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The Son's Room

The Son's Room

The Italian comedian and film maker Nanni Moretti goes off into dramatic territory with the contemplative, understated 2001 Cannes Grand Prize winner, The Son's Room.

While Italy's Oscar entry for Best Foreign Film has moments which have genuine emotion concerning the bereavement process, La Stanza del Figlio comes across with more restraint and less expression than its American counterpart, Academy Award best picture nominee In the Bedroom.

Moretti's Giovanni is married to a beautiful wife Paola (Laura Morante), but the relationship is somewhat edgy, even though they have raised two wonderful kids in teenagers Andrea (Giuseppe Sanfelice) and Irene (Jasmine Trinca).

A life with few troubles collapses when tragedy occurs during a diving accident.  The reactions of the parents are contrasted sharply with those of Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson, whose marriage becomes the focus of Bedroom.  The low-key Giovanni starts to struggle in ways that he can't master as Paola releases her grief understandably.

Out of sorts, a father places culpability on himself and the unbalanced state has unhealthy results.  A patient received during an emergency call on the day of the accident is treated shamefully.  Moretti's introspective, but ultimately unsentimental film doesn't rely on pronounced pathos or deeply expressive exchanges.

Those who make it with Giovanni and Paola to the climax, will find it affecting from a meeting with someone who was close to their tragically departed love one.  Some scenes have wrenching qualities to them, especially with the basketball-loving Irene, and The Son's Room unintentionally closes the door on a poignant portrait of attempts to cope with harsh reality.

The Son's Room

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