Movie I dig 012: Anche libero va bene (Along the ridge) (2006)

In ‘Anche libero va bene’ the famous and experienced Italian actor Kim Rossi Stuart gives it a go at directing. And quite successfully I must say.

It’s a story about a lower middle-class dis-functional family in an urban Italian area. The story is mostly told through the eyes of 11-year old Tommi. The other family-members are his sister Viola, his unemployed cameraman father Renato and his mother Stefania who is absent most of the time because she keeps on leaving the family for other men. So most of the time it’s just the father and his two kids who make up this family. The father is always struggling to make ends meet and underneath seems to be struggling because the mother of his children comes and goes. This makes him very very edgy. He sincerely tries very hard to be a very loving and good father, but being on edge like he is, he can go from the coolest and sweetest father in the world to an angry mad man in seconds and over the littlest things. Viola seems to be this kind of annoying, kind of sweet girl. Played quite good by Marta Nobili. In a few scenes she (and a friend) tries to make Tommi touch her. This sexual exploration is only touched upon very lightly. Something I can appreciate. Let’s not make a big deal of something that clearly isn’t. I can imagine how this would’ve been blown-up in American cinematography. Mother Stefania (played very credible by Barbora Bobulova) decides to show up after leaving them all behind, halfway through the movie. This shakes the already fragile family up quite a bit. It is clear that this has happened before and father Renato consults his children whether they want to forgive their mother again. I’m not spoiling any more.

The father Renato is played by Kim Rossi Stuart who also (as aforementioned) directs the movie. He wasn’t even supposed to play this role, but the actor who was initially supposed to play Renato drew back from the project 15 days before shooting would start. Considering this, the achievement in bringing such a complicated character to live deserves even more praise. The real star in this movie, however, is Alessandro Morace, who plays Tommi in such a credible and mesmerizing way, that this can only promise much much more in the future from this young actor. The ways he finds to portray all the necessary emotions to the screen is simply magnificent! Overall the movie is a true gem, but just because of Alessandro Morace’s acting it’s a must to see!

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