4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days

In theaters.

I’ve heard 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days described as “that Romanian movie about abortion,” which manages to be both unfairly condescending and reasonably accurate. The implication that writer-director Cristian Mungiu’s film is just a pedantic “issue movie” is dead wrong—it’s far too understated and artful for that—but neither can one easily step back from the brutal events on screen and imagine them to be merely allegorical or metaphoric. 4 Months isn’t vaguely about the suffering of millions under Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu; it’s specifically about the suffering of two individual women, and the unrelentingly naturalistic filmmaking demands that we recognize and experience that. 4 Months is “about abortion” because anything less would be a betrayal of the characters.