Sunday, February 22, 2009

Muriels: Best Picture, 15th Place

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (67 points/7 votes)

"One of the primary reasons why I love 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days - not the easiest of films to love - is that it defies so many expectations. When you hear someone talk about a 'Romanian abortion movie' you'll probably develop a sudden interest in doing your taxes, maybe finding a boiling pot in need of watching, but this is no drab film about drab people justified by a self-important artsy ‘message'. Instead, it's a tightly controlled but passionate wail, a protest against the indignities and absurdities of everyday life, not just under Communist totalitarianism, but anywhere that a person has to deal with clueless roommates, boring dinner party guests, obnoxious desk clerks.

"4 Months is also probably the most gripping, suspenseful thriller that I saw all year, climaxing in a scene of pure, existential horror; a blacker-than-black comedy with jokes so dry they hurt; and one of the most precisely crafted directorial achievements of the year, with director Cristian Mungiu demonstrating total control and precision in our viewing experience, tempered by an unsparing, but generous, vision of humanity. It's a complete experience: a smart, honest, perceptive film that also manages to be competely gripping and entertaining - although not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach." ~ Jeff McMahon


Phillip Kelly said...

Wait. A. Second. This wasn't 2008, was it? It was out in 2007. I remember it being around in 2007, and it was one of my favorites from that year! What's going on??

Steve C. said...

NYC release date is our yardstick. January '08 by that.