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4 MONTHS 3 WEEKS 2 DAYS

SYNOPSIS:
Otilia (Anamaria Mariunca) and Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) share a room in a student dormitory at the University in a small town in Romania, during 1987, the last year of communism. One afternoon, Otilia rents a room in a cheap hotel, where they are going to meet a certain Mr. Bebe (Vlad Ivanov). Gabita is pregnant, abortion is illegal - and frighteningly new to both girls. Neither Br Bebe nor the process turns out to be what was expected and the ramifications of the event are destined to ripple through their lives.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A somewhat surprise - but deserved - winner of the 2007 Palme d'Or, 4/3/2 is the first in what will be a trilogy of films director Cristian Mingiu is making that are all set in what he ironically calls the Golden Age of Romanian communism. More of a grey cement age, if this film is a guide, and having lived in an East European communist country myself, I can (sadly) vouch for its authenticity of tone and mood. This is a world where Western cigarettes, Tic Tacs and other items are available on the ubiquitous black market. Abortions, too.

But there isn't a word about the regime in this starkly original film, only clues in the dialogue that hint at the world in which the characters endure life. There isn't any music, either, adding to the sense of cold isolation. In the process of telling the story, Cristian Mingiu sticks to the essentials, mostly with a steady eye, his camera observing as the drama unfolds. Each scene is filmed with a point of view that subtly impacts on our perception.

Performances are naturalistic and flawless, and Mingiu's dialogue sounds as if he were recording real life. Ostensibly about an illegal abortion, the script manages to set off a multitude of firecrackers about Romania 1987 in particular and humanity in general. Impressive, haunting and of lasting value, 4/3/2 is a great example of the Cannes jury getting it right; this is the kind of film that deserves the accolade for having something to say and saying it in cinematic language of a high order, yet with humble methods.

Published October 18, 2007

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

4 MONTHS 3 WEEKS 2 DAYS (MA)
(Romania, 2007)

4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile

CAST: Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov, Alexandru Potocean, Ion Sapdaru, Teodor Corban, Tania Popa, Ceraselia Iosifescu, Doru Ana, Eaugenia Bosanceanu, Marioara Sterian

PRODUCER: Cristian Mingiu, Oleg Mutu

DIRECTOR: Cristian Mingiu

SCRIPT: Cristian Mingiu

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Oleg Mutu

EDITOR: Dana Bunescu

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mihaela Poenaru

RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Kojo Pictures

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 18, 2007







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