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Director:  Mario Martone
Year Released:  2014
Rating:  0.0

Insipid biopic of one of Italy's greatest poets (after Dante, before Pasolini), Giacomo Leopardi (Elio Germano), as he goes from being gifted youth to brilliant but physically (and emotionally) tortured young adult, producing volumes of poems and essays before his passing on at 38. I understand it's a challenge to make a film about any writer - the life of the mind, ya know - but Martone doesn't do himself any favors: it's about a poet but is severely lacking a necessary poetic air to carry it through (having him recite verse in voice over or to other characters isn't effective). Watching this poor fellow become more and more hunched over (and coughing ... and limping) as time progresses is a too-easy way to try to gain audience sympathy; it gets the costumes and sets right, but that's about it. Mercifully, the hacks of the world haven't touched my dude Kierkegaard (who also may have suffered from Pott's Disease and shared an equally grim view of life) ... let's leave it at that.

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