Libero (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner24/01/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 108 mins

Superbly directed, emotionally engaging drama with superb performances, particularly from co-writer/director Rossi Stuart and the film's young star, Alessandro Morace.

What's it all about?
Libero (also known as Along the Ridge) is the directorial debut of Italian leading man Kim Rossi Stuart (think Italy's George Clooney), who also co-wrote the script. He stars as Renato, a freelance cameraman who's struggling to bring up his two young children - 11 year old Tommi (Alessandro Morace) and his older sister Viola (Marta Nobili) - after being abandoned by his wife, Stefania (Barbara Bobulova).

The film is seen through the eyes of Tommi, who has been catapulted into a world of adult emotions he doesn't quite understand - his father is given to angry mood swings and even his sister is beginning to behave in ways that make him uncomfortable. However, his problems get ten times worse when his mother suddenly reappears out of the blue, begging forgiveness.

The Good
The English title of the film refers to the rooftop of Tommi's apartment building - the place he goes when he wants to be alone, where he is able to spy on his neighbours with a pair of binoculars. The script is extremely well written, with believably complex characters who behave in recognisably human ways.

The performances are terrific, particularly Alessandro Morace, who gives a remarkably mature performance (he occasionally resembles a young River Phoenix) and is genuinely moving in the role. Kim Rossi Stuart is equally good, managing to generate sympathy for his character even when he's doing the wrong thing, while Slovakian-born Barbara Bobulova brings genuine pathos to a role that could easily have been deeply unlikeable.

The Great
As a director, Rossi Stuart has a genuine feel for realistic emotional interaction and he orchestrates several memorable and touching scenes, without getting dragged down into tired clichés or mawkish sentimentality.

Worth seeing?
In short, Libero is an emotionally mature, superbly directed and brilliantly acted drama that is genuinely moving. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 18/07/2018 17:37

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