Nobel Son | Chicago Reader

Nobel Son

A pumping electro-rock score sets the tone for this coldhearted comedy, the second screenwriting project of Randall Miller and Jody Sevin (Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School). Its main attraction is Alan Rickman as a snide chemistry professor who wins the Nobel Prize and lords it over his wife (Mary Steenburgen), son (Bryan Greenberg), and disgruntled colleagues. Unfortunately most of the screen time goes to the son, who's kidnapped and held for ransom by a vicious car mechanic (Shawn Hatosy) with obscure ties to the father. The plot twists are mostly predicated on the characters' improbably shifting loyalties, the sort of thing you can get away with only when the people in your movie are drained of all compassion. Enjoy. Miller directed; with Eliza Dushku, Bill Pullman, Danny DeVito, and Ted Danson. R, 110 min.

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