Cannes winner Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) directs a tense, involving moral thriller centered on an overbearing father keen to get his daughter out of Romania and into a British university at any price.
2007 Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) shared the Cannes Prize for Direction this year for this tense, intricately plotted and utterly plausible tale of a middle-aged doctor’s slide into a world of bribery and favoritism. Romeo is desperate for his daughter to escape corruption-plagued Romania. His bright young daughter, Eliza, is on the cusp of receiving a scholarship to Cambridge — she just needs to ace her final exam to secure her placement at the prestigious British university. When a sudden turn of events makes it unlikely she will pass the exam, Romeo begins the precarious dance of pulling strings around town with various higher-ups to make sure Eliza receives the marks she needs. Mungiu again crafts a deft, slow-burn social thriller that exposes the diseased nature of the system and how it infects everyone operating within it. With a finely modulated performance by Adrian Titieni as Romeo, Graduation is a film not only about corruption but also the grey areas of parenting and family striving. (Romania/France/Belgium, 2016, 128 min., Romanian with English subtitles, DCP | Dir. Christian Mingui)