All of the selfies have been snapped -- all of the Oscars handed out. But that doesn’t mean every ‘best film’ or every ‘best performance’ took home the gilded prize. In fact, some Oscar-worthy films weren't even invited to the big dance.
Case in point: “Child’s Pose,” which was the Official Romanian Entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards. Granted, this particular category was especially strong this year (come to think of it - this category tends to be one of the strongest every year). It’s hard to argue against the Academy’s choice of “The Great Beauty” from Italy. Although “The Hunt” out of Denmark was also very compelling, but perhaps a little too dark for the voters.
But it was disappointing not to see a deserved Oscar nom for “Child’s Pose.” This taught familial drama works its way under your skin slowly as we first meet up with Cornelia - a wealthy (and well-connected) Bucharest architect enjoying the successes of her life with friends and family. Whether it’s in the throes of her birthday celebration or at work in the theater it is clear that Cornelia’s life has been one of privilege and charm.
It’s only after she learns that her deadbeat son has killed a child in a speeding car accident that Cornelia eschews her charm, and doubles down on her privilege. That’s not to say that Cornelia can’t be, and isn’t charming as she fights to keep her son out of jail. Given the right situation, like when she meets with the parents of the victim to express her condolences and offers to pay for the funeral, Cornelia’s charm is cutting as it is calculated.
Fortunately, “Child’s Pose,” which did take home the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival, is hitting the big screen in Seattle for a limited engagement. Veteran Romanian stage actor, Luminita Gheorghiu, gives a breakout performance as Cornelia and director Calin Peter Netzer manages to keep this enigmatic drama of motherly love as all-consuming as, well, Cornelia.
The voting members of the Academy somehow overlooked this film - but you should not.
“Child’s Pose” is playing at Seven Gables Theatre in Seattle. Visit Landmark Theatres for showtimes.