, for her performance. He claimed she overpowered the film, but what a lackluster affair it would have been had she not. Magnani portrays a mother with a past (and all too tragic present) as a prostitute attempting to forge a better life for her son. Her hallucinatory walks through a whore's boardwalk are unforgettable. Any actor or actress wishing to learn not how to act, but instead how to portray raw and mercurial emotional vicissitudes, should begin here.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an Italian film about a mother and her son, October 23, 2011
This review is from: Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
Mamma Roma is an Italian film about a mother and her son. The story starts out at a wedding, where Mamma Roma is there to haunt her ex-husband and his new bride. Momma Roma is a loud woman that is often on the crude side. She brings three pigs and tells the guests the in-laws have finally arrived. Mamma makes many jabs and jokes about the couple, and we soon see she had a son with this man, who witnesses this entire spectacle even if he doesn't fully understand it.

The story resumes when her son Ettore is now a teenager and Mamma Roma wants to give him a chance to get away from the country life to live with her in Rome. Ettore is set in his ways by this point, so it isn't easy to mold him into something else. Although Ettore walks like a tough guy and is always giving some cold looks to those he meets, he is naive and inexperienced, and his mother knows this.

There are a couple scenes that approach having a surrealistic feeling where Mamma Roma is walking at night. There are many lampposts in the background that give off their light, and as Mamma Roma walks, there always seems to be more of the same lights everywhere. She talks to someone next to her and as one person leaves, another comes. But as the lights in the background still look more or less the same, it seems she hardly went anywhere at all. It makes an interesting backdrop as Momma tells her life story to people on the street.

Mamma Roma is haunted by her past; she was a prostitute and her reputation still follows her. Roma takes many steps to better her life and she wants the same for her son, but shaking free of the past isn't easy. Ironically, Ettore is attracted to a young woman that has the reputation of sleeping with the entire city. Mamma Roma is a mother that means well and really wants the best for her son, but it is an uphill battle. Most of the story is unpredictable, so there are some surprises in story for us as we learn about Mamma Roma.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mamma Roma (1962) - Pier Paolo Pasolini, October 6, 2005
This review is from: Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
Mamma Roma was Pasolini's second feature and was made before he became the much revered and much hated director of more controversial works. There is much subtly to this film which shows much of post war Italy's less exotic locations. Unlike his Italian contempories such as Antonioni and Fellini, Pasolini decided to show the lives of the bottom of the social class, and in doing so carved a unique niche for himself. The film has good performances, and the actions in it resonate to a much higher importance than one might first perceive. Mamma Roma is a good little film from a director who's career was much too short.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking........., April 10, 2012
This review is from: Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
Mamma Roma is a film of great profundity and SEAMLESS development.
The work of Anna Magnani is one that has mostly escaped me, but I have always known of her revered status as one of the world's most extraordinary actresses.
The REAL discovery is ETTORE GAROFOLO, who just about STEALS the movie from Magnani. I will go right to Google after this to find his bio, and follow his trajectory.
Both actors perform in the most natural, most involved way in this crushing tale of poor choices that come back to haunt us.
A prostitute for decades, she just about abandoned her only child, until she finally calls it quits and tries to mend her ways and the errors of the past, most particularly with the life of her adolescent son.
But as we know, in most lives the past has so damaged us that it is indeed too late for, perhaps, most of us.
Her child, uneducated and aimless, Mamma Roma trying to start anew, with the extraordinary love and adoration she now pours into him, the future is inevitably written already. Perhaps a little simple minded, Ettore has not as of yet found out her past, and when he does (a bit of "suspension-of disbelief" needed her) he loses all his illusions and slowly becomes more and more of a thug. Imprisoned, he apparently dies, although it is a bit open to interpretation.......
Thus, Mamma Roma is crushed by the loss and plunges into despair.
Some of the scenes are unforgettably heartbreaking. The scene where Mother and son dance a most awkward Tango is a moment of profound sweetness and beauty.
RUN to see this movie. You may shed more than a few tears, and once again find the exceptional power of a film when it is indeed a work of art.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection)
Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection) by Ugo Gregoretti (DVD - 2004)
$39.95 $32.98
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.