Director, co-writer and star Nanni Moretti is Giovanni, an Italian psychoanalyst with patients ranging from obsessive-compulsive to sexual perversion.He has a picturesque family life, a lovely wife, and two attractive teenagers ó one girl, one boy. Giovanni has the feeling of his son slipping away, especially after he is suspended for possibly stealing a school-owned fossil, something the son wholeheartedly denies doing. In an attempt to reach out, Giovanni tries to connect deeper with his son; one morning when they plan for a jog, one of Giovanniís patients calls, and some of the sonís friends invite him to go diving, which comes to a tragic end. The emotions that the family experiences upon finding out of the boyís death are raw and real. There is nothing artificial or put-on about their remorse, their grief, their despondency, their guilt. (The scene where Giovanni comes to get his daughter from the middle of a basketball game was perfect.) All in all, the film stood well as being austere and emotionally based. Later on when the sonís ďgirlĒ-friend comes, and the family goes through a transitional journey, itís clear that it is a vicariously reasoned choice; their closure comes from the witnessed and willing departure they gather for the friend. Not all of the characters are distinctly defined, or at least not to the extent that they could have been, such as the wife and even to a point the son, but the observation is a keen one. Moretti and the other writers Linda Ferri and Heidrun Schleefís foreshadowing of Giovanniís suspicions and the way he analyzes situations are strong blocks in their construction, and yet they are subtly utilized to the highest extent. The Sonís Room is also stocked (stored, maybe?) with poignant symbolism ó like of what had already been cracked (in the family), what Giovanni cracks and what cracks on its own, all shown through the tea kettle. Moretti assembles a magnificent cast, particularly Jasmine Trinca as his daughter. She is a marvelous actress with a broad range of talent and emotion and is searing by turning a minimal role into an unforgettable one.
With Laura Morante, Sofia Vigliar, Giuseppe Sanfelice and Silvio Orlando.[Absolutely to be seen.]