I’m sick – waaaaahhhhhh. A really bad cold or terrible allergies, one or the other. I have completely lost my voice and so I’m looking for an old favorite to pop in the DVD player. I’ve been thinking about Nanni Moretti because I’m wishing I was in Italy and could go see his Habeus Papum at the theaters.
I’m going to dig out on old review of mine and then watch it – if you haven’t seen The Son’s Room – why the heck not? The Son’s Room – La Stanza Del Figlio
Nanni Moretti says that he’s a different kind of film director, one who only makes movies when there’s something he wants to say. He rarely does interviews, and when he does one he comes off a little like a dick, seeming offended and/or bored by all the questions. He’s intensely private and I’m guessing a little self-indulgent. But that’s OK. Artists can get away with that stuff. Especially this artist.
I could argue that his Cannes Palme D’Or winning movie, The Son’s Room ( La Stanza Del Figlio) might have been even better with a more skilled actor in the leading role (it was played by Moretti). I could make a case that having written, directed and acted in the movie there is too much of him in it, and that the themes are too heavy-handed. But I’m just being petulant – Nanni Moretti rubs me the wrong way but he makes great movies and The Son’s Room is exceptional.
Moretti has done what I like best in films and books – he’s taken something huge and made it simple. The story he came out of hiding to tell this time was about a very ordinary family and what happens to it when tragedy strikes. A son dies and everyone is paralyzed. The father, played by Moretti, can’t work. The mother, played by Laura Morante, can’t contain her grief and makes every social interaction awkward because of it. The daughter, played so naturally by Jasmine Trinca, is terrified watching her parents fall apart and fear manifests itself in inappropriate and angry outbursts. It’s authentically told and evokes authentic emotions without being overly sentimental. It’s just a really sad movie and I watched it trying to hold in that really ugly cry that ruins makeup.
There might be a little overacting, but there is no over telling. It’s the broken teapot, the uncalled fouled in the basketball game, and a letter written to the son from a girl he hardly knew that threaten to send this family over the edge. And it’s something simple that saves it.