Seeing a way to reassert control over her adult son's life when he faces manslaughter charges, an affluent Romanian woman sets out on a campaign of emotional and social manipulation to keep... See full summary »
Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old lonely man feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives, the paramedic decides he should take him to the hospital but once there they decide to send him ... See full summary »
Paul Hanganu loves two women. Adriana his wife and the mother of their daughter, the woman with whom he's shared the thrills of the past ten years, and Raluca the woman who has made him redefine himself. He has to leave one of them before Christmas.
It's the 22nd of December. Sixteen years have passed since the revolution, and in a small town Christmas is about to come. Piscoci, an old retired man is preparing for another Christmas ... See full summary »
Seeing a way to reassert control over her adult son's life when he faces manslaughter charges, an affluent Romanian woman sets out on a campaign of emotional and social manipulation to keep him out of prison, navigating the waters of power, corruption and influence. Child's Pose is based on the sense of loss of parents who have to send their children away-physically and psychologically. The parent-child relationship is re-assessed through a son in his 30s that wants to escape from his mother, who in turn wants to keep her adult son by her side. The mother's character is quite familiar, but this film is unique in that the director delicately portrays how the controlling mother wants to deny that her son is destined to leave her by following the characters' emotional flows and gazing at their twisted desires. Luminita Gheorghiu turns in an extraordinary performance in playing a mother struggling to "save" her son. Heading to the conclusion, the film shows that the unhealthy mother-son ... Written by
The Romanian film Pozitia copilului was shown in the U.S. with the title Child's Pose (2013). The movie was co-written and directed by Calin Peter Netzer.
Luminita Gheorghiu stars as Cornelia Keneres, a wealthy woman who dominates everyone with whom she comes into contact. Bogdan Dumitrache plays Barbu, her adult son, who clearly grew up under his mother's thumb, and has barely managed to achieve some measure of independence. However, Barbu has been involved in a fatal car accident in which he has killed a child. He's paralyzed with fear and regret, and that allows his mother to step back into his life to try to keep her son out of jail. (Barbu wasn't drunk when the accident occurred, but he was speeding and probably driving recklessly. We all know he's guilty.)
It's hard to have much sympathy for Barbu, who is sullen, uncommunicative, and somewhat strange. His intimate partner, Carmen, is about to leave him, because she can't tolerate his behavior any longer. (Carmen is played very well by the capable actor Ilinca Goia. She and Cornelia have an interesting--and intimate--conversation about Barbu. It's an extremely intense and unsettling scene.)
Of course, you could argue that Barbu is what he is because of his mother. It's a reasonable argument, although we can't be certain. In any event, Barbu, if left to his own devices, will go to jail. His mother defends against this possibility with all the ferocity of a mother tiger defending her cub.
The director makes it clear that in Romania--as in most places--money talks. Cornelia sets about to bribe the witness, bribe and bully the police, and manipulate the dead child's grieving parents. In fact, the only honest and untouchable person we meet is a young policewoman, and no one pays any attention to her.
This is a dark film about a dark situation. What makes it worth seeing is the outstanding performance by Luminita Gheorghiu as Cornelia. Gheorghiu was the star of the excellent film The Death of Mr. Lazarescu. In that movie she portrayed a working-class nurse, trying to save her patient and always facing closed doors. In this movie she is an elegant, sophisticated, architect, trampling over everyone to protect her son.
The parts are very, very different, but Gheorghiu has the talent to make us believe in her character in both roles. She is truly an incredible actor, and the film is worth seeing just to watch her on screen.
We saw this movie at the excellent Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. It's primarily an intimate film, and will work very well on the small screen. In whatever format, it's worth finding and watching.
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