Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Son's Room

La stanza del figlio; Drama, Italy, 2001; D: Nanni Moretti, S: Nanni Moretti, Laura Morante, Jasmine Trinca, Giuseppe Sanfelice

Giovanni is a middle-aged psychiatrist who often jogs around the streets. He is married to Paola and has two kids: Irene and Andrea. When his son Andrea gets accused of stealing a fossil of Ammonites in school, Giovanni defends him, but he still admits the deed. When Andrea drowns in the sea diving, his family enters a big period of depression. Irene becomes aggressive and performs poorly at basketball whereas Giovanni cannot help his patients, walks aimlessly at a amusement park and doesn't know what to do. The family meets Arianna, Andrea's girlfriend, and bring her to the French border crossing.

Minimalistic drama "The Son's Room" handles the topic of the death of a family member in a very subtle and sustained manner (the son's death isn't even shown on the screen and happens some 35 minutes into the film), even though it seems just like an acronym of the possible observations as a whole. Author Nanni Moretti builds the story patiently, but hassles slightly with lethargy and dry approach. A small problem is also the too episodic feel: protagonist Giovanni jogs at the street, then observes people dancing, then talks with a patient who loves pornographic films, then his other patient claims that he is inferior than him...Slightly unfocused, yet incredibly realistic and honest way of film making that literally shows a 'slice of life'. The most exceptional display of talent can be found around the middle of the film, when the family tries to overcome the tragedy, especially in portraying how lost Giovanni became (when a patient mentions children, he suddenly starts to cry). A quality product full of ambitions. It even won the Golden Palm in Cannes.


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