— by Jeff Schultz
[Special dispatch from the 27th annual Tromsø Film Festival]
> A funny, intelligent and straightforwardly told story of a reclusive Nobel Prize-winning novelist who travels back to his hometown after 40 years of self-exile. At first he is welcomed as a local hero, but he ends up — well, let’s just say things go terribly wrong. While basically a good man, the author is an intellectual prig, hidebound by his ideals and tone deaf to the sensibilities of “ordinary” people.
> The screenplay is filled with lively confrontations, oddball characters, and whip-smart dialog for Martinez, who beautifully underplays the part, giving the impression that his truest life is the life inside his mind, for which he ultimately pays dearly. And he’s got the scar to prove it. Or does he?