Marcello Mio review – droll Catherine Deneuve best thing in twee Mastroianni family whimsy

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Playing themselves, film icons gaze into the looking-glass in this unconvincing and tiresome piece of cine-narcissism

A peculiar and tiresome piece of cine-narcissism here from Christophe Honoré, based on an insufferably twee kind of cinephilia – yet rescued, slightly, by the down-to-earth drollery of Catherine Deneuve, who is playing herself.

Chiara Mastroianni, the Franco-Italian actor and Deneuve’s daughter, is of course very well known for her startling likeness to her father: the film icon Marcello Mastroianni. We see her here also playing herself and acting in what is evidently supposed to be a homage to Anita Ekberg’s Trevi fountain scene from Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, in which Marcello famously starred. She feels haunted by her father and has a dream in which her face turns into Marcello’s in the bathroom mirror; actually, it is not much of a change. She confesses how unhappy she is about her “Marcello” face to her mother, Deneuve, who reassuringly says that, yes, Chiara has his expressions but not his face. (I wonder if Deneuve actually believes that in real life?)

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