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  • It was hard to judge this movie unbiased as i am a product of a broken marriage and went through alot of things that the young child in this movie went through. And you know its amazing to me..if this kid didnt win some kind of award for his performance, it was enough to touch my heart. And i also noticed that of all those who voted on this movie, a large percentage of people rated it a 10, guess im not alone in having this movie touch me. Because when your as young as the main character was, and things happen to you that arent your fault and are beyond your control, you feel very Alone.
  • WriterDave23 September 2003
    Unless going the abstract and mysterious route in telling a story about "real" people with "real" issues and psychological problems, I've always preferred the understated and subtle approach to the gritty or flashy and overtly self aware. In only his second film, Tony Barbieri proves he is a master or subtlety. Here we witness a rather straightforward tale about a young boy (played with surprising range by the young Cody Morgan) with an emotionally disturbed mother (played deftly by Nastassja Kinski) who uses his rich imagination to cope with the dire situations around him and comes to befriend a retired psychologist (a rich and understated performance from Robert Forster). We never get the full back-story. What the boy knows, we know, and his limited understanding of the problems around him frame our viewing experience. There are no flashbacks or time shifts or 'revelations' or inventive camera work to be found here. The seemingly 'hands-off' style of story-telling comes across at first as simple and later as very refreshing and surprisingly honest, because in the end you realize this was more of a work of art than you thought (that's subtlety at its best), and that it was the good writing, simple framing of scenes and camera angles, and understatement of everything that added deep meaning and emotional resonance to the film. There are also many disturbing truths to be found here as the young boy's life slowly unravels, yet it's treated so 'quietly' that it never shocks or comes across as blunt or cold. This is simply life how it really is. Things aren't nicely tied up, not all secrets are revealed, people lie, connections aren't always made and life goes on. In the end, the viewer is left wondering whether the closing scenes of the boy on the boat are simply another one of his fantasies or the true fact of the matter. We are left with a pleasing sadness, aware that either way, the boy has someone learned to survive.

    This film is virtually unknown (no theatrical release, a brief run on the festival circuit a few years back), and I happened across it by accident on a pay channel while surfing the boob tube one quiet rainy night. It made me want to track down Babieri's first film 'The One' and clued me in to a hope that one day this man can make a film everyone will be talking about. This could become a small "lost" classic one day if Barbieri ever delivers a commercial and critical hit. As it stands now, this is independent film-making at its best.
  • The Magic of Marciano is a tale about a boy who is trying to make sense of his world while reflecting on the state of his Mother and her abusive boyfriend. It was a pleasure to see Nastassja Kinski make an impression in a later film. The camera enjoys her. A rarity in film.

    The film is important because it shows us a world that truly exists for many single children living within a miserable world of their parents adolescent decisions. It is important because it captures the reasons for the parents demise so we must decide how we solve this situation for healthy growth in our children.

    We must rely on hope that something magical will happen. The film is subtle in its reflection on a 10 year old's perspective and yet those subtleties are heavy handed when you truly think about it. This kid was fortunate.

    Sometimes, you need to give up what you have to get what you need. Marciano is a good man and possesses a philosophy that many of us should pay heed to in today's world.
  • This story of a mentally ill mother and her steadfast son is realistic, touching and unsentimental. Rather than the melodramatic circumlocations that this theme tends to engender, this is a rock-solid, realistic representation of what probably would or could happen in the real world. It even has an upbeat ending which is not the full blown Hollywood fantasy, but the best that life can offer when it's functioning well. Miss Kinski is terrific in it, Robert Forster is a gem of a warm and intelligent actor and Cody, who plays James, is a wonder. If what you want to see is an excellent film, with a real story, artistically done, with some fantasy scenes to flesh out some inner feelings, and held together with superb acting...then this is for you. If you prefer Hollywood glamour, sentimental soporific themes and ridiculous action, find any readily available commercial film instead.
  • I was wondering what to rent at my local video store, and this movie, with only two copies always appeared unrented between the multicopy titles all along the newest films wall.

    Its a reasonably fair drama, with all its weigh on the young actor who plays the son of a unstable mother who's on the brink of losing it. I didn't expected to find the raw truths I saw in this occasion, although I must admit, they are somehow covered by a veil to smooth things off.

    This almost unknown movie is a great choice if you´re looking for a rather light drama.
  • neenbean2326 November 2000
    In Barbieri's second film you see a complete transformation in his style of directing. I remember the feeling from "One" (the first film) and I remember how I felt when I left the Theatre after seeing "Marciano." I was beside myself. I was so into the characters that I forgot this it wasn't real. I find myself going back to the words that describe Tony Barbieri to me. Full of life and always very passionate.
  • JT-6713 August 1999
    This heartfelt drama is a gritty film with wonderful writing and performances. The actors showed great emotional range. With a wonderful soundtrack, this movie will stay with you in more ways than one.
  • I was privileged to see the premier of this movie in Los Angeles and was very impressed. I had watched a portion of the filming in Canada. Was very impressed with Tony and his belief in a new actor- this was Cody's first movie. I am sure there are many kids in similar circumstances in every town. The fact that he chose to be happy made the movie educational. I found Ms. Kinski to be a very compassionate person in real life. While I am not an avid movie buff, I did enjoy the movie and hope it will come out in DVD form.
  • "The Magic of Marciano" begins as a rock solid journeyman drama about a boy (Morgan), trying to cope with an emotionally unstable working class single mom (Kinski) and her abusive boyfriend, who finds a friend in an older man (Forster). As the film wears on, however, it takes a nose dive as Barbieri begins replaying scenes with two different outcomes, apparently in a feeble and annoying attempt to show the boy's fantasies, only to crash and burn with an unsatisfying conclusion and poor resolution. An okay watch for fans of the players but when taken as a whole little more than a mediocre small screen watch. (C)