I hope Mother's Day this past Sunday left everyone beaming; mothers because their children paid them special honor, and children because they really like being alive. While we're all basking in the afterglow, take a look at Nine Good Teeth, provided for free streaming courtesy of our friends at SnagFilms.
Alex Halpern's documentary is all about his beloved grandmother, Mary Mirabito Livornese Cavaliere (aka "Nana"). Born in Brooklyn on the eve of the 20th Century, a gypsy foretold that she would live to be 96 years of age. The film begins with the celebration of her 96th birthday, and Nana's feeling that she would be dead within the year. And then the filmmaker -- the grandson, remember -- asks her about sex and whether she's capable of having an orgasm at her age, and we're off to the races. Her daughter calls her "a pistol," but Nana's sister harbors ill wills over past sins and has no desire to see her again. Nana talks about her heritage as a Sicilian-American, and provides sweet memories of long-gone friends and relatives, as well as sad reflections of regret and remorse.
The doc played at the first Tribeca Film Festival in 2002, where Variety's review damned it with faint praise: "Never adds up to more than a warm, earnest, sentimental tribute." I don't necessarily disagree, but if you're in the mood for warm, earnest, and sentimental, as I was when I watched it, Nine Good Teeth hits all the right notes. We've embedded the film below for your viewing pleasure. More information is available at the doc's official site and at SnagFilms.