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, ...
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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
Alan Rickman wore prosthetic teeth for his role as Eli Michaelson. See more »
A studio boom mic is clearly visible when the reporter is giving a report from the families' front yard, even though the reporter is speaking into a microphone. See more »
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.
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Greetings again from the darkness. "Bottle Shock" director Randall Miller is back ... only "Nobel Son" was filmed first (you really have to love the Hollywood system). While "Bottle Shock" was a pretty straight forward re-telling of a wine industry break through, this film takes us on a dark ride with blazingly quick turns. It can be taken as a entertaining thriller/who-dunnit to who, or even as a psychological study on egotistical, domineering parents.
Much of the "Bottle Shock" crew is back ... Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman and Eliza Dushka. Add Mary Steenburgen, Shawn Hatosy (Outside Providence, The Cooler), Danny Devito and Ted Dansen, and you have an odd, but talented cast to deliver your odd, but entertaining film.
Alan Rickman plays the role he seems born to play ... arrogant self-diagnosed genius. His family and co-workers somehow tolerate him despite his blindness to their own talents. This is especially problematic once Rickman becomes a Nobel Prize winner. Without giving anything away, his son, played by Bryan Greenberg (Prime) is kidnapped and held for the $2 million Nobel prize money ... by a guy with ties to Rickman's character. That is the simple part. After that, the script flies through its twists and turns creating quite a mess of fun! Bill Pullman is the detective on the case and he draws from his voice pattern as the odd realtor in "You Kill Me", all while pining for Steenburgen ... who is a brilliant forensic expert in her own right. Danny Devito takes an odd turn as the Reformed OCD gardener who has a couple of memorable scenes. Eliza Duska (the bar owner in Bottle Shock) is quite memorable as the stunningly dark poet who captures Nobel Son's heart the evening before he is nabbed. Coincidence??? What I find most interesting about the script is that it could have focused on any number of story lines. Steenburgen, Rickman and Dushka all have characters that could be developed further. But it really works here to have the division and balance.
My only warning here is to be prepared for a Guy Ritchie-type experience. There are times of rapid-fire edits and crazy techno-mod music that will challenge your ability to follow along and keep up. I believe it just adds to the fun in this case.
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