6.4/10
4,997
41 user 61 critic

Nobel Son (2007)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Barkley Michaelson is in a deep life rut. He's struggling to finish his PhD thesis when his father, the learned Eli Michaelson, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Barkley and his mother, ... See full summary »

Director:

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Matthew Barnes is a young exec on the move up who finds himself a pawn in corporate in-fighting when he's sent to London to oversee a merger. He's to replace John Gissing; Gissing's gotten ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Binder
Stars: Mike Binder, Tim Briggs, Allan Corduner
Mesmer (1994)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A biography of the eighteenth century Viennese physician, Franz Anton Mesmer, who used unorthodox healing practices based on his theory of "animal magnetism."

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Donal Donnelly, David Burke, Peter Dvorsky
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Set right after World War II, a naive teenage girl joins a shabby theatre troupe in Liverpool. During a winter production of Peter Pan, the play quickly turns into a dark metaphor for youth... See full summary »

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Georgina Cates
Blow Dry (2001)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The annual British Hairdressing Championship comes to Keighley, a town where Phil, and son, Brian, run a barbershop and Phil's ex-wife, Shelly, and her lover, Sandra, run a beauty salon. ... See full summary »

Director: Paddy Breathnach
Stars: Alan Rickman, Natasha Richardson, Rachel Griffiths
Dark Harbor (1998)
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A bickering couple drive fast through a downpour to catch the last ferry to their island retreat. In a flash, they recognize a crumpled body laying at the side of the road after much ... See full summary »

Director: Adam Coleman Howard
Stars: Alan Rickman, Polly Walker, Norman Reedus
Judas Kiss (1998)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman and her lover, who has made a living by running sex scams at hotels, decide to enter the big time by kidnapping a computer company owner and demanding $4 million ransom. The two ... See full summary »

Director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Stars: Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Carla Gugino
Closet Land (1991)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young writer is interrogated by a sadistic secret policeman. She is accused of embedding political messages in her children's stories. The entire movie takes place in one room, with only ... See full summary »

Director: Radha Bharadwaj
Stars: Madeleine Stowe, Alan Rickman
Bottle Shock (2008)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of the early days of California wine making featuring the now infamous, blind Paris wine tasting of 1976 that has come to be known as "Judgment of Paris".

Director: Randall Miller
Stars: Chris Pine, Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman
The Song of Lunch (TV Movie 2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A London publisher recounts a lunchtime reunion with a former lover, in poetic monologue.

Director: Niall MacCormick
Stars: Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Andi Soric
Dust VII (2013)
Short | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An alternative interpretation of a Tooth Fairy legend.

Directors: Ben Ockrent, Jake Russell
Stars: Lola Albert, Alan Rickman, Jodie Whittaker
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A recent widow who is determined to leave Scotland for Australia with her son gets an unexpected visit from her aging mother.

Director: Alan Rickman
Stars: Phyllida Law, Emma Thompson, Sheila Reid
Animation | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rupert, a ten year old boy, falls hopelessly in love for the first time. When it all goes terribly wrong, he wishes never to experience heartache again. Turning to a book of magic, he invokes a spell to shield him from emotion forever.

Director: Kealan O'Rourke
Stars: Alan Rickman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Max Mariner
...
...
...
Beth Chapman
...
...
...
Bill Canepa
...
Tully's Guy
...
Book Store Manager
...
Joyce Guy ...
Edit

Storyline

Barkley Michaelson is in a deep life rut. He's struggling to finish his PhD thesis when his father, the learned Eli Michaelson, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Barkley and his mother, Sarah, a renowned forensic psychiatrist, now have the ill-fortune of living with a man-eating monster whose philandering ways have gotten less and less discrete. As if Barkley's world is not bad enough, on the eve of his father receiving the Nobel, Barkley is kidnapped and the requested ransom is the $2,000,000 in Nobel prize money. Needless to say, Eli refuses to pay it and so starts a venomous tale of familial dysfunction, lust, betrayal and ultimately revenge. In the words of Michel De Montaigne, the 16th century philosopher: "There is more barbarity in eating a man alive than in eating him dead." Written by Randall Miller & Jody Savin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lust, betrayal, kidnapping... and you thought your family had problems! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent gruesome images, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le prix de la rançon  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$333,912 (USA) (5 December 2008)

Gross:

$333,912 (USA) (5 December 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Eli and Sarah are back in their house with the reporters on their lawn, the scene pans between the characters and the mantel. On the mantel is a black and white picture of a man with a mustache which actually happens to be younger Alan Rickman from a previous movie, probably around the time of his movie, Truly Madly Deeply. The picture can be seen multiple times in this scene. See more »

Goofs

During Barkley and City's love scene, a patch covering her right nipple is briefly visible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Barkley Michaelson: The French essayist, Michel de Montaigne, once said, "I think there is more barbarity in eating a man alive than in eating him dead." The wisdom of it. When you were a kid with an open soul, they told the world consists of good guys and bad guys. I always liked the bad guys. Scar Face over Superman.
See more »

Connections

References Scarface (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Roboslut
Written, produced & performed by The Crystal Method
Courtesy of Tiny E Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Nobel Son Movie Review from The Massie Twins
4 December 2008 | by (www.GoneWithTheTwins.com) – See all my reviews

Nobel Son is not an easy film to foretell, and with its constant genre-morphing subplots, psychotic characters and unordered narrative, it will keep you guessing all the way through. This escape from convention is not always a good thing – the first half hour of the film tries the patience and is so disjointed and seemingly nongermane that it's impossible to predict the relationships of the bizarre events. Once you've made it to the second act, pieces start to fall into place and realizations are hinted upon, but it doesn't stop there. More twists, more complexities and one too many unlikely coincidences might make you think twice before feeling satisfied by this suspenseful drama/dark comedy/horror/mystery thriller.

The opening scene consists of an alarmingly brutal thumb-severing bit of violence that perfectly paves the way for the unpredictable and mind-boggling adventure that follows. Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman, in a wonderfully despicable role that he continually excels at) has just been announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize for his stellar work in chemistry. He's egotistical, eccentric, uncaring and obnoxious, and has been handing out higher grades in exchange for sex with his young female students. His son Barkley (Bryan Greenberg) is struggling with his PhD thesis on cannibalism (his opening line of narration quotes Michel De Montaigne, a 16th century philosopher: "There is more barbarity in eating a man alive than in eating him dead."). He also struggles with an awkward romance with City Hall (Eliza Dushku), a morbid poet and artist with her own bountiful measure of oddness.

Eli's wife Sarah (Mary Steenburgen) is a renowned forensic psychiatrist who is fancied by Max Mariner (Bill Pullman), a somewhat crafty detective. On the morning of the family's trip to Sweden to attend the Nobel Prize party, Barkley is kidnapped and held for a $2 million ransom; the money awarded to Eli. From here, backstabbing, jealousy, lust and greed collide in nonstop twists and turns, proving that once again nothing is what it seems.

Every character in Nobel Son is devious, shrewd, freakish, obsessive compulsive or morally flawed (most often all of those combined) making it difficult to side with any of the numerous antiheros. The first plot surprise is unique and smart, but then the filmmakers try too hard and it becomes unnecessarily convoluted. This is where the unexpected genre confusion comes into play, at times heading down the path of taut mystery thriller, always mixing in dark, subtle humor (and blatant grossness with poetry reading from "Death By Drain-O" and verses involving bathing in excrement), and eventually borrowing from films like David Fincher's Seven, Body Heat, Wild Things and even Mission: Impossible.

Nobel Son is definitely a shock to the system, an unconventional film that reminds us of the chaos of those rare movies that breathe life into the most peculiar characters and situations. It's not perfect and its originality only comes from the amount of time that has passed since a movie like this was presented, but it's certainly worth a try.

  • Mike Massie



22 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
If you haven't seen this movie... uncfreight-1
Check out the reviews!!! You're wrong it tested very well!!! uncfreight-1
Puente Hills Mall leethalfelluns2
dvd???? demosxxx
Promotion? revcalamity
Has the release date been changed again? aprilataylor
Discuss Nobel Son (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?