This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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…
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…
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…
Very tough, extremely powerful watch.
Brutally honest and jarringly realistic, this film keeps you fixated on it's simple story through shear quality of acting and the ingenuity of it's writing.
The movie makes you feel terrible and hopeful, while never pandering or pleading it's case. Just an unmitigated and uncompromising depiction of life as a pregnant woman in a country that does not allow abortion.
I don't believe the full title is mentioned in the film but it imbues every moment of the narrative in this urgent and necessarily disturbing piece of work. As grim and challenging as anything I've seen. A worthy Palme d'Or winner.
I'm surprised Gabita even managed to get pregnant considering how she can't seem to do anything without Otilia's help.
Increíblemente cruda y fuerte, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days es tan realista que te hace sentir el miedo y desesperación de las protagonistas. Tiene una de las escenas más abrumadoras que he visto en el cine hasta ahora y que jamás olvidaré. La actriz que interpretó a Otilia lo hizo perfectamente, siempre la vemos decidida aunque con angustia. El personaje de Gabita no me cayó bien, durante toda la película no hace lo que se le pide correctamente y me pareció irresponsable de su parte haber hecho pasar a Otilia por tan horribles circunstancias. Definitivamente no voy a poder dejar de pensar en esta película durante mucho tiempo.
Unbelievable plot, Exceptional cinematography, Intense Acting..Hard to Digest ! .. Class !
Still tense, with an ability to make you feel the time passing
Anyone Pro-Life should watch this movie. I'm not condemning anyone...just watch it. Friendship is put through the test during what must be the longest day of all time. If you think the abortion scene is intense, stick around for the family dinner. One of the best movies to come out of the decade.
There is something unholy cinematic about the unravelling of this tale despite how quaint many of the scenes are. Maybe it was the use of extended takes. Maybe I am just really taken aback by the gloominess of the area of Romania presented within - it's so ragged and torn down and I couldn't help but be drawn to things like flickering hallway lights and the mud on the streets.
Really is just an expertly filmed, expertly written and expertly performed drama. I don't have much to say except I am glad I continue to judge movies by their titles because I was expecting a tale about sobriety and I am always glad when I am wrong about what a movie is going to be about.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…
in no particular order