In scenes that can be read as fantasy, reality, or dreams - or somewhere in-between all three - the director and writer Michele Apicella (Nanni Moretti) takes the viewers into his world: as a director fighting a flawed establishment, as an artist seeking a true expression of his visions, and as a neurotic, disturbed invidividual trying to cope. In many of the scenes, it is difficult to differentiate between the three, and may not matter in the long run because all three aspects are one person - Michele in the film, Moretti in real life. Lacing his scenes with witty asides about the film industry and its inhabitants, Moretti has Michele embattled with a crass, Neapolitan director making a musical about the 1968 student demonstrations. Michele gets into physical fights with his mother - and at the same time, has a creative block to finishing his film titled "Freud's Mother". The crazy characterization of Freud as a "momma's boy" in the film would have made anyone's mother run for psychotherapy. In the end, the viewer will have to put all the composite parts together to come to a conclusion about the meaning of this multi-level story.