Pierfrancesco Favino gained fifty pounds and shows every bit of his star potential in director Michele Alhaique’s Senza Nessuna Pietà.
Mimmo, played by Favino, is part of a crime family but is happier at his day job as a construction worker. Having been left fatherless at an early age, his uncle raised him and expects his bruiser nephew to provide muscle when debts need to be collected. Mimmo is perfectly capable but clearly unhappy about his lot in life, destined, it seems, to live it out in a clinically depressed state.
When his spoiled and obnoxious cousin Manuel (Adriano Giannini) wants him to pick up and babysit a young prostitute, played by the very beautiful Greta Scarano, a protective side emerges from Mimmo. “Tanya” has been hired for a party but when delivered to Manuel, Mimmo sees that she’s in trouble and comes to her rescue, knowing full well that in doing so he’s signed his own death warrant.
There’s a kind of “beauty and the beast” quality to Mimmo and Tanya’s love story, as Tanya begins to care for him and then literally cares for him when he is punished for going against the family. They are a bit of an odd couple, but the chemistry is there and when they meet, you can see the relief in their eyes. In their “hard-knock lives, they’d never considered that they might find someone who actually want the best for them.
Screened in the Venice Film Festival’s Horizon section, Without Pity would do well in America; Pierfrancesco Favino has already proved himself a strong crossover to audiences in the US ( Rush, World War Z) and Greta Scarano could be the next Emma Stone if she so chose. We’ll see more of her.