Martin Eden

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Movie Info & Cast


Set in a provocatively unspecified moment in Italy's history yet adapted from a 1909 novel by American author Jack London, Martin Eden is a passionate and enthralling narrative fresco in the tradition of the great Italian classics. Martin (played by the marvelously committed Luca Marinelli) is a self-taught proletarian with artistic aspirations who hopes that his dreams of becoming a writer will help him rise above his station and marry a wealthy young university student (Jessica Cressy). The twinned dissatisfactions of working-class toil and bourgeois success lead to political reawakening and destructive anxiety in this enveloping, superbly mounted bildungsroman.


  • Luca Marinelli
  • Jessica Cressy
  • Vincenzo Nemolato
  • Marco Leonardi
  • Denise Sardisco
  • Carmen Pommella
  • Carlo Cecchi
  • Autilia Ranieri
  • Elisabetta Valgoi
  • Pietro Ragusa

Did You Know?


  • Shot on Super 16mm.
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Sep 12, 2019

Pietro Marcello’s film works better as a story of self-loathing and self-destruction than it does as a social critique or political statement.

Metacritic review by Greg Cwik
Greg Cwik
Slant Magazine
Sep 6, 2019

Marcello and his committed, compelling lead actor Luca Marinelli deliver an always watchable take on the hoary old story of the struggling artist that is more interesting in its shape-shifting style and texture than in its rather conventional dramatic core.

Lee Marshall
Screen Daily
Sep 6, 2019

Marcello never quite manages to shoehorn in both more than a century’s worth of European struggles and sociopolitical thinking and the full story of Eden’s downfall after he’s finally become successful. Indeed, these weighty concerns capsize the entire enterprise in the final stretch, where the story runs aground on an iceberg of undigested ideas, barely developed themes and bad hair choices.

Metacritic review by Boyd van Hoeij
Boyd van Hoeij
The Hollywood Reporter