Anche libero va bene
Italy, 2006, 106 minutes
Sat, May 5 / 04:15 / Clay / ALON05Y
Mon, May 7 / 03:30 / Kabuki / ALON07K
Wed, May 9 / 09:00 / Kabuki / ALON09K
With an atmosphere recalling Truffaut and de Sica, Italian film and theater actor Kim Rossi Stuart’s accomplished directorial debut explores a family in torment. Shy and anxious, 11-year-old Tommy (played exquisitely by newcomer Alessandro Morace) lives with his teenage sister Viola and volatile Renato (Rossi Stuart), their unpredictable, often immature father who is prone to both tender moments of affection and violent, angry outbursts. Together and on their own, the close-knit family members struggle with the emotional fallout created by the absence of wife and mother Stefania. "She comes and goes," says Tommy to a new friend, attempting to explain his mother’s serial abandonment. When Stefania suddenly reappears, begging to be taken back into the family and given another chance, Viola rushes into her arms but Tommy is defensively cautious, certain she will just leave them again. Told from young Tommy’s perspective, the film teeters gracefully on a tightrope of anxiety, just as Tommy clambers across the precarious rooftop of their Rome apartment building, where he seeks refuge from the confusion below. Love tips suddenly into rage, and joy into disappointment, as the film deftly balances Tommy’s budding adolescence and the fitful evolution of his fractured family. The sweet subtlety of the performances, the authenticity of interaction and the complexity of character and emotion make Along the Ridge a powerfully real family portrait that does not traffic in absolutes. Here there are neither saints nor villains, just flawed humans capable of causing pain and suffering in their willful attempts at giving, and receiving, love.
Skyy Prize Contender. Sponsored by and presented in association with the Italian Cultural Institute.