L' Ora di Religione (Il Sorriso di Mia Madre) (The Religion Hour) (My Mother's Smile)
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L' Ora di Religione (Il Sorriso di Mia Madre) (The Religion Hour) (My Mother's Smile)
Ernesto (Sergio Castellitto of Va Savoir) is a successful artist and devout atheist who finds out that his mother, whom he despised, is being considered for sainthood. Ernesto's young son, Leonardo (Alberto Mondini), influenced by his religion teacher, has developed a fear of God, whom he tries to shoo away like a pest. "If He's everywhere," Leonardo reasons, "then I'm not free -- even for a second." Ernesto's estranged wife, Irene (Jacqueline Lustig), encourages Leonardo's faith, and seems to be on the side of Ernesto's family, who are greedily… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Enigmatic and mesmerizing."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
"Exceptionally handsome, somber film."
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"Bellocchio famously took on the Catholic Church and the Italian family in his frenetic first film ... Now 40 years later, Bellocchio's attack on the same institutions is calmer and more temperate."
‑ Kent Turner, Film-Forward.com
"It's almost as if screenwriter/director Marco Bellocchio wants to exorcise personal demons rather than entertain."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Bellocchio's complex drama is held together by the tight and focused performance of Castellitto."
‑ Mark Keizer, Boxoffice Magazine
"An artful look at religious hypocrisy, interfamily dynamics and the way people wrestle with personal history long after the original events are over."
‑ Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
"It is a riveting, rich portrait of an atheist who thinks he's resistant to faith but may be in the throes of a feverish conversion."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Never as engaging as the mystery surrounding it."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The quizzically abrupt ending leaves [too many] questions, and the viewer, hanging."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"It's a sly, subtle portrait of systematic hypocrisy (try to count the number of times faith is referred to as an 'insurance policy') and the mysterious way fate binds children to their parents."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"It's a bit of a mess but strong stuff nevertheless."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"In the central role, Castellitto's powerfully focused performance manages to keep the complex drama grounded."
‑ David Rooney, Variety
"It's messy and unsettled, but Bellocchio's distaste for the cynicism and mendacity is potent and sincere."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Almost as fearless as its protagonist in taking on the politics of the Catholic Church and the hypocrisies of the religious-minded."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"This superbly filmed Italian drama stands with Bellocchio's best work."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor