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740 Note



Regizat de Cristian Mungiu
România, Franța, 2016


Though she’s won a scholarship and just needs to pass her final exams, the dreams of a small mountain town Transylvanian physician’s daughter could be jeopardized when she’s attacked.

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Graduation Regizat de Cristian Mungiu
Strange reveries where characters mysteriously cry to themselves in the dark do not, at first glance, seem to be part of its aesthetic or narrative repertoire. But in these quiet moments—instances that stand in contrast to the central discourse of the film—Graduation takes on another dimension, and the director’s formal choices reveal their power. 
May 24, 2018
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These counterpointed expectations are never reconciled — even Eliza has doubts about studying abroad, as she grows more and more attached to her biker boyfriend. The multidirectional pull of these various desires is an effective parallel for the context Mungiu seeks to critique — freedom from institutionalised corruption can only come about through collective effort, but orchestration is near impossible when everyone wants freedom for different reasons.
July 03, 2017
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There’s almost no shot in Graduation that isn’t a single or dual portrait. The camera never roams an interior or a landscape. Nor does it ever retreat into the far distance, or into gruesome close-ups. Everything is shot from the neat distance of a conversation—or an audience. Maybe every film director has to find ways of refusing the forms of theater. That’s one lesson of Graduation.
June 26, 2017
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Ce spun cinefilii?

  • Genadijus L.'s rating of the film Graduation

    Desperate and muted (in a positive way) story of one man's efforts to tack together both daughter's future and personal position. Director Cristian Mungiu uses scalpel to frame lead character and social problems in Romania's periphery in front of each other. Adrian Titieni (as Romeo) gives one of the most outstanding male performances in European cinema this year.

  • Bianca Von R's rating of the film Graduation

    It is one of my favourite romanian movie and it describes my high school years perfectly.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Graduation

    A feel-bad movie from what seems to be a very dreary country... with a thriving Cinema. Is it the comfortable life here in USA that makes our Cinema so weak? Does hardship beget better art? Does poetry come from sadness more easily than from contentment? Or is it not really joy but just the smug nature of life in America which dulls our Cinema? Or the need for greater and greater spectacle, forsaking meaning & depth?

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Graduation

    Resonant in terms of the pressures of credentialism and surgically acurate about social malaise/inertia in contemporary Romania, this film concedes cinematic aesthetics (there are only few shots of genuinely semantic valence [e.g. the finale]) and places all narrative load on the shoulders of a continuously sullen Titieni. This proves unfair to the actor and potentially disengaging to the viewer. Good but weak.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Graduation

    A slow-burn mystery couches an implosive portrait of institutional rot. That description sounds incendiary, and Mungiu certainly doesn't hide his feelings about the state of Romania. But his film is also one of deep empathy for those living in a world where personal/political corruption feels like the only answer. No wasted scenes—just a potent hope that the problems of the last generation can be sorted by the next.

  • Jason's rating of the film Graduation

    GRADUATION is quintessential of the Romanian New Wave in that it deals so directly w/ the kind of blasé workaday corruption which transverses Romanian society as depicted again and again in its contemporary cinema. What makes GRADUATION very strong -- much stronger than BEYOND THE HILLS -- is its marriage of this vision to a residing moral ambiguity. This is not farce nor is it excoriating screed. It is human.

  • Lynch/Fellini's rating of the film Graduation

    I was slightly disappointed by this, given the caliber of Mungiu's previous effort, 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days. But this was still a very solid film and an interesting critique on the legal system in Romania.

  • OFF_FRAME's rating of the film Graduation

    Mungiu solidifies his crown in this highly intelligent, philosophical pondering of morals, ethics and corruption that also manages to make for astute political commentary while being a cautionary tale about living vicariously through our offspring. The acting is spot on and the withholding and subsequent releasing of story/character information perfectly paced. 4.5 stars

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