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Movie Review: 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days

Alternate Title: Through a Glass Darkly

Story: This is not your cutesy, everything will work itself out Hollywood film about a young woman's unwanted pregnancy and subsequent abortion. This is a dead serious look back on the repressive days of Communist Romania under dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu. Director and writer Cristian Mungiu deftly delivers a hard realistic look at what the totalitarian state does to its least powerful. In this case, young Otilia helps her friend and roommate Gabita get a late-term abortion. At the time any abortion was illegal and could garner five to ten years in prison.

The film takes place over a 12 hour period in the lives of these desperate young women. The heart and soul of this film lies in its gritty presentation. Mungiu demonstrates the States' hold on its citizens with a claustrophobic look at everything they do. There is a sense of imminent danger - past, present and future throughout. There is a dinner scene that was so suffocating I wanted to run out and scream. This film is not for the weak kneed or faint of heart.

The film has won accolades for its acting and direction around the world including the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Hollywood, in its lack of world view vision, has chosen not to recognize this film in its Foreign Film category this year.

Acting: The acting was riveting - including performances by Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov and Alexandru Potocean.

Predilection: None

Critters: Two kittens and some street doggies.

Food: The catastrophic dinner scene included soup and stuff but I was not paying attention to the meal. The final scene in the hotel's dining room includes brains on the plate.

Soundtrack: There is no music until the final credits.

Opening Titles: White type over a black background.

Visual Art: Cinematographer Oleg Mutu captures what I imagine the terror would have been under this closed fisted regime.

Theater Audience: A handful of serious film goers.

Weather: It was cold and gray that day in Communist Romania

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: The abortion scene is very squirmy.

Drift Factor: I did not drift at all.

Predictability Level: I was not sure what was going to happen to these young women. The air was foreboding.

Tissue Usage: 0

Big Screen or Rental: This could be a rental.

Length: Under two hours