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Beyond the Hills

By MARSHALL WALKER LEE
A penniless lesbian orphan, struggling to rekindle a faded romance, is confined and subjected to exorcism by the women of a remote monastery. No, Cristian Mungiu’s fourth feature (his second, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, won the Palme d’Or in 2007) is not a seedy sexploitation flick à la Chained Heat, and if that synopsis has you hot and bothered, then this movie might feel like a cold shower. Quiet, austere and strikingly shot, Beyond the Hills divided critics at Cannes, with some hailing the film as a masterpiece and others dismissing Mungiu’s deliberate style as vacuous or pretentious. With a running time of 155 minutes, Mungiu’s mysterious tale of shifting identities will inevitably test the patience of some viewers, but I found it electrifying. A kind of Chekhovian horror story, Beyond the Hills grapples with material that’s equal parts tragic and banal, and the result is totally unreal and yet utterly convincing. If that all sounds like a bunch of baloney, then you might be better off renting Cellblock Sisters.
 

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  • Genres: Drama
  • Running Time: 150 minutes
  • Release Date: Thursday, October 25, 2012
  • Country: Romania
  • Language: Romanian
  • Critic's Score: A-
  • Starring: Valeriu Andriuta [Priest], Liliana Mocanu [Mother Elena], Doru Ana [Father Nusu], Cosmina Stratan [Voichita], Cristina Flutur [Alina], Dana Tapalaga [Mother Superior], Catalina Harabagiu [Antonia], Gina Tandura [Nun Iustina], Vica Agache [Nun Elisabeta], Nora Covali [Nun Pahomia], Dionisie Vitcu [Mr. Valerica], Ionut Ghinea [Ionut], Costache Babii [Doctor Solovastru]
  • Directed by: Cristian Mungiu [Director], Cristian Mungiu [Screenwriter], Pascal Caucheteux [Producer], Jean-Pierre Dardenne [Producer], Luc Dardenne [Producer], Vincent Maraval [Producer], Oleg Mutu [Cinematographer], Mircea Olteanu [Film Editor], Catalin Dordea [Casting], Calin Papura [Production Design], Mihaela Poenaru [Production Design]
  • Watch the trailer
 

Show Times

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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