HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  Son's Room, The Sorry For Your Loss
Year: 2001
Director: Nanni Moretti
Stars: Nanni Moretti, Laura Morante, Jasmine Trinca, Giuseppe Sanfelice, Stefano Abbati, Stefano Accorsi, Toni Bertorelli, Dario Cantarelli, Eleonora Danco, Claudia Della Seta, Luisa De Santis, Silvio Orlando, Sofia Vigliar, Renato Scarpa, Roberto Nobile
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Sermonti family lead a happy and contented existence in middle-class Italy, where father Giovanni (Nanni Moretti) is a psychiatrist who loves to help his patients by listening to their concerns and problems; when he encounters a group of singing and dancing Hare Krishnas in the street one day, he is not irritated as some might have been, but he is delighted to witness people who have found a level of joy in their existence that he wishes he could impart to those he looks after. But there is trouble ahead, as he is called to his son's school to meet the headmaster, for his son has been accused of stealing a fossil there. This is the worst possible thing to have happened...

Oh, no it isn't! The Son's Room, or La stanza del figlio as it was titled in its original Italian, was a step up for its director, star and co-writer Moretti, as previously he had been termed an Italian Woody Allen for his subject matter and sense of humour, and not always flatteringly, either. Yet here was a piece with real maturity that stood apart from such comparisons, a film of two halves, as the complacent, bourgeois first thirty minutes or so told the tale of a crisis in the family as the son seems to have committed a transgression of his parents' trust and expectations, and the fall-out from this sends out shockwaves among them, to the extent that many watching would think, "So what?"

This thoroughly middlebrow establishing set of scenes gave plenty of viewers the screaming habdabs as they resisted being drawn into a scenario which just came across as far too comfortable for its own good, no matter what the son had got up to with the fossil. But then Moretti did something more interesting, he gave the family a taste of what a real crisis feels like, an unimaginably awful event that no parent, no sibling wants to hear about, never mind experience. And guess what? While the Sermontis could cope with a little petty theft as a bit of bad behaviour, a phase the son was going through that shrink dad could psychoanalyse, there was no dismissing his actual death.

Although it was well-publicised in advance, when the son dies in a scuba diving accident the sheer horrible, dead weight of realisation for his family that they would never see him again landed so hard that you, the audience, are not sure how to react. Previously you would either be indulging them their foibles and quirks, or rejecting them out of hand, but they were not exactly profound portrayals, yet now we were being asked to regard them as characters out of an Ingmar Bergman film, and not one of those with jokes in. This event is simply nothing they ever prepared for, it was not supposed to happen in their minds, and now it has there is no legitimate reaction they can fall back on, as the mother (Laura Morante) cries in bed, and the daughter (Jasmine Trinca) gets furious.

Meanwhile Giovanni attempts to make sense of it, this senseless event, by going over it again and again, as if reliving the course of time leading up to the tragedy could solve it, an utterly futile act, but what wouldn't be in these circumstances? Moretti applied an unusual style to this, with short, snappy scenes as if it was still a comedy even after the central dilemma occurs, yet also a distance from the grieving as if he did not want to delve into the implications of the ghastliness he had inflicted on his stunned characters. They grow ever more pathetic as their lives refuse to get better, and they are unable to get over this, until a link to the son's past emerges and they grasp at it like drowning men clutching at straws, trying to bring him back into their lives. This might have been where the comedy re-emerged, but what has happened has been too awful, and the final shot left the family wandering as if in a daze, refusing to let go of the past as the future rolls on without them. Music by Nicola Piovani.

[Studiocanal release this on Blu-ray with a Cannes interview featurette as a sole extra (it won the Palme d'Or there).]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 415 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: