"Miss Marx" premiered at Venice Film Festival 2020 and is Eleonor Marx’s biopic, directed by Susanna Nicchiarelli and starring Romola Garai.
Eleonor was Karl Marx’s youngest daughter. Nicknamed Tussy, she was brilliant, cultured and passionate. She wrote, translated and studied and was a committed political activist with the socialist party and the trade unions. She highlighted the connection between feminism and socialism, took part in protests and riots, fought for women’s rights and against the exploitation of children in work.
The movie starts in 1883 with Karl Marx’s death and tells the story of adult Eleanor – flashbacks apart – since her father’s funeral and the first meeting with her partner of a life, Edward Aveling (Patrick Kennedy).
It reveals many aspects of Eleanor’s life, as for example her being the translator of fundamental works in the narration of the woman question, like Madame Bovary or A Doll’s House.
Susanna Nicchiarelli, who also wrote the screenplay, avoids rethorical and celebrative tones and, at the same time, she depicts a round heroine, with her weaknesses, her personal disillusions and the bonds with her father, with Friederich Engels, with her sisters and nephew, with her half-brother and, especially, the love of her life.
The complexity of the task of juggling the theory and the practice of her outstanding ideals, the impossibility of actually achieving them in her personal life, is what makes Eleanor's story so human and so painful. The movie focuses on the contradictions in Eleanor’s life choices, her accepting to live her whole life with a selfish man, who doesn’t respect her and makes her so unhappy that she finally betrays her favourite motto: “always forward”.
Romola Garai delivers one of her best performances.