4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)
November 7, 2018 11:08 AM - Subscribe

Romania, 1987, the brutal Ceausescu communist regime is in place; birth control is illegal and abortion is a crime punishable by death. Gabita is almost five months into an unwanted pregnancy and in meek desperation turns to her friend and roommate, Otilia for help in organizing an illegal termination. Unfortunate circumstances force the two women to use an unwanted male abortionist, Bebe.

From Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu. Original title: 4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile.
posted by DirtyOldTown (7 comments total)
96% on Rotten Tomatoes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:09 AM on November 7, 2018

Absolutely, heart-breakingly, fist-shaking, why-is-the-world-such-a-godawful-place bleak.

The naturalism in the performances and the minimalism of the technique amplify the realism of the story. There are times when an entire scene will unfold from a single camera angle, even as that angle is, on and off, in a poor position to actually see what is going on. This is never accidental. You're trapped and with limited options, the same as Gabita and Otilia. Sometimes, Mungiu's framing spares you. Sometimes, it corners you. Other times, it implicates you.

Mungiu is a fantastic talent and this film--while it is tremendously sad and upsetting--is just stunning. This is an important and serious work.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:12 AM on November 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

This is only available for rental as a streaming option in the US right now. But I wanted to make sure I posted Mungiu's seminal work before I post his later film Graduation, which is, fortunately easily available in the US on Netflix.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:17 AM on November 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh hey look... the full film on YouTube with English subtitles.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:59 PM on November 7, 2018

This movie is fantastic and heartbreaking.
posted by graventy at 9:24 AM on November 8, 2018

Here's a list for you. It shows where 4M,3W,2D ranked in various Best Films of 2007 rankings.

A.O. Scott, The New York Times 1st
Dana Stevens, Slate 1st
Liam Lacey and Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail 2nd
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter 2nd
Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor 3rd
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times 3rd
Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter 3rd
Scott Foundas, LA Weekly 3rd
Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe 3rd
Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times 3rd
Ella Taylor, LA Weekly 4th
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times 4th
Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times 5th
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly 8th
Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter 9th
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:31 AM on November 8, 2018

This film could probably use a content warning but I wouldn't know how to phrase it.

Holy shit, Anamaria Marinca is absurdly charismatic in this.

Did I read it right, that when Otilia was on her mission of trying to dispose of the fetus, and she couldn't find a taxi, there was a guy in a coat who was probably following her, right, but she managed to discourage him by asking him questions long enough for the cops she'd spotted to walk by? That whole sequence was fucking terrifying.. When the camera follows Ositia closely everywhere but then stops short and lets her go once it spies a certain ominous looking dumpster.

I watched Marriage Story last night and I was having trouble caring enough to comment on it. It felt so fake and the stakes felt so low. I read a bit of one review that called it "lacerating", which lol.
posted by fleacircus at 10:33 PM on January 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

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