Tuesday, After Christmas (2011)
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as Paul Hanganu
as Adriana Hanganu
as Mara Hanganu
as Raluca's Mother
as Murcea Dumbraveanu
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Critic Reviews for Tuesday, After Christmas
"Tuesday, After Christmas" goes down pretty smooth, with a sneaky-powerful aftertaste.
The latest bloom from the flourishing garden that is Romanian cinema, Radu Muntean's Tuesday, After Christmas chronicles the emotional fallout from a classic love triangle, but it unfolds with the agonizing tension of a suspense film.
Like an alternate-universe Woody Allen film, in which real people wrestle with what their hearts want despite the hurt it causes everyone, including themselves.
More about well-observed moments of everyday life than it is about heightened melodrama.
Muntean has pulled off the near-impossible, turning each scene (captured in capacious long takes) into arias of generosity for his actors.
Audience Reviews for Tuesday, After Christmas
An engaging drama that gives us the impression that the excellent actors are improvising in the many long takes, so natural and unaffected they seem in their roles. But this Romanian film could have opted for close-ups in its key scenes to enhance the dramatic intensity.
To start, "Tuesday, After Christmas" has certain things in common with other Romanian films that caused the Romanian New Wave to implode, taking half of Hungary with it, such as epic and talky static scenes. While this movie does not take care to accent the consequential scenes over the less so(yes, we get it already that the movie takes place near the Christmas holidays), it still does have a stunning opening of Paul(Mimi Branescu), a banker, and his younger mistress Raluca(Maria Popistasu), a dental hygienist, frolicking in bed together and eventually a devastating climactic scene. In between is a perceptive behavorial study into how people act when they are around different people. Paul is at his most relaxed when he is around Raluca, maybe because he realizes how lucky he is that a beautiful woman is paying attention to him, considering his being middle-aged and overweight. Otherwise, they have to be careful to not acknowledge each other when he and his wife Adriana(Mirela Oprisor) bring in their daughter to have braces installed. For the record, Adriana and Paul simply share that familiar manner of two people who have been together for a long time.
A married man finds himself torn between his young lover and his wife of ten years and finds he must choose which direction he wants his life to proceed. Complicating matters is the child he and his wife are raising. The acting was quite good, the cinematography complemented the story, and the opening scene in particular was very, very sensual. The emotions were genuine and the motivations were fairly clear. But maybe it was the bleak nature of the story and that we pick up his affair in midstream and never get a clear picture of how it began that keeps this viewer from rating it higher. Good, solid film but one that proved lacking in some essential ingredient in the final analysis.
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