Movie Review: Nobel Son (2007)

Posted: December 3, 2011 in Comedy

Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman) is a philandering chemistry teacher currently cheating on his wife, Sarah (Mary Steenbergen) with one of his students. Eli is on the brink of winning the Nobel Prize. Eli’s son Barkley (Bryan Greenberg) has never quite measured up to Eli’s standards of what a son should be. Barkley is a student, doing his Master’s thesis on cannibalism.  Barkley’s chasing after a poet named City Hall, (Eliza Dushku) after bedding City, Barkley goes home to fly to Switzerland to join his parents for the Nobel Prize Ceremony, when he is kidnapped by Thaddeus James.  (Shawn Hatosy) Thaddeus asks Eli for two million dollars and sends Eli and Sarah Barkley’s thumb. Sarah, who is a forensic pathologist, calls in her friend, Detective Max Mariner (Bill Pullman) to investigate the kidnapping.  What does Mariner find out?  Is this kidnapping only for the money?  Or is there a deeper, darker reason for the events that transpire?

This is a great movie, bizarre, yet funny.  This movie twists about three times before it settles on an ending and it’s a satisfying ending.  It isn’t every movie about kidnapping and cannibalism that is funny. Alan Rickman is hilarious as a womanizing, egomaniacal college professor.  Mary Steenbergen is the sea of calm while storms are going on all around her. Why would Steenbergen stay with a louse like Rickman? Wait to find the answer.   Bill Pullman is funny in an understated way, as a character with an obvious crush on Steenbergen’s character. Dushku and Hatosy turn up the crazy and make the movie funny and unique. There are so many cross-currents and undercurrents, and inter-relationships between the characters that the viewer truly doesn’t know what’s coming next. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Nobel  Son. Prize Winning Black Comedy


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