Giovanni (Nanni Moretti), Paola (Laura Morante), and their teenage children Irene (Jasmine Trinca) and Andrea (Giuseppe Sanfelice), live in a small town in Northern Italy. Giovanni is a psychiatrist. Day after day, his patients confide in him, the endless details of their neuroses contrasting sharply with his own ordered life. Giovanni's existence is one of strictly observed habits: he reads, listens to music, exhausts himself with long, lonely runs across town. One morning, Giovanni receives an urgent call from a patient and is unable to go running with his son as he had planned. Andrea goes diving with friends instead. He will not return...
Nanni Moretti announced himself as a warm, slightly goofy comedian with the highly regarded Caro Diario, but turns his image on its head with the lauded The Son’s Room.
Like Woody Allen’s stunning move to seriousness with Interiors, Moretti proves himself a strikingly sensitive and humanist filmmaker with this painfully moving study of loss and family dysfunction. Moretti skillfully plays a middle class psychiatrist whose safe, cozy world comes crashing down around him when his troubled teenage son dies in a diving accident. Questions about possible suicide and responsibility strike a rift in Moretti’s marriage (to the excellent Laura Morante) and force him to doubt his own abilities as a healer.
Quiet and almost willfully subtle, The Son’s Room is a masterfully controlled and conceived film that towers above the similarly themed and titled In The Bedroom.