Utterly engrossing, Golden Bear-winning study of bourgeois Romanian morality as the well-off Cornelia strives to keep her wayward son out of jail.
The deserving winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale, this sharply scripted Romanian feature centres on a characteristically excellent performance by Luminiţa Gheorghiu as Cornelia, a well-off, middle-aged architect determined to prevent her lazy, disaffected son Barbu going to jail after his reckless driving kills a child. How far will she go to persuade the cops, the judiciary and even those deep in grief that Barbu wasn’t speeding? A splendid blend of psychological realism and social commentary, this acerbic look at the none-too-discreet moral turpitude of the Romanian bourgeoisie grows into a pleasingly ambiguous study of obsessive maternal love; eventually neither we nor the characters can tell if Cornelia’s emotional outbursts are sincere, an act or whether she’s come to believe her own lies. Savagely witty, surprisingly compassionate and utterly engrossing.
Călin Peter Netzer was born in Romania in 1975 but in 1983 his parents emigrated to Germany, where he grew up. In 1994, he started attending courses at The National Theatre and Film University in Bucharest, Film Direction Department, and in 1999 obtained his diploma as a film director. His short and feature debuts, both entitled Maria (1997 and 2003) won awards at prestigious festivals around the world. His debut feature film was the Locarno International Film Festival highlight of 2003, obtaining the Grand Prize of the Jury and Silver Leopards for the two leading actors; it was also nominated for the EFA Awards. His next feature, Medal of Honour (2009), was selected for screening in more than 30 festivals and awarded the Silver Alexander and four other prizes at the Thessaloniki IFF 2009. It was also shown at the Turin, Miami, Los Angeles, Zagreb and Transylvania IFF and won two Romanian GOPO Awards for Best Leading Actor (Victor Rebengiuc) and Best Script (Tudor Voican). Child’s Pose is Netzer’s third feature film.
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