Review: ‘Child’s Pose’ 7.19.14

The second foreign film I’ve seen this year that has a strong chance of making my top 10 of 2014 next to ‘Stranger by the Lake’. I had been wanting to see this one for awhile, as I had heard it was from the same part of the world and drew comparisons to ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days’. Which is considered by many, including myself, to be one of the best foreign films of the last decade. Made by Romanian Writer/Directer Calin Peter Netzer, who is part of the New Wave of Social-Realism Eastern Bloc filmmakers on the scene right now, alongside other directors from this side of the world like Andrey Zvyagintsev (‘Elena’) and Cristi Puiu (‘The Death of Dr. Lazarescu’) that are making quite an imprint on the foreign market right now. I wouldn’t even know what aspect of this film to highlight in a review, as there were entirely way too many positive ones. I’ll first start by saying the lead actress, Luminita Gheorghiu (‘4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 days)  was nothing short of phenomenal. Her performance really reminded me of Gena Rowlands in one of my favorite John Cassavetes’ films – 1974’s ‘A Woman Under The Influence’. Complete and total immersion into her character. I wouldn’t be surprised if, like Emmanuelle Riva a couple of years back with ‘Amour’, the Academy even takes notice of this at year’s end. That’s how great of a performance it is. Second, I loved the main theme in which it explored. A mother, who in her later years, is having great difficulty letting go of her on again off again son and allow him to live his own life. I felt like my own relationship with my mother mirrored theirs in a lot of ways. Lastly, and I think I may have hinted at this above, was the “social-realism” aspect, which was prevalent in the 1960’s by the French New Wave and by American directors like Cassavetes (whom I love). Up close and personal films with a sense of immediacy. Allowing the viewer to feel as if they were a fly on the wall. I was in awe of some of the takes going well over 5 minutes without a single edit. Very assured and confident direction. Highly recommended. Especially for people interested in realist social dramas.

Grade: B+/A-