And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Review: Martin Eden

Adapted from a Jack London autobiographical novel, Martin Eden is the story of a young working class Italian man who accidentally falls into the lives of the upper class and decides that he deserves a better life, and that writing will get him there. Back when there were still live film festivals, Luca Marinelli (The Great Beauty, The Old Guard) was deservedly recognized as Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival for his performance as the title character. His transformation from itinerate sailor to acclaimed writer feels like the stuff of classic Italian neorealistic cinema, somewhat a mirror image of The Conformist. Situated in a societal shift where socialism is shaking up the lives of the bourgeois, Martin stands apart, viewing both sides from his own distinct perspective. The film definitely embraces 20th century European intellectual pretensions, and despite being a familiar poor kid makes good story, it’s absorbing and entertaining.