05 January 2009

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

I had been avoiding this Romanian movie for a long time. Of course I had heard all the acclaim, but it is hard to want to see a movie about a young woman seeking an illegal abortion.

So we missed it in the movie theaters, but it was added to our Netflix list. It arrived a few weeks ago, and we delayed and delayed. When, finally, we put it in the machine, we found it was unwatchable. Literally. No picture, no nothing.

Last week the replacement arrived. Last night we watched it, and for the first half hour or more, I felt I'd been right: who wants to see such a thing? But, by the end, I felt it was one of the best portraits of a certain kind of friendship that I'd ever seen. It's an interesting movie because the abortion turns out to be its thematic centerpiece but not its emotional centerpiece. Other urgencies intervene.

It remains quite a grim movie, but not in the way you expect.

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