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2 items from 2016

Film Review: ‘By the Rails’

26 July 2016 12:35 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A young couple’s relationship coalesces and fragments repeatedly, for cloudily motivated reasons, over the course of one fraught night in the diffuse and often frustrating third feature from Romanian director Catalin Mitulescu (“The Way I Spent the End of the World,” “Loverboy”). With episodic pacing despite the controlled one-night time frame, the film lacks any real buildup of momentum; in fact, the stakes seem to dwindle as the sky lightens and the ceaselessly turning wheel of make-up and break-up just keeps on spinning. The performances are committed, and nearly the whole middle section of the film is taken up with an entertainingly rambunctious wedding party that feels authentic in its random outbursts of violence and excessive sentimentality, but “By the Rails” stumbles hard in making its characters’ moody behaviors relatable, or even particularly interesting to anyone but, apparently, each other.

The solipsism of the central relationship essentially derives from »

- Jessica Kiang

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Karlovy Vary Review: ‘By The Rails’ Is A Romanian Relationship Drama That Hits A Dead End

7 July 2016 8:49 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Adrian’s wife, Eva, appears to be the only woman who doesn’t want to have sex with him. Working as a waiter at a beautiful Italian beach resort, Adrian (Alexandru Potaceanu) is surprised to discover that the air grows thick when he tells his boss that he wants some time off in order to visit his spouse and their son, whom he hasn’t seen in a year. His employer is resentful — burned too many times by migrant workers who have promised to return only to leave her in the lurch — but she also appears to feel rejected. On the long bus back towards Bucharest, there’s an encounter with another passenger, a girl whose overture towards Adrian is so subtle that it makes the gestures in “Carol” seem virtually pornographic by comparison.

When he arrives in Romania, however, he finds that Eva (Ada Condeescu) is cold and distant »

- David Ehrlich

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