Heart-throb Italian actor Kim Rossi Stuart makes an assured directorial debut with this child’s eye view of life in an emotionally fragile family. Set in the suburbs of Rome, Libero centres on 11-year-old Tommi (Alessandro Morace), who lives with his older sister and volatile father Renato (Rossi Stuart). Out of the blue, their mother Stefania (Barbora Bobulova), brimful of affection, returns to the familial fold, promising a fresh start. Can she supply the stability Tommi craves? Eschewing melodrama in favour of low-key naturalism, Rossi Stuart and writer Linda Ferri (The Son’s Room) craft a tale in which there are no clear-cut heroes or villains, nor happy-ever-after endings. Amid a crop of fine performances, Morace brings stand-out subtlety with his hurt and confusion at the betrayals of the adult world.
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