For all the moral degradation of its characters, Graduation is uncompromising in its vision of the cost of parental responsibility.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Time Out London by Dave Calhoun
It’s not a despairing movie – Mungiu even suggests that a new generation might put things right – but it’s a brutally honest one.
With the camera placement being as meticulous as the use of Handel on the soundtrack, this impeccably played saga deservedly earned Mungiu a share of the Best Director prize at Cannes.
The Film Stage by Giovanni Marchini Camia
It’s a moving portrait, but it’s also a very familiar and transparently constructed one, preventing the narrative from generating the urgency necessary to endow its moral implications with genuine vigor.
As expected from a master like Mungiu, everything is beautifully structured and utterly credible, yet Graduation feels like a retread.
An excoriating, gripping, intricately plotted morality play, Mungiu’s film is less linear, more circular or spiral-shaped than his previous Cannes titles...but it is no less rigorous and possibly even more eviscerating and critical of Romanian society, because it offers its critique across such a broad canvas.
Slant Magazine by Kenji Fujishima
Cristian Mungiu's film is more than just a cry of despair toward the hopelessness of life in modern-day Romania.
The Hollywood Reporter by Leslie Felperin
Graduation isn’t one of Mungiu’s finest, but even a restrained, emotionally measured work like this is more interesting and provocative than many another director’s best effort.
The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw
Graduation is an intricate, deeply intelligent film, and a bleak picture of a state of national depression in Romania, where the 90s generation hoped they would have a chance to start again. There are superb performances from Titien and Dragus.
The intergenerational debate underlying Graduation does throw novel wrinkles into the mix.