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A gripping combination of political history and personal intrigue, Pablo Larraín's No (2012, Network, 15) dramatically recounts the campaign to remove General Pinochet from power during the 1988 Chilean referendum. Based on a stage play by Antonio Skármeta, the action centres on René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal), an advertising executive enlisted to sell the "No" campaign to a nation with the slogan "Happiness is coming", to the displeasure of the hard-line politicos who believe he's belittling their cause.
The completion of a thematic trilogy (following Tony Manero and Post Mortem), No benefits from Larraín's bold use of boxy, grainy U-matic video stock, which enables him to blend latterday recreations with authentic archival TV footage. The result is a seamless mix of fact and fiction, brought together through a unifying aesthetic in which the medium perfectly fits the message.
At times »
- Mark Kermode
★★★★☆ It's been a remarkable decade for Romanian cinema. While Cristi Puiu and Corneliu Porumboiu both delivered impressive works with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) and Police, Adjective (2009) respectively, it was arguably Cristian Mungiu's 2007 Palme d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days that crystallised the movement and defined the Romanian New Wave. The shadow of Nicolae Ceausescu and brutal communist regime is still a key thematic concern for Mungiu but, with Beyond the Hills (2012), he pushes it to the background, focusing his steely gaze on the lost souls struggling to find purpose in new Romania.
Based on two non-fiction books by Tatiana Niculescu, Beyond the Hills follows Alina (Cristina Flutur) as she returns to her hometown to take her childhood friend Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) back to Germany with her. Both women grew up at the same orphanage, where they forged a strong, ambiguous connection. But, while Alina has been away, Voichita has »
- CineVue UK
Director: Cristian Mungiu
Running Time: 155 minutes
Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills is a story of heartache, battling demons and dealing with life in a convent in rural Romania. It’s tiring merely reading the synopsis, and watching the film is just as much of a battle as being based on a real life story, Mungiu makes sure that we are looking at this story at real life pace.
From the get go there is heightened agony; our protagonists meet at a train station, and within seconds one of them is sobbing their heart out. It sets the story out as a mission – to figure out why she is already in tears.
Performances from Cosmina Stratatan and Cristina Flutur as the estranged ex lovers are what makes the film. Alina’s (Flutur) story might be the forefront of »
- Lucy Cave
Cannes Film Festival awards: 2013 winners (image: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, 2013 Cannes Film Festival poster) The 2013 Cannes Film Festival came to a close on Sunday evening. Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is the Warmest Color, about the love affair between a woman in her 20s and another in her teens, took home the Palme d’Or. Palme d’Or: Blue Is the Warmest Color / La Vie d’Adèle by Abdellatif Kechiche (Note: the jury made a point of giving the Palme d’Or to Kechiche and the film’s two leading ladies, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux) Grand Prix: Inside Llewyn Davies by Joel and Ethan Coen Jury Prize: Like Father, Like Son by Kore-eda Hirokazu Best Director: Amat Escalante for Heli Best Actress: Bérénice Bejo for Asghar Farhadi’s The Past / Le Passé Best Actor: Bruce Dern for Alexander Payne’s Nebraska Best Screenplay: Jia Zhangke for A Touch of »
- Andre Soares
Beyond The Hills is a slow-paced but unnerving movie based on real events that occurred in Romania a decade ago. It’s not a horror film but imagine if Ingmar Bergman had directed The Exorcist and you might get a handle on its tone. There are no spinning heads or levitation but what is most scary about Beyond The Hills is the knowledge that it really happened. It’s an unsubtle indictment of the backwardness of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church but like many good films, there is more than one way to read the story and the religious and personal experiences of the viewer may shape that interpretation.
The setting for Beyond The Hills is a monastery in a remote Romania mountain village to which twenty-something Alina (Cristina Flutur) has travelled to visit her childhood friend Voichita (Cosmina Stratan). The two grew up in an orphanage together but Alina »
- Tom Stockman
Beyond the Hills
Directed by Cristian Mungiu
Written by Cristian Mungiu
Dreadful anticipation, the kind that most mainstream horror films strive for and fail to achieve, permeates every second of Beyond the Hills, a new film from Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu. The film, a patient, uneasy drama about the nature and presence of evil set against the backdrop of a small Romanian monastery and its newest member, grows more and more disturbing as its players go to the extremes to banish out the perceived other from their would-be purified community. Though Beyond the Hills has a too-slow first act, on the whole, the film is quietly devastating.
Cosmina Stratan plays Voichiţa, a young woman ensconced in that monastery since leaving an orphanage where she spent her childhood. As Beyond the Hills opens, she picks up her old friend from the orphanage, Alina (Cristina Flutur), so they can live out »
- Josh Spiegel
Cristian Mungiu's prize-winning film is a powerful and sombre meditation on faith and friendship in present-day Romania
Eight years ago the appearance of Cristi Puiu's The Death of Mr Lazarescu, a stoical, grimly funny story about the ghastly legacy of the Ceausescu regime, won a major prize at Cannes. It was soon followed by Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes and seemed to confirm that something remarkable was happening in the Romanian cinema. Now, after a longish wait, Mungiu has made another feature, Beyond the Hills, a painful and exacting picture that confirms his position as a film-maker of the first rank.
4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days was set during a single wintry afternoon and evening in 1987 during the rule of Ceausescu and centres around two female students sharing a room in a bleak university dormitory. One is blond, honest, self-sacrificing, the other dark-haired, »
- Philip French
Beyond The Hills (12A)
Romanian patriarchy had a lot to answer for in Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, and it's even more to blame in this powerful convent drama. It starts with a young woman coming to visit her former girlfriend, who's now a nun, but events increasingly spiral out of control, to the extent that romantic frustration is diagnosed as demonic possession… and duly treated.
Doing for Vegas-style magic what Blades Of Glory did for figure skating, Carell and co conjure just enough comedy out of a sitting-duck premise, as their cheesy stage act is threatened by Carrey's Blaine-style endurance stunts.
The Paperboy (15)
(Lee Daniels, »
- Steve Rose
Stalemate: Mungiu follows up Palme d’Or Winner with Intense Religious Stand-off
Five years have passed since Romanian director Cristian Mungiu’s critically acclaimed 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days hoisted Romania into the World Cinema Big Leagues by winning the coveted Palme d’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Winner of the Best Screenplay and Best Actress ex aequo for both lead performances of Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan, Beyond the Hills is a heightening of that style to its most intense and harrowing essence – one that has proven to be one of the most divisive films from the so-called Romanian New Wave yet.
Based on a real-life incident, Mungiu’s latest follows a lone young woman into a remote monastery to find her childhood friend and to resettle in Romania. The film opens with a tearful reunion of the two women when Alina (Cristina Flutur) returns from working in Germany. »
- Moen Mohamed
Beyond the Hills
Directed by: Cristian Mungiu
Running Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Release Date: March 15, 2013 (Chicago)
Plot: A nun (Stratan) reunites with her friend (Flutur) from a past orphanage, and invites her to stay at the convent, with troublesome results.
Who’S It For? With its pacing and subject matter, this is for people ready for some lengthy cold European drama.
Beyond the Hills is an emotionally frost-bitten movie of hushed voices and the constant visual of seeing the back of someone’s head, (even though they’re talking) which is a thoughtful cocktail that makes for a compelling image in the beginning. But, this all eventually becomes incredibly starchy as the movie refuses to pick up its pace. Even the performances, which chime better toward the third act when they are put to more constructive purposes, become tired as characters hardly evolve. »
- Nick Allen
The chilling story of an exorcism in a Romanian monastery is the backdrop for an anatomy of an exhausted, bewildered society
Cristian Mungiu's eerie drama about two young women in a Romanian monastery – based on the true story from 2005 of a novice being subjected to an exorcism – has arrived in the UK. It is chilling, bizarre and mysterious: a social realist, or maybe social real-time-ist depiction of an unfolding catastrophe stemming from sexual and emotional frustration, irrationality, poverty and fear in the dark heart of central Europe. For me, a repeat viewing refocused the attention and the blame. What seems important a second time is not the authoritarianism and group hysteria of the monastery, but rather the hospital which, through pure bureaucratic weari-ness or inter-institutional complicity, releases a disturbed young woman into the nuns' care. Bewildered, befuddled Romanian society in general is what is culpable: a directionless, hopeless world. »
- Peter Bradshaw
Chicago – There is an excellent 90-minute film hidden somewhere within the two-and-a-half-hour ordeal that is Cristian Mungiu’s “Beyond the Hills.” It’s far from a bad film, and offers many sequences of entrancing power, but simply doesn’t have enough material to justify its sprawling running time. Instead of probing deeper, the picture merely becomes repetitive.
There’s also a dour sense of inevitability that overtakes the suspense at about the one-hour mark. The final outcome is obvious long before it arrives onscreen, and the same could be said of Mungiu’s previous effort, 2007’s Palme d’Or winner, “4 Months, 3 Weeks and Days.” Yet whereas that brilliant film was fueled by its often excruciating tension, “Hills” unfolds with a ponderously cynical logic. Though Mungiu’s work has brought tremendous global attention to the Romanian film industry, neither film will do the country’s tourism market any favors.
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Why They're On Our Radar: Many heads were turned following the announcement of last May's Cannes Film Festival winner for Best Actress where, despite the long list of veteran and established actresses many felt certain would take the prize, the award went to not one, but two actresses who have never before appeared in a film. Cosmina Stratan was working as a TV and print journalist when she came under consideration for one of the leads in Cristian Mungiu's new film "Beyond the Hills," while Cristina Flutur worked as a classical theater actress. Neither worked in film before and suddenly their lives have turned into a whirlwind of press, news, and awards. There was no doubt much anticipation for Mungiu's return to Cannes, as his last trip in 2007 for abortion drama "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days" famously cemented Romanian's emergence as a major player in contemporary world cinema by taking home a Palme d'Or, »
- Eric Mattina
Chicago – Five years after revitalizing the Romanian film industry with his 2007 Palme d’Or winner, “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” filmmaker Cristian Mungiu returned to the Cannes Film Festival with his eagerly awaited follow-up, “Beyond the Hills.” Mungiu won the screenplay prize while his leading ladies, newcomers Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, each received acting accolades.
Art house audiences in Chicago will have the chance to catch Mungiu’s chilling drama when it opens Friday at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema. The fact-based tale centers on two old friends, Voichita (Stratan) and Alina (Flutur), who reconnect at an isolated monastery that appears to have been frozen in time. Though Alina expects her friend (and former lover) to leave with her, Voichita opts for a life of devout worship with the nuns rather than embrace mortal pleasures. Alina’s enraged acts of rebellion are interpreted by Voichita’s fellow nuns as demonic possession, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Tags: RomaniaBeyond the HillsCosmina StratanCristina FluturIMDb
Beyond the Hills has won several awards at international film festivals since it premiered in 2012, and now it is finally hitting theaters this month in limited cities. The Romanian film from director Cristian Mungiu follows a relationship between two young women who have known each other their entire lives. There is certainly more than a friendship to their involvement, though their relationships with God, the church, and society complicate things for them in the worst ways.
Cristina Flutur plays Alina, who returns to Romania from Germany where she spent five years after fleeing from her orphanage where she met and grew up beside Voichita (Cosmina Stratan). But Voichita has tried to forget their relationship, despite Alina's longing to return to the way they once were, and is now a nun. When she starts to remember what it was like to share what she had with Alina, »
Cristian Mungiu's brilliantly slow-to-burn "Beyond the Hills" (which people might start referring to as "the Romanian exorcism movie") opens this weekend, with critics appropriately impressed with the Cannes winner; leads Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan both won Best Actress at the fest last May. In the land of wide releases, Sam Raimi's overstuffed 3-D buffet "Oz the Great and Powerful" is getting middling reviews (Toh! liked it a tad better than the majority). Stylishly twisty Euro-pudding thriller "Dead Man Down," the first English-language film by "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" director Niels Arden Oplev, isn't getting much critical love, even though it's charmingly unpredictable thanks to a pleasing cast led by original Lisbeth Salander Noomi Rapace, Colin Farrell and Isabelle Huppert. "Electrick Children," Rebecca Thomas' coming-of-age tale about a devoutly religious girl who believes rock music has impregnated her, is getting good reviews, while World War II drama. »
- Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
Christian Mungiu, the leading figure of Romanian New Wave, strikes again with Beyond the Hills. Just like his Palme d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, which elevated a rather unpleasant subject matter (illegal abortion) into a dizzying, tension-filled masterpiece, here he manages to make something greater out of an exorcism-gone-horribly-wrong story based on a true event. Mungiu again proves to be a gifted storyteller and a great tension builder. He is also masterful at presenting nuanced human interactions. The film takes place in a small remote Romanian monastery in the hills. A young nun named Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) reunites with her childhood friend Alina (Cristina Flutur) from their orphanage days after a long separation. Alina, emotionally stunted of the two, having been...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Title: Beyond the Hills Director: Cristian Mungiu Starring: Cristina Flutur, Cosmina Stratan, Valeriu Andriuta Cristian Mungiu is the most well-known figure inside of the Romanian New Wave, and justifiably so. Mungiu is unwilling to compromise with the audience and even with himself, in spite of the subject matter being too difficult to talk about (let alone watch), and his ability to probe the minds and hearts of each and every character makes him a riveting director with enormous potential. In 2007, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days was his second feature film that set Cannes ablaze with his powerful take on Romania’s abortion issue, ultimately winning the prestigious Palme [ Read More ]
The post Beyond the Hills Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
Can blind, unquestioning devout faith be just as corrupting as sin? Can love be as all consuming as evil? These are the big, broad themes being explored in Cristian Mungiu's deliberate and somewhat cryptic "Beyond The Hills," a very slow burn drama that finds both religious and emotional obsession crossing paths with tragic and haunting results. Set in an orthodox monastery in rural Romania, the film opens with Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) meeting her friend Alina (Cristina Flutur) at the train station, where the latter dissolves into a torrent of tears after they embrace. It has been a few years since they've seen each other at the orphanage where they were both raised, and after a stint working abroad in Germany, Alina has returned to reunite with Voichita so that they can start a new life together. But Voichita has found a new purpose as a nun at a monastery »
- Kevin Jagernauth
“Beyond the Hills,” Cristian Mungiu’s shortlisted Oscar entry from Romania, is shot in gorgeous grey-gold widescreen. The film is set in the rural countryside, where a humble monastery dots the top of a sparse hill. When a stranger intrudes the monastery, and wreaks havoc on its order and indirectly on herself, the nature of belief systems is called into question. Voichita (Cosmina Stratan), a young nun living in the monastery, is visited by her friend Alina (Cristina Flutur), who has been working in Germany for the past several years. We learn that the two women knew each other while growing up in an orphanage. Alina has “been alone with her thoughts” too long in Germany, and is anxious to start a new life close to her old friend. Voichita is reluctant to leave the monastery, and instead attempts to bring the taciturn, physically awkward Alina into the religious fold. »
- Beth Hanna
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