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Cannes Review: Mario Martone’s ‘Nostalgia’

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Nostalgia has seldom looked grittier, or more treacherous, than it does in Mario Martone’s eponymous new film. The Italian director splashes his teaming, boisterous, unruly native city of Naples across the screen in fulsome fashion in telling the story of a man who left as a teenager but, some 40 years later, is drawn back into its sinister embrace.Largely unknown in the United States, Martone has made ten features over the past 30 years.

From the evidence, he knows his way around full-blooded drama without pretense, which well suits this story of man who reacts more strongly to his return than he might have imagined.Felice Lasco (Pierfrancesco Favino) is a tall, bearded bear of a man who abruptly turns up one day in Naples to surprise his aged mother.

Felice is clearly a man of some means and it remains mysterious, nay, deeply disturbing as to why hasn’t returned to visit her in the past or put her on a plane to Cairo, where he has lived and worked all these years.

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