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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I happened to catch a screening of the film attended by the director and some of the actors, followed by a short Q&A. This sort of effort is part of a greater plan to bring appraised Romanian films closer to the Romanian audience, while also creating an association with the people responsible for their success, more often than not "against the odds".
What sets Netzer's film apart from some of the other recent Romanian works of cinema is its sardonic humor which works best when it's aimed at the characters and not at some of the pervasive practices of society. I've personally always felt that personal stories, meaning character stories, always came in second to some grand piece of social commentary, usually on the communist background of the country, in most of the acclaimed Romanian cinema of the 21st century. Not to say that such commentary lacks relevance, but there's just more to modern life than its dark red heritage.
Of course, "Pozitia Copilului" is deeply rooted in antics which one could call symptomatic of Romania and as a means of characterization, the backdrop is justifiable. Occasionally though, when certain aspects come across a bit too hard pressed, they do a disservice to the otherwise excellent balance of a difficult story. This does in no way undermine the beautifully detailed portrait of the film's main character, a highly controlling, bossy, arrogant, mean-spirited mother whose faults go quite a way to being redeemed by the passionate dedication with which she tries to protect her son, who had killed a child in a car accident. The ambivalence is so finely portrayed by Luminita Gheorghiu that both the moments of involuntary humor and the moments of pure drama work just as well.
It's ironic that Mrs. Gheorghiu also played in "Moartea Domnului Lazarescu", a film I found to be close at heart with "Pozitia Copilului", in that it relies heavily on a complex central character and its critique is subtle, yet scathing. I'd go so far as to say that these kind of films, while still dominated by a type of post-modernist bleakness, can lead a shift of focus to the greater importance of characters as individuals in Romanian movies, not only as symbol stand-ins.
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