LA LUNA (1979) . Director: Bernardo Bertolucci. Released as Luna in the U.S.
Jill Clayburgh stars as opera singer Catherina Silveri, whose husband (a briefly seen Fred Gwynne) drops dead, leaving her alone with her fourteen-year-old son Joe (Matthew Barry, who was actually 17 at the time). Before long, they are living in Italy, where Silveri sings in Verdi's operas. (When Clayburgh sings by herself in her home early in the film, one can't imagine she would ever be able to sing in an opera house. During the opera scenes, of course, her singing voice is dubbed.) Joe makes his way by himself through Rome as his mother essentially neglects him, until halfway through the movie the two begin a sexual relationship that starts with them making out in her car, then hitting the sheets -- yuck! This (unfortunately) non-judgmental incest drama could have gone in far more interesting directions but instead becomes a ponderous, pretentious mess about the mother of all bad mothers -- incest and pedophilia, no less -- and is far too repellent to sustain serious interest. A sub-plot with Joe meeting his real father doesn't help matters much. One of Bertolucci's all-time worst movies. The acting isn't bad, but common sense should have told Clayburgh -- and young Barry's parents -- to stay away from this movie! This also goes for Alida Valli, who appears in a small role.
Verdict: Yuck! *.