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Graduation (2016)

Bacalaureat (original title)
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A film about compromises and the implications of the parent's role.

Director:

Cristian Mungiu

Writer:

Cristian Mungiu
10 wins & 26 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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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site | Official Site [Japan] | See more »

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, 7 April 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$175,975, 9 June 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Canal+,Ciné+,Eurimages See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Rares Andrici. 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

Stabat Mater RV 621
Music by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by Andreas Scholl with Ensemble 415
Conducted by Chiara Banchini
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A father's dreams for his daughter are jeopardized just as she reaches adulthood.
26 May 2017 | by ncweilSee all my reviews

Graduation, by Cristian Mungiu reviewed by NC Weil

This 2016 Romanian film by the director of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, spans the time between a young woman's high school final exams and her graduation. Her father, a doctor, and mother, a librarian, though estranged (he sleeps on the couch and has a lover), both dote on their daughter, and their highest concern is her well-being. The girl is an excellent student, but the day before her exams she is attacked by a would-be rapist - in the scuffle her wrist is broken, but her violation goes far deeper than bones in a cast.

Her father, a precise, methodical, and - yes - kind man, is determined to see her go to university in the UK where she has been offered a scholarship (contingent on high exam scores). He will do anything to make that plan happen. The assault is one more reason - Romania, for him, is a dead end. He and his wife are stuck there, but for their daughter, it is not too late. She must leave.

The film opens with a rock shattering a window of their ground-floor apartment - the doctor certainly has a point about the benefits of living elsewhere - and he has labored to give her the chance to escape. But after the assault she gets cold feet.

Strip away the differences between Romania's culture and our own, and the film boils down to a father wanting what he is convinced is best for his near-adult daughter, with his intentions overriding her own desires and distractions. Graduation is about leaving one phase of life to move into the next. The impossibility of planting your own experience directly into the heart and mind of a grown child is on painful display here - you have learned the hard way what you should have done, but she, rationally or not, has to make her own choices.

For a parent, relinquishing control can mean one's life has truly been wasted - you didn't save yourself, and you can't save her either. But she's no longer yours to control - to insist on obedience is to keep her dependent, unable to be any kind of adult. In the end, that stunting is probably a worse trap than whatever limits her bad decisions impose. Mungiu's sympathy for all his characters forces us to recognize that everyone, no matter how corrupt or self-serving, is just trying to make the best of the life they're stuck in. Futility outranks evil in his compromised worldview.


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