Mr. Movie

'4 Days, 3 Weeks & 2 Days' not to be missed

Set in Romania in 1987, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days is an intense, sobering, difficult story of a woman helping her friend get an illegal abortion.

And this isn’t one of those for or against pieces. It is straight-ahead storytelling by gifted writer/director Cristian Mungiu.

He gets a ton of mileage out of common film techniques and pushes the outside the boundaries of common sense experience of his main character into the realm of the surreal.

Most scenes are done via a hand-held camera but without the dizzying imagery so popular with today’s action-movie directors. Several times he focuses on one person in a scene and keeps the camera there while they interact with those off camera. It is an exceptionally effective technique.

Anamaria Marinca gives a gritty, hand wringing performance as her friend’s caretaker Otilia. Unable to relate to her decisions, but out of loyalty, maybe even stupidity, and unable to shirk what she considers her duty, Otilia plunges ahead and takes you into what some think was 2007’s best movie.

Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars

Rated R for mature themes, brief nudity, language. It plays at 8 p.m. Friday only at the Battelle Auditorium.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.