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    Il giovane favoloso

    Directed by



    140 min

    • Italian


    Toronto IFF - Contemporary World Cinema

    Giacomo Leopardi is a child prodigy who grows up under the stern gaze of his father, in a house that is a library. His mind roams but the house is a prison: he reads everything, but the world is outside. In Europe things are changing, revolutions are breaking out, and Giacomo desperately tries to make contacts with the outside. At the age of twenty-four, when he finally leaves Recanati, Italian high society opens its doors to him but our rebel won’t fit in. In Florence he becomes involved in a love triangle with Antonio Ranieri, the Neapolitan friend with whom he shares his bohemian living quarters, and the beautiful Fanny. Finally he moves to Naples with Ranieri, where he lives surrounded by the wretched and vital spectacle of the plebeian city. Cholera breaks out: Giacomo and Ranieri set out on the last stage of their long journey, toward a villa in the countryside in the shadow of Vesuvius.


    • Italian Golden Globe for Best Film



    Elio Germano
    Michele Riondino
    Massimo Popolizio
    Anna Mouglalis
    Valerio Binasco
    Paolo Graziosi
    Iaia Forte
    Sandro Lombardi
    Raffaella Giordano
    Edoardo Natoli
    Federica De Cola
    Isabella Ragonese
    Mario Martone
    Ippolita Di Majo
    Renato Berta
    Jacopo Quadri
    Sascha Ring
    Gioacchino Rossini

    Director's Statement

    The screenplay draws on Leopardi’s writings and on the whole of his correspondence. The interest is not in the anecdote: Leopardi’s life is one and the same as his writing, there is not a single line of his that is not autobiographical. Making a film about Leopardi’s life means revealing a freethinking and ironic man, contemptuous of social conventions, a rebel and for this reason often ostracized by nineteenth-century society, a poet who needs to be freed once and for all from the rhetorical vision that presents him as distressed and sad because of his illness. LEOPARDI is intended to be the story of a soul, which I have tried to tell, in all freedom, using the means of cinema.



    This handsome biopic succeeds in reproducing snippets of biography and spiritual anguish...

    Jay Weissberg, Variety

    A movie that seeks to delve into the marvellous writings of a genius.

    Camillo de Marco, Cineuropa

    Mario Martone

    Mario Martone


    Mario Martone (born 20 November 1959) is an Italian film director and screenwriter. He has directed 15 films since 1985. His debut feature MORTE DI UN MATEMATICO NAPOLETANO screened at the Festival and won the Grand Special Jury Prize at Venice in 1992. His film L'AMORE MOLESTO was selected to be part of the Cannes Film Festival in 1995. His 2010 film NOI CREDEVAMO competed for the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival. He was also the stage director for Lorenzo Ferrero's opera Charlotte Corday, which was premiered at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma on 21 February, 1989. LEOPARDI, has been selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival in 2014. In 2019, it is THE MAYOR OF RIONE SANITÀ that enters the competition.

    Selected Filmography