|4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile 2007 Romania 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days|
Summary: There was a loud outcry when Romania's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days failed to garner a 2008 Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film, and it could certainly be argued that this extraordinary movie was unfairly overlooked. At the very least, had it been nominated, it would have offered a stark contrast to Best Picture contender Juno. Whereas the latter is a funny, touching tale of a teenage girl who decides to find more suitable parents for her soon-to-be-born child, 4 Months is a decidedly bleak look at a time and place when one of the two alternatives to adoption (i.e., keeping the child) is beyond consideration and the other is an illegal, highly dangerous last resort.
It takes a while for the viewer to realize that abortion is the subject of director Cristian Mungiu's film; for the first 40 minutes or so, all we know is that Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) and Gabita (Laura Vasiliu), college roommates in a country still controlled by the Ceausescu dictatorship, are up to something they'd prefer to keep secret.
Gabita, it develops, is pregnant. She is also an innocent, scared screw-up who's unable to handle any of the necessary details involved in solving her problem, which obliges the far more capable Otilia to take care of everything from booking the hotel and meeting the abortionist to buying black market cigarettes for the pair. What follows is anything but cute, clever, or romantic. Mr. Bebe (Vlad Ivanov), the abortionist, is a straightforward but frightening character who demands more than money for his services.
Meanwhile, Adi, Otilia's boyfriend, is a decent but essentially clueless fellow who insists that she attend his mother's birthday party on the very day that the two girls have checked into the hotel where Gabita's procedure takes place; the two scenes in which we meet Bebe and Adi's parents, reveal Mongiu's mastery of his medium and are at once intense, discomfiting, and completely riveting. And if Oscar voters missed the boat, many other didn't: among numerous other plaudits for the film was the '07 Palme d'Or at Cannes.