Federico Fellini Italy Belgium film stars man Federico Fellini Italy Belgium

‘Nostalgia’ Film Review: Mario Martone’s Thin Story Bolstered by Star Pierfrancesco Favino

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For decades, Italian filmmakers dominated Cannes.If the 1960s saw Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni and Luchino Visconti reign supreme, somehow the 1970s were even richer.

Elio Petri and Francesco Rosi won shared top prizes in 1972, while for two consecutive years later that decade the Taviani brothers and then Ermanno Olmi hoisted Palmes across a border that sits just 40 miles away.This year’s lone competition title from an Italian director (the only other Italian language film, “The Eight Mountains,” comes courtesy of two Belgians), Mario Martone’s “Nostalgia” will probably not break that particular drought, but the Neapolitan director can take solace in another modest honor: Telling a story about mothers and sons, about gangsters and priests, and about a peculiar kind of longing for the past in a place where little has changed for hundreds of years, “Nostalgia” is a nigh perfect candidate to wave il Tricolore.Taking a thin amount of plot and stretching it as far and wide as it can go, the film itself is far from perfect, but it does benefit from “The Traitor” star Pierfrancesco Favino’s terrific lead performance as a man who learns the hard way that there’s no going home again.After forty years abroad, Felice (Favino, of course) returns to his native Naples a stranger in a familiar land.

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