The Son's Room

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The Son's Room
La stanza del figlio.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by Nanni Moretti
Produced by Angelo Barbagallo
Nanni Moretti
Written by Nanni Moretti
Starring Nanni Moretti
Laura Morante
Jasmine Trinca
Giuseppe Sanfelice
Silvio Orlando
Sofia Vigliar
Claudio Santamaria
Stefano Accorsi
Simona Lisi
Music by Nicola Piovani
Distributed by Sacher Film
Release date
9 March 2001
Running time
99 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

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.


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, but later confesses to his mother Paola 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, 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, but Paola reminds him the verdict was that it was functioning properly. Giovanni begins having difficulty analyzing his patients, including the one he saw on the day Andrea died.

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 and invite 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 amusing.


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.[1] He came up with the story when he learned his wife was pregnant with a boy.[2]

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.[3] 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.[1]


Critical reception[edit]

The film received positive reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes measuring an 84% approval rating.[4] Roger Ebert gave it three and a half stars, writing, "Sometimes in a quite ordinary way a director can reach out and touch us."[2] 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.[5] 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."[6] Meredith Brody of The Chicago Reader said the film demonstrated "tender skill."[7] Time Out praised it as "Subtle, psychologically astute and engagingly unassertive in tone," concluding it is "A gem."[8] Michael Wilmington of The Chicago Tribune called the film "moving."[9]

The film appears in Empire's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time at number 480.[10] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, included the film in its list of ten 'Best films of the noughties' (2000-2009).[11]


The Son's Room was the winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival,[12] noted for being the first Italian film to win the highest Cannes honour in over 20 years.[13] The film was Italy's submission to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film,[14] but it was not nominated.

Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Nanni Moretti Won [13]
FIPRESCI Prize Nanni Moretti Won
César Awards Best Foreign Film Nanni Moretti Nominated [15]
David di Donatello Awards Best Film The Son's Room Won [16]
Best Director Nanni Moretti 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 Best Film Angelo Barbagallo and Nanni Moretti Nominated [17]
Best Actress Laura Morante Nominated
Nastro d'Argento Silver Ribbon Nanni Moretti Won [18]
Guglielmo Biraghi Award Jasmine Trinca Won


  1. ^ a b Mottram, James (28 October 2014). "The Son's Room". BBC. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (1 March 2001). "The Son's Room". Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Eleanor Andrews, Place, Setting, Perspective: Narrative Space in the Films of Nanni Moretti, Rowman & Littlefield, 26 September 2014, p. 26, ISBN 1611476917
  4. ^ "LA STANZA DEL FIGLIO (THE SON'S ROOM) (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Holden, Stephen (12 October 2001). "FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS; A Family Stunned When Death Strikes". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  6. ^ Rooney, David (16 March 2001). "Review: 'The Son's Room'". Variety. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  7. ^ Brody, Meredith. "The Son's Room". The Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  8. ^ GA. "The Son's Room". Time Out. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  9. ^ Wilmington, Michael (1 March 2002). "Moving 'Son's Room'". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  10. ^ "The 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time". Empire. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  11. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (25 December 2009). "Best films of the noughties". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Son's Room". Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  13. ^ a b Turan, Kenneth (21 May 2001). "'Son's Room' Wins Palme". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  14. ^ Feiwell, Jill (19 November 2001). "51 countries bid for Oscar". Variety. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  15. ^ "France's movie academy says oui to 'Amelie'". The Chicago Tribune. 5 February 2002. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  16. ^ Rooney, David (11 April 2001). "'Room' rules rome". Variety. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  17. ^ "Moretti contro Bridget Jones per l'Oscar europeo". La Repubblica. 7 November 2001. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  18. ^ 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. 

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