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4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
At what moment do we begin to live?
Gabita is pregnant, abortion is strictly forbidden in Romania during the communist regime. Despite this it is common practice and Gabita wants an abortion. The movie follows her and her friend Otilia during the day she has made the appointment with Mr. Bebe to have the abortion.
It's deftly realistic, stark and emotionally shattering, but the biggest accomplishment of writer-director Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is its illumination of how the simple flourishes are often the hardest hitting ones. Each scene is set in one take; no cuts or fancy shots permeate the unflinchingly harrowing story. Only the camera lingers on this raw and real series of movements to let unfold its simplistic narrative almost like a book, and the reward in it is astounding.
For a film dubbed the abortion movie, it couldn't be further from this simple definition. At its main conflict nearing the halfway point this becomes finally spoke of and terribly hard to watch as an illegal one is…
By chance, I am watching this on Mother's Day. I make no apologies.
This film contains three stunning moments of sacrifice (well, more, really, but three that stood out). The first is when Otilia sleeps with the abortionist for Gabita (who then also sleeps with him). It's a disgusting moment, as the man forces a woman in a moment of pure vulnerability to pleasure him, despite being entirely off-camera. It's the most gut-churning moment of the entire film. It's also the moment that makes it clear how the anti-abortion laws fully put women at the power of men, making it as sleazy and direct as possible.
The second moment is when Otilia goes to her boyfriend's house, despite her awful…
After the fall of Communism in 1989 Romania & a decade of struggle due to the post-revolution after-effects, a new breed of filmmakers started what soon turned out to be the resurgence of Romanian films in world cinema that has greatly impressed the film critics & viewers around the world over the course of the new millennium. And leading this cinematic wave & the most notable testament to Romania’s renaissance & steady prominence in today’s film world is none other than director Cristian Mungiu’s sociopolitical drama, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days which not only qualifies as arguably the finest film that Cinema of Romania has offered us so far but is also one of its decade’s most accomplished, powerful & haunting works of cinematic…
Students Otilia and Găbița share a room in a Romanian village. The latter appears, at the beginning of the films, to be pregnant and the former is busy trying to arrange an illegal abortion to help her friend. She rents an hotel room where a doctor will perform the operation, but things turn out more complicated than planned, especially as the baby is not two months in development, as Găbița claimed, but well over four (as the title suggests). 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days won Best Foreign Language awards all over the globe and, to top it all, the prestigious Palme d’Or as well and that in one of the strongest years of modern cinema. Those accolades are…
This is punishing and unforgiving cinema made without apology. There was nowhere to hide for the average Romanian citizen in 1987 and we are punished with the same rough treatment. Except we have the option to turn away without burden safe in the knowledge that we don't have to sacrifice our own identity in order to get though the ordeal.
Cristian Mungiu's long takes are a challenge to see which of us blink first. There are long moments of reflection and uncomfortable silences that feel truly suffocating at times. It can't be said we don't know where to look in these moments because we have no options. Our eyes are forced into the same condensed…
Winner of the prestigious Palme d'Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days is set in the final years of Communist Romania and tells the story of two young students named Otilia & Gabita, who are trying to transact an illegal abortion for the latter. When a doctor volunteering to do the then-forbidden job finally comes up, their hope is kindled but once his real motive surfaces, it results in a catastrophic incident that ends up changing the lives of both girls & their friendship, forever.
The plot is very silently structured & cleverly executed while the script maintains an effortless naturalness to keep the drama plausible and writer-director Cristian Mungiu has done a fabulous job in both…
rarely does a movie win me over like that. i was not feeling this for the first half or so. too dull, too meaningless, too much suffering for seemingly no payoff.
but when otilia goes to adi's mom's birthday party the film blooms into an incredible amount and richness of ideas. the warmth and effortless friendliness of the dinner party provides a stark contrast with the cold alienation and loneliness of the rest of the movie.
this is a movie where basically no one ever is ever on the same page (minus adi's family). the starkness of everyone's points of view often to the point of self-absorption make this a frustrating watch, but it encapsulates the kind of loneliness…
One of the most horrifying movies I've ever seen.
There is a remarkable quality of the films coming out of the Romanian New Wave with their understated approach, deliberate, and patient narratives, and their emotional power. With long takes and a camera that moves through locations with the characters it's a story that unfolds gradually with very emotional and challenging moments along the way for the women we are with. An amazing film that tells a story that resonates and stays with you for days.
Wow… There's a really great use of weight that is carried, metaphorically, by the two main woman. You'd think Gabita would carry the most weight with getting an abortion, but really, Otilia is . The last scene/moment of the film says it all. Gabita is causally eating dinner at the restaurant and Otilia is sitting there ridden by the past 24 hours and everything she went through to help a friend.
Film #14 of the Letterboxd Season Challenge
Week 16: Spiritually Significant Week
Before watching this film I was worried that I wouldn't like it because it wants us to sympathize with two people who want to get an abortion. But thankfully it is actually very anti abortion (well at least that's how I interpreted the film's message).
This is, without doubt, a very uncomfortable watch. Not because it's graphic (it's not really), but because of the subject matter and how the situation is presented. The script is really well written, balancing thought provoking themes as well as giving it a very real and matter of fact feel, even if one scene did play it to subtle. The performances are all…
Very good! Very realistic and hard to watch at times, but it's a great film
I'll join the chorus.
This is a uncompromisingly bleak, depressing, and utterly heart-wrenching work, with some astonishing performances, impressively deft writing, and accomplished camerawork. It's a rather simplistic tale told with the maximum of psychological depth and artistic effect, making it feel much more powerful and affecting than it otherwise would be. As a result, every action is heightened to become life-changing; every choice has devastating consequences. It's a truly moving film.
It reminded me a lot of Kieslowski's A Short Film About Killing, what with its communist setting, exceptionally realist approach, and decidedly dreary outlook on life, and it has a similar sort of subtle morality to it that's neither heavy-handed nor out of place. When the camera pans…
4M, 3W & 2D is well constructed and the long takes reveal the skill of the main actresses. Despite this, the film really suffers from its lack of aesthetic appeal. Sure, the long takes are always appreciated but the camera is constantly shaky and from really claustrophobic range. It essentially repels the audience away from it instead of asking people to immerse themselves within the plot. But largely, it is very solid, and one of the more poignant abortionist films, a special category which is still ruled by Leigh's truly powerful Vera Drake.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…