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‘Nostalgia’ Review: Mario Martone’s Rueful, Ruminative Ode to His Home City of Naples

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variety.com

Guy Lodge Film CriticHometowns forget us quickly when we leave them, even if some of the people left behind do not. Architecture, infrastructure and whole communities can change with scant warning or regard for our memories, or our bearings when we return.

When you go home again — and you can, contrary to the popular adage — even what you remember has to be reintroduced to you; sidewalks once accustomed to your footprints have to be broken in again, like a new pair of shoes.

For Felice, an unmoored Italian expat visiting Naples after a four-decade absence, it’s not what he recognizes of his home city that brings him comfort, but the new, younger life surging past the ghosts that kept him away so long. “Nostalgia” is thus a barbed title for Mario Martone’s gruffly lyrical urban portrait: Sometimes you need to go back, the film says, but it’s best to keep looking forward as you do.

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