Libero Kim Rossi Stuart

Libero Kim Rossi Stuart

Eleven-year-old Tommy has a problem: his parents. Father Renato is an aggressive, immature, irresponsible jerk who’s drowning in debt and can’t hold a job to save his life. Mother Stefania is impulsive and unstable, who abandons her family, returns, and abandons them again when she can’t hack it any more. Renato has most of the floor, running his own agenda and blaming his children and the world for everything that goes wrong with his life, which leaves Tommy and his sister Viola to deal with his angry outbursts and unreliability as a provider. It’s the outline for a very powerful movie, but somehow, Libero never quite packs a punch. Director/star Kim Rossi Stuart doesn’t have the menace necessary to pull off the more threatening elements of his role as Renato, and his irrational behaviour winds up seeming comical rather than horrible. The same goes for Barboro Bobulova, who plays Stefania as a flibbertigibbet rather than a genuinely troubled person and once again seems like an SCTV parody of the part. One could argue that such ridiculous acting-out is kind of funny, but it happens at such inopportune times that it starts to chip away at the seriousness of the movie. This is probably because the film is relentlessly external: we never really know what’s bugging Renato and only get a glimmer into Stefania’s mind at the end, leaving us with Tommy, his problems at school, and the rather obvious suggestion that it’s hard to deal with these capricious adults and keep one’s own head together. The film isn’t cynical, isn’t exploitative and isn’t an insult to your intelligence, but there’s a certain fumbling for articulation that turns it against itself at all the wrong moments. (Mongrel Media)