4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)

Dir. Cristian Mungliu
7/10

I would recommend this to Penny, Grace and probably Kevin and John. Mitchell, Chris and Tony would appreciate this, but I have difficulty saying if they would like it. Marc, Joel, Don and Jill would appreciate this, but I don’t think this is the type of film they’d really want to see. Knowing the subject matter will mildly spoil at least the first fifteen minutes of the film.

***
With a score of 97, this was the highest rated 2008 film at metacritic. Was the rating justified? Personally, I’d say no. The film was well-made, but I don’t think it warrants that high of a score. But I will say that the biggest factor for judging the film would be the viewer’s position on abortion. Those who favor legalized abortion will probably thing this is a terrific film, while those against legalized abortion will have a lukewarm reaction at best. I definitely lean closer to the latter, but that’s not the only reason my reaction wasn’t fully enthusiastic. Generally, I don’t care for films whose main purpose is to depict a social issue (e.g. Philadelphia, Do the Right Thing, The Accused), especially if the treatment is simplistic. I think the simplicity and one-sidedness weakened the film for me.

When people make arguments in favor of legalizing abortions, one of the things cited is the terrible things that happen to women when they must find ways to perform abortions. The film is a fleshing out of this worst case scenario to support legalizing abortions. There is also a ultra-feminist point of view in the film: it’s the woman who must stick together; the main male characters are exploiters of women. It’s a film that Leftist/Feminist ideologues would love.

But there are some good acting, especially the argument between Otilia and her boyfriend. I also liked the use of a lot of long two-shot scenes with the actors just talking to each other. The film does a good job of pulling you in, making you want to see what’s going to happen next. I just wish it added more to the abortion debate.

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