His other work has not been widely seen outside Europe, but within his country Moretti is well known as a maker of wryly humorous and eccentric films, usually starring himself—qualities for which he has been called "the Italian Woody Allen."
Moretti played waterpolo in the B division of the Italian championship. His experience later inspired his film Palombella Rossa ("palombella," which literally means "little pigeon," refers to a type of lob shot).
Moretti is also an outspoken political leftist: in 2002 he organized massive street protests against the government of Silvio Berlusconi. Il caimano (2006) is in part about Berlusconi's controversies: in one of the three portraits of the Italian prime minister Moretti himself plays Berlusconi.
He lives in Rome, where he is co-owner of a small movie theater, Nuovo Sacher. The short film, Il Giorno della prima di Close Up (Opening Day of Close-Up, 1996), shows Moretti at his theatre attempting to encourage patrons to attend the opening day of Abbas Kiarostami's film, Close Up.
His brother is literary scholar Franco Moretti.