A film about compromises and the implications of the parent's role.

Director:

Cristian Mungiu

Writer:

Cristian Mungiu
12 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrian Titieni ... Romeo Aldea
Maria Dragus ... Eliza Aldea
Lia Bugnar ... Magda
Mãlina Manovici ... Sandra
Vlad Ivanov ... Chief Inspector
Gelu Colceag Gelu Colceag ... Exam Commitee President
Rares Andrici ... Marius
Petre Ciubotaru Petre Ciubotaru ... Vice-Mayor Bulai
Alexandra Davidescu Alexandra Davidescu ... Romeo's mother
Emanuel Parvu ... Prosecutor Ivascu
Lucian Ifrim ... Albu Marian
Gheorghe Ifrim Gheorghe Ifrim ... Agent Sandu (as Gigi Ifrim)
Adrian Vancica Adrian Vancica ... Gelu
Orsolya Moldován Orsolya Moldován ... Csilla
Tudor Smoleanu Tudor Smoleanu ... Doctor Pandele
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Storyline

Romeo Aldea (49), a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad. His plan is close to succeeding - Eliza has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams - a formality for such a good student. On the day before her first written exam, Eliza is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her entire future. Now Romeo has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the situation, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter. Written by 69th Cannes International Film Festival 2016

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bruising, Powerful Drama... Completely Compelling! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is comprised of only 83 shots, with an average shot length of around 1 minute and 30 seconds. See more »

Quotes

Romeo: Eliza, you have to do your best. It'd be a pity to miss this chance. Some important steps in life depend on small things. And some chances shouldn't be wasted. You know, in '91, your Mum and I decided to move back. It was a bad decision. We thought things would change, we thought we'd move mountains. We didn't move anything. I have no regrets, though. At least we tried...
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Connections

References The Graduates (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Ani de liceu
Performed by Stela Enache
Written by Florin Bogardo
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User Reviews

 
Deeper life themes in fine film
10 February 2018 | by proud_ludditeSee all my reviews

In a small Romanian town, Romeo (Adrien Titeini) is a local doctor who is hell-bent on ensuring his teenage daughter Eliza (Maria-Victoria Dragus) excels in her final high-school exams in order to be accepted at a university in the U.K. He is even willing to cross legal and ethical boundaries to make this happen after Eliza faces a crisis shortly before her exams.

Director/writer Christian Mungiu seems to have a knack for courageously exposing his home country's culture of corruption and the moral dilemmas this causes for average citizens - especially when these folks are in a quandary and "taking the high road" would not likely get them what they want and need. In "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days", the story revolved around arranging an illegal abortion during the Communist era; in "Graduation" (which takes place in the current time), it involves Romeo's insistence that his only child must leave corrupt Romania in order to have a decent life and future.

"Graduation" begins quite well in introducing the audience to interesting characters and how they respond to the corruption in their midst. The middle part is even more intriguing as Romeo's moral compass goes so downhill that he is becoming what he once condemned. It is evident he's acted this way before but not at this level.

There are two key scenes in this section in which Romeo defends his actions. One involves an argument with his wife; the other with Eliza. During the dispute with his wife (played by Lia Bugnar), he argues how much she benefited from his smaller moral slips in the past even if she wouldn't have acted the same way herself. His argument is so convincing that even the viewer could agree with him in a very uncomfortable way.

The final segment does injustice to the beginning and the middle. It seems to go in various unnecessary directions and fails to continue the momentum built earlier. But "Graduation" is still a film worth seeing. It includes universal themes such as well-meaning parents over-planning their children's future plus a challenge to the belief that "the grass is always greener" somewhere else. And of course, the saying "O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive" is well played out in the narrative. - dbamateurcritic


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Romania | France | Belgium

Language:

Romanian

Release Date:

20 May 2016 (Romania) See more »

Also Known As:

Graduation See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,305, 9 April 2017

Gross USA:

$175,975

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,015,002
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Canal+, Ciné+, Eurimages See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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