Leon (1994) immediately springs to mind in playing what could have been an icky relationship between man and girl-child into something believable and human. Mimmo's attraction to Tania is obvious - what Tania sees in Mimmo, less so.
Familiarity is not the worst of Senza Nessuna Pietà's sins, however. It's the consistent stupidity of all the characters. Granted, Mimmo is supposed to be what was once called 'slow', but why do all of the other character seem so chronically unaware of sense. Of course, genre dictates that Mimmo must return to his flat to get his money, but why must the characters later rendezvous for their final escape at a bus station? Especially given that Mimmo's driving their in a perfectly usable car. Favino is a fine actor and a great screen presence with his brooding powerful features, but he can only do so much with what he is given and must take some of the blame himself, having as he does a co-producer credit. Scarano's role is much more problematic as the script gives her nothing to go on and the camera leers at her unabashed - not so much the male gaze as Manuel's gaze. Senza Nessuna Pietà looks good and perhaps this review is a little on the harsh side, yet the film's title does translate to 'without any pity'.
The 71st Venice Film Festival takes place from 27 August to 6 September 2014. For more coverage, follow this link.