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
Official submission of Romania for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 86th Academy Awards in 2014. See more »
What did I do wrong?
Never mind now. I'm putting this on the table. You can say yes or no. You either let me call you when I feel like it, or it's nothing. And a suggestion. If it's hard, find a substitute. A dog, a lover, a hobby. People your age visit the Pyramids.
Other people my age have a normal relationship with their child. Parents find their fulfillment in their children. Everything they failed to accomplish, they achieve through their children.
So we're agreed.
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A haunting slide-of-life drama from Romania, "Child's Pose" explores the strained relationship between a middle-aged mother and her adult son, set within the context of an unspeakable human tragedy.
Cornelia Keneres, portrayed with masterful understatement and restraint by Luminita Gheorghiu, is a haughty, emotionally aloof woman who, nevertheless, just can't seem to cut the cords that bind her to her only child, Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache). Barbu, of course, resents his mother's endless interference in his life, an interference that is only intensified when he tragically runs over and kills a 14-year-old boy who's crossing a freeway on which Barbu is driving recklessly. Because Barbu seems devoid of initiative in trying to make things right with both the legal system and the family of the victim, Cornelia launches into full Mama Bear mode, lavishing large sums of money in her wake as she attempts to clean up the life-shattering mess her son has made for himself and others. Is Cornelia now paying the consequences for treating her son as a child for so long? Is that why he now finds himself unable to step up to the plate and accept responsibility for his actions as a mature adult should?
Filmed in a wholly realistic and naturalistic style, "Child's Pose" is about as far from melodrama as a movie about life-and-death issues could possibly be. There are no grand speeches, no emotional outbursts springing from the tragic events of the story. The movie makes us feel as if we are eavesdropping on these people as they go about the business of trying to make sense of an entirely senseless situation. As such, we get to witness first-hand the agony and grief, the bitterness and guilt, and the thirst for redemption that the various characters are going through.
As embodied by the extraordinary Gheorghiu, Cornelia becomes a fascinatingly complex character made up of any number of inconsistencies and contradictions. For instance, she's constantly deriding Barbu for not being a man, for making a mess of his life and not fulfilling the hopes she and his father had for him when he was younger. Yet, it is her very insistence on meddling, mothering him and stepping in to solve all his problems that is the key factor in making him this way. And is she truly moved by the concerns of the grieving parties or is she motivated more by the fate of her own son and the guilt she might be feeling for the way she raised him?
Flawlessly written and directed by Cailin Peter Netzer (with Razvan Radulescu as co-writer), the movie ends on a powerful note, one that hints at the barest possibility for reconciliation and redemption for the individuals involved. It's a largely wordless moment, heartbreakingly silent and obliquely shot, and it is a moment that will linger long in the memory of anyone who sees it.
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