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Son's Room [DVD] [2002] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006ADG1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 377,984 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description


The Son's Room, which picked up the 2001 Palme d'Or at Cannes, marks a departure for writer-director Nanni Moretti. The films that made his name outside Italy, Dear Diary and Aprile, were both highly personal and politicised semi-documentaries, and a strong political sense underlies the half-dozen or so features he made before them. By contrast, The Son's Room is a subtle, intense study of a family cracking apart under the impact of grief, with no overt political element. For all that, it's the most moving film that Moretti's yet made. "It captured me" he says "more than any other [story] I'd worked on previously. It's a film in which the director shares his emotions with the audience, without imposing his own feelings."

As usual, the director plays his own lead character. Here he's Giovanni, a successful psychiatrist in a provincial Italian city (Ancona on the Adriatic coast). He has a beautiful wife, happy in her own career, and two bright, good-looking teenage children, a son and a daughter. Then, out of nowhere, tragedy strikes and in its aftermath, the fissures begin to show in the idyllic façade. Giovanni in particular reveals the insecurities and neuroses lurking behind his tolerant, easy-going demeanour. Moretti homes in on his characters with clear-eyed compassion, never milking the tragedy for facile sentiment but sparing us nothing of the gut-wrenching grief they feel. Nor does he succumb to the temptation of a feel-good happy ending: we are left with a hint of hope for the future, but no more. This is intelligent, mature filmmaking that respects its audience.

On the DVD: The Son's Room comes to disc with just the trailer--and the flabby US trailer at that. A commentary from Moretti would have been more than welcome. Still, the transfer, in the original 1.66:1 ratio, is impeccable, with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound to match. --Philip Kemp

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a superb, moving film that is strongly recommended. Nanni Moretti has spoken in interviews of how he felt a great need to make it: to look at what life is like after the death of a loved one, to consider how grief can separate rather than unite the bereaved. There is much warmth within the film, too: Giovanni and Paola and their teenage children Irene and Andrea enjoy being together, and the early scenes of the family before their tragic loss are marvellous for the believable and realistic way in which a happy family is portrayed.
Ancona, a town in central Italy by the Adriatic Sea, is lovingly photographed by Giuseppe Lanci. Most of the action takes place here, in the family's attractive home and the adjoining consulting room of Giovanni, a psychoanalyst. The settings are nearly always full of sunlight, subtly emphasizing the fact that Giovanni, Paola and Irene can clearly see the finality of Andrea's death, they have no religious beliefs from which they can draw comfort. Moretti has said that he 'wanted this film to be true', and it is: Moretti felt that many film directors, particularly in Italy, avoided really facing the subject of death by approaching it in a comic or grotesque way ('characters dancing a kind of tarantella around the phones ringing, relatives bickering'). For Moretti and Giovanni and his family, death is as Tom Stoppard described it in 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead': not 'romantic, and not a game that will soon be over' but 'the endless time of never coming back'.
Moretti and his exceptional cast (especially Laura Morante as Paola, and Jasmine Trinca as Irene) sensitively convey the despair, rage and emptiness which follows Andrea's slightly mysterious death.
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Format: DVD
I was taken a back the first time I saw this film, I did not know that so much emotion could be put into 95 minutes of film. The content of The Son's Room is brutal yet beautiful, it shows the true emotion that goes along with the loss of a loved one, rather then a rose tinted hollywood perception. This film is stunning, emotive and truly one of a kind, a masterpiece by a wonderful writer and director. It is a film that will keep you gripped, it will make you smile, and more importantly it will make you cry on several occassions, surely this shows the genius of the film if it can bring so many emotions to the surface.
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Format: DVD
There two moments when cinema can be sublime: when it show us life as it could be and is not, and when it show us life as it rigorously is. La Stanza del Figlio is one of those moments, when we see up there on the big screen life such as it truelly is, as our life is, as we people are. That transcendent and fragile breath that gives humanity to the clay that we come from.
Ok, I'm I partial: I adore italian cinema, I adore the films by Moretti. I've seen most of his movies (well, all of them since Palombella Rossa) and is notable to watch as Moretti made the transition from politics to intimacy, all the way filming it. And thanks to that personal journey, this film has some kind of tranquility, of rare wisdom: that no matter how much we lived, what we've seen and experienced, there's always some sort of perplexity when life twists us to an almost unbearable point.
There's a remarkable sequence when Moretti displays all the dangers that threatens each family member, one after the other, and then, through the use of the ellipse, in a rather subtle and sensitive narrative, let us know who was the victim of fate's whim. And how drama unfolds in a familiar and unstopable way. And that our wounded animal eyes are sometimes our only way to let the world know of that fire that burns us from the inside.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you have never seen Moretti before you won't have any problem watching this film. For the others it's really difficult and it does take some time and willpower to realise that he's not going to smile or crack some jokes around the corner.
Intelligent audience that we are, once we resolve this problem within ourselves we can get into the story.
Moretti as psychoanalyst is even more restrained than Lorraine Bracco. I'm very innocent about this and had always thought it was an American invention residing there, across the ocean, like drive-in cinema, popcorn or hamburgers. But people would buy anything, even psychoanalysis. Talking of which, even here, in this serious study of how educated and civilised people react to tragedy, some of Moretti's lifelong obsessions poke in, perhaps unwittingly, subconsciously..but there we have him again, that Trockyist pastry chef from Rome, stepping onto the dance floor (the scene when Moretti lying in bed is reading a poem to his wife.) A film that will never be made but seems to have a life of its own.
The day of the tragedy: we know the family is doomed and that there is no escaping. Destiny or whatever it is, cannot be cheated. Moretti did this incredibly well and were it not for the title of the film we would wonder who the finger of doom would point to. In the morning of that fateful Sunday, the father is driving and there is a truck coming from the opposite direction, a hint of a possible crash? At the same time his daughter is riding a motor bike with some friends very irresponsibly..a possible accident? A running man (a scippatore?) brushes against his wife at the flea market. She is surprised and dazed. The son is with his friends already in the Zodiac and we know he is doomed.
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