The Son's Room

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The Son's Room
Original film poster
Directed byNanni Moretti
Written byNanni Moretti
Produced byAngelo Barbagallo
Nanni Moretti
Music byNicola Piovani
Distributed bySacher Film
Release date
9 March 2001 (Italy)
Running time
99 minutes
Box office$11.8 million[1]

The Son's Room (Italian: La stanza del figlio) is a 2001 Italian film directed, written and produced by Nanni Moretti. It depicts the psychological effects on a family and their life after the death of their son. It was filmed in and around the city of Ancona, with a cast led by Moretti, Laura Morante and Jasmine Trinca.

The film competed at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and received positive reviews. It won numerous awards, including the Palme d'Or and the David di Donatello for Best Film. Although selected as the Italian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 74th Academy Awards, it was not nominated.


In Ancona, Giovanni is a therapist whose 17-year-old son, Andrea, is accused of stealing a rare ammonite fossil from his school. Andrea is suspended and protests his innocence. However, he later confesses to his mother, Paola, that he and his friend stole it as a prank and intended to return it before it broke.

Giovanni and Andrea make plans to go jogging together, but Giovanni is called to the distant home of a patient who is severely distressed about a possible cancer diagnosis. Instead, Andrea goes scuba diving with a friend and swims into an underwater cave, where he accidentally drowns. Giovanni, Paola, and their daughter Irene are left to mourn.

Giovanni investigates the diving equipment model and becomes suspicious that Andrea's was defective. However, Paola reminds him that the verdict was that it was functioning properly. Giovanni, once a distant observer of his patients' struggles, begins having difficulty analyzing them, particularly the one he went to see on the day Andrea died, against whom he shows signs of impatience and hostility.

One day, Paola receives a love letter sent to Andrea by a girl named Arianna, whom he had met at a camp. The family does not know Arianna and never knew Andrea had a girlfriend. They realize she does not know Andrea has died and attempt to contact her, eventually inviting her to their home.

Giovanni stops by a music store to buy an album, ostensibly for a friend of Andrea, but more for Andrea. A clerk gives him a Brian Eno album. Arianna arrives on her way to a destination and sees Andrea's bedroom. She shows Giovanni photographs Andrea sent her of himself in his room, some of which are very amusing. The family welcomes Arianna and offers to host her in their home, but she informs them she is hitchhiking with her friend Stefano to spend vacation in France.

The family offers Arianna and Stefano a short ride, but it lingers to a point where they drive into the night and reach Menton, on the border between Italy and France. Bidding Arianna and Stefano goodbye, the family watches their bus leave Italy and wanders on the beach as a new life awaits them.


Nanni Moretti, Laura Morante and Jasmine Trinca star as the bereaved family.


Italian director Nanni Moretti first developed the idea for The Son's Room out of a longtime interest to write about a psychoanalyst and play one.[2] He came up with the story when he learned his wife was pregnant with a boy.[3]

Cinematographer Giuseppe Lanci said they opted to shoot in Ancona, looking for a sea and port and deciding against Genoa for its large size and Trieste for its distractingly beautiful buildings.[4] Filming was suspended for three months, mid schedule, due to Moretti's illness. In addition, the crew's contracts expired, and everything was interrupted by a strike action and Christmas break.[2]


Box office[edit]

The film grossed $5.5 million in Italy and $11.8 million worldwide.[5][1]

Critical response[edit]

The film received positive reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes measuring an 85% approval rating based on 85 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Son's Room is a moving and contemplative study of grief."[6] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[7]

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said "this affecting and beautiful film really is a very accomplished piece of work from Moretti, superbly acted, refreshingly direct and blessed with an ingenious, unexpected final act."[8] Roger Ebert gave it three and a half stars, writing, "Sometimes in a quite ordinary way a director can reach out and touch us."[3] Stephen Holden of The New York Times assessed it as touching, drawing a parallel to the September 11 attacks that year, which showed how sudden tragedy devastates the living. Holden opined the film was not very creative but featured solid acting.[9] David Rooney of Variety called it "a delicate drama of pain and grief," criticizing Moretti's performance as overly self-conscious but praising Morante as "deeply moving."[10] Meredith Brody of The Chicago Reader said the film demonstrated "tender skill."[11] Time Out praised it as "Subtle, psychologically astute and engagingly unassertive in tone," concluding it is "A gem."[12] Michael Wilmington of The Chicago Tribune called the film "moving."[13]

The film appears in Empire's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time at number 480.[14] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, included the film in its list of ten 'Best films of the noughties' (2000-2009).[15]


The Son's Room was the winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival,[16] noted for being the first Italian film to win the highest Cannes honour in over 20 years.[17] The film was Italy's submission to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film,[18] but it was not nominated.

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Cannes Film Festival 14 – 25 May 2001 Palme d'Or Nanni Moretti Won [17]
César Awards 2 March 2002 Best Foreign Film Nominated [19]
David di Donatello Awards 10 April 2001 Best Film Won [20]
Best Director Nominated
Best Producer Angelo Barbagallo and Nanni Moretti Nominated
Best Script Linda Ferri, Nanni Moretti and Heidrun Schleef Nominated
Best Actor Nanni Moretti Nominated
Best Actress Laura Morante Won
Best Supporting Actor Silvio Orlando Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Jasmine Trinca Nominated
Best Production Design Giancarlo Basili Nominated
Best Editing Esmeralda Calabria Nominated
Best Score Nicola Piovani Won
Best Sound Alessandro Zanon Nominated
European Film Awards 1 December 2001 Best Film Angelo Barbagallo and Nanni Moretti Nominated [21]
Best Actress Laura Morante Nominated
Nastro d'Argento 2001 Silver Ribbon Nanni Moretti Won [22]
Guglielmo Biraghi Award Jasmine Trinca Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Son's Room at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ a b Mottram, James (28 October 2014). "The Son's Room". BBC. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (1 March 2001). "The Son's Room". Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  4. ^ Eleanor Andrews, Place, Setting, Perspective: Narrative Space in the Films of Nanni Moretti, Rowman & Littlefield, 26 September 2014, p. 26, ISBN 1611476917
  5. ^ Rooney, David (11 June 2001). "Italy toasts local share of market". Variety. p. 7. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  6. ^ "La Stanza del Figlio (The Son's Room) (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  7. ^ "The Son's Room Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  8. ^ Peter, Bradshaw (February 15, 2002). "The Son's Room". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved February 15, 2002.
  9. ^ Holden, Stephen (12 October 2001). "FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS; A Family Stunned When Death Strikes". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  10. ^ Rooney, David (16 March 2001). "Review: 'The Son's Room'". Variety. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  11. ^ Brody, Meredith. "The Son's Room". The Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  12. ^ GA. "The Son's Room". Time Out. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  13. ^ Wilmington, Michael (1 March 2002). "Moving 'Son's Room'". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  14. ^ "The 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time". Empire. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  15. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (25 December 2009). "Best films of the noughties". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Son's Room". Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  17. ^ a b Turan, Kenneth (21 May 2001). "'Son's Room' Wins Palme". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  18. ^ Feiwell, Jill (19 November 2001). "51 countries bid for Oscar". Variety. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  19. ^ "France's movie academy says oui to 'Amelie'". The Chicago Tribune. 5 February 2002. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  20. ^ Rooney, David (11 April 2001). "'Room' rules rome". Variety. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Moretti contro Bridget Jones per l'Oscar europeo". La Repubblica. 7 November 2001. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  22. ^ Cervone Paolo (30 June 2001). "Esplora il significato del termine: Moretti conquista anche Taormina Dopo la Palma d' oro e il David, "La stanza del figlio" vince il Nastro d' argentoMoretti conquista anche Taormina Dopo la Palma d' oro e il David, "La stanza del figlio" vince il Nastro d' argento". Corriere della Sera. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014.

External links[edit]