aka LA STANZA DEL FIGLIO
Movie Review by Dr Kuma
Starring: Nanni Moretti, Laura Morante, Jasmine Trinca, Giuseppe Sanfelice, Silvio Orlando
Director: Nanni Moretti
Giovanni (writer/actor/producer and all round genius Nanni Moretti) is a psychoanalyst in middle class Italy. By day he listens to the neurosis of his patients, by night and at weekends he shares his love for life with the most important thing in the world to him- his family.
One Sunday, Giovanni cancels a run with his son when one of his clients phones and asks to see him urgently. Giovanni decides to cancel his morning with his son and visit the patient whom he feels, needs him. It is a decision he will regret for the rest of his life, as, while he is discussing life with his hypochondriac patient, his son is killed in a diving accident while out with friends.
The movie follows the effect the death of his son has, not only on his family and his relationships, but also on all those around him, including his patients.
Giovanni not only blames himself, but the patient he visited on that fateful day. He destroys himself thinking that if only he had of just told the client to wait and stayed with his family his son would still be alive. You can understand this, but you also see how this has affected the patient, who, at first contemplated suicide, now treasures life and is, deep down, a good man.
This is a very sad, sombre little masterpiece, which is a study of humankind at their most vulnerable and how one chain of events can change not just individuals but entire communities. The whole cast is excellent, but Moretti not only looks like an Italian De Niro, he puts in a better performance than his counterpart has done in years.
This film deservedly won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2001. It is one of those films that affects you on every level and although it never forces an issue, you leave enlightened.
Dr Kuma’s verdict: A triumph.