Italian Film Festival

Martin Eden

Info: Italy, 2019, 128 mins, DCP

Language: Italian with English Subtitles

Director: Pietro Marcello

Cast: Luca Marinelli, Jessica Cressy, Vincenzo Nemolato, Marco Leonardi, Denise Sardisco


  • Sunday January 5, 2020 - 7:20 pm

"A spectacular performance… Marinelli is a force of nature in every scene and doesn’t play Eden so much as inhabit him." Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter

"An absolute blast. Includes documentary footage, wealthy decadence, left-wing politics, angry speeches (in Italian!), beautiful women, square-jawed men, quotations from Baudelaire and the heroic deployment of manual typewriters, hand-rolled cigarettes, ascots and Volvo sedans. Everything I love in movies, more or less." AO Scott, New York Times

"One of the most epic-feeling Italian movies in years, a throwback to ’70s-era big-canvas statements. Lead actor Luca Marinelli, rousing in every scene, comes within hailing distance of the young Robert De Niro." Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

Luca Marinelli (also to be seen in Ricordi? this week) stars as the aspiring writer in this audacious transposition of Jack London’s novel to Italy in the first half of the Twentieth Century. A working class auto-didact, Martin falls under the spell of wealthy, beautiful Elena (Jessica Cressy), and strives to prove himself worthy of her love. But as his fortunes shift he’s caught up in the clamour and sway of an intensely political period, with unexpected results.

Probably theboldest Italian film of the year, Martin Eden is in some senses a throwback to an earlier era of grandiose Italian political filmmaking, though it’s bravura switches in style and tone make it impossible to pinpoint a particular forebear.

Winner: Best Actor, Venice Film Festival; Platform Award, Toronto International Film Festival