Rich Wives, Poor Mothers: Can a Matriarch Be a Mother?

  • Giorgio Galbussera
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


This chapter examines the portrayal of two upper class and glamorous wives as defective and distant mothers in Luca Guadagnino’s Io sono l’amore (2009) and Paolo Virzì’s Il capitale umano (2013). While both films show varying degrees of sympathy for the female protagonists and try to liberate them from the patriarchal oppression of their role, they still imply the impossibility of conjugating effective and meaningful motherhood with wealth and glamour. Presented as literal or metaphorical foreigners, these women are unable to transition from objects of erotic desire and icons of their husband’s financial and social success to their expected role as the next matriarchs of their families in their respective capitalist enterprises; they are thus stuck between phantasies of escape and surrender to the logics of class preservation.


Luca Guadagnino Paolo Virzì Patriarchy Class Wealthy mothers 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arcadia UniversityGlensideUSA

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