A smart aleck-y kidnapping caper that whooshes around to a thumping electronic beat, Nobel Son offers quotes from Ogden Nash and Pat Benatar, deploys a highfalutin synonym for cannibalism (anthropophagy), offers a movie-long commercial for the Mini Cooper, and features a hot candlelit sex scene on an apartment roof.
It's not boring, even if it's too gimmicky for its own good.
Directed by Bottle Shock's Randall Miller, Nobel Son stars Alan Rickman, camping it up as the monstrous Eli Michaelson, an ill-mannered, arrogant college professor who has just been awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry. A serial adulterer (currently getting it on with a student), Eli is pretty much insufferable. When his son, an anthropology Ph.D. candidate with $2.57 to his name, gets abducted on the day Eli and his forensic psychologist wife, Sarah (Mary Steenburgen), are heading to Stockholm to pick up the Nobel and its $2 million prize, the father thinks it's a cheap prank. Then, a severed thumb arrives by courier, enclosed with a ransom note.