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Sieranevada

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Romania, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina
·
2016

2h 53m

Director Cristi Puiu
Starring Mimi Brănescu, Eugenia Bosânceanu, Marian Rîlea, Rolando Matsangos

Genre Drama

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Back in Bucharest from a business trip, a neurologist at the pinnacle of his career and his wife must attend a family meal to commemorate his father, who died a year before. At his mother’s flat, he and the family quarrel about all kinds of things connected and unconnected with the world’s events and wars.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

The Hollywood Reporter by Boyd van Hoeij

It is absolutely fascinating to watch how Puiu X-rays his characters to show how every single person onscreen belongs to several groups or affiliations at once...and how every one of them is either willing or forced to compromise parts of who they are to continue belonging to all these groups.
90

Screen International by Dan Fainaru

those who aren’t put off by the extensive subtitling will find themselves swept away by this family reunion which offers not only a masterful portrait of the contemporary Romanian middle-class but also a whole set of smart, perceptive reflections on the relativity of truth, on the failings of memory, the interpretation of history, the significance of religion and much more.
67

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

To the film’s immense credit, the performances drip with realism. The ensemble genuinely feels like a family, particularly as their conflicts bubble to the surface with continually awkward results.
91

The Film Stage by Giovanni Marchini Camia

Sieranevada’s mise-en-scène is one of suffocation, making for a dense and demanding viewing experience. However, Puiu’s exceptional script – both in terms of the quality of the dialogue and the painstakingly progressive characterizations – foments a burning wish to figure out all the character configurations, conflicts and backstories, ensuring that Sieranevada remains consistently, intensely engaging.
91

The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Puiu scoops up storylines and arguments and revelations armful by messy armful and the inexplicably titled “Sieranevada” becomes by turns pit-of-stomach-sad, flight-of-fancy funny and pin-in-heart moving. And never less than wincingly true in its deadpan acknowledgement of the beautiful absurdity of family life.
80

CineVue by John Bleasdale

At almost three hours, Puiu's latest is as long as most family events are, but the observations made are brilliantly bright and there is love here, after all.
100

Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

A nearly three-hour talkfest that plays out in something close to real time may sound daunting on paper, but if you can make it past the opening shot, you will find yourself gripped for the duration.
80

Variety by Peter Debruge

[Puiu] manages to weave a tapestry — or family quilt, if you will — in which deception and the hopeless search for truth is judged both on the micro level (as in extramarital affairs) and a more global scale (which is where questions of Romania’s Communist past, 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo fit into the picture), and where disturbances in either sphere ripple out into the world at large.
80

The Telegraph by Tim Robey

It earns respect and a cumulative awe in its intently amused vision of reality: it’s a commanding and intellectually gratifying piece of work.

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