Whilst everyone’s wasting their breath over the various demerits of the new LORD OF THE RINGS or GAME OF THRONES TV shows, the best TV show I’ve seen this season is tucked away in Walter Presents on All 4: REDEMPTION (IO TE CERCHERÒ) is a noir/ crime thriller/ family melodrama about a disgraced cop, Valerio (Alessandro Gassman), fired from the force for corruption and cocaine possession, now pumping gas at a petrol station, who is told that his estranged son – a social rights activist working with migrants — has committed suicide. But, as his former lover tells him, things don’t add up. He’s finally convinced of foul play, and as he sets out to find out the truth about his son’s death, he finally gets to know his son as a human being and not just as an extension of himself. The more he digs, the more corruption he finds: African migrants cheated out of their council homes by gangs, drug enforcers in the service of ‘respectable’ serviceman laundering money through off-shore accounts, and a police force in the service of Big Business. Everyone’s implicated and his search finally leads him to his own family. A very moving thriller with lots of social commentary but fundamentally about families – biological and otherwise –  father-son relationships…and the importance of justice. The setting is Rome, the look is noir, sometimes tinged with the duller hues of neon. What holds it all together is Gassman, in an extraordinary performance, mostly minimalist: a still face with eyes that don’t dare move much for fear of betraying what he really feels; a halo of sadness around his face; a tall, thin, wiry body, trained, moving fluidly and capable of quick bursts of violence; and an awkwardness and emotional restraint with the people he loves that also burst forth out of his isolation and into moments of great tenderness. Highly recommend.

José Arroyo