7.4/10
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27 user 174 critic

Bacalaureat (2016)

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A film about compromises and the implications of the parent's role.

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10 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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Sandra
...
Gelu Colceag ...
Exam Commitee President
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Marius
Petre Ciubotaru ...
Vice-Mayor Bulai
Alexandra Davidescu ...
Romeo's mother
...
Prosecutor Ivascu
...
Albu Marian
Gheorghe Ifrim ...
Agent Sandu (as Gigi Ifrim)
Adrian Vãncicã ...
Gelu
Orsolya Moldován ...
Csilla
Tudor Smoleanu ...
Doctor Pandele
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Storyline

Romeo Aldea (49), a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad. His plan is close to succeeding - Eliza has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams - a formality for such a good student. On the day before her first written exam, Eliza is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her entire future. Now Romeo has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the situation, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter. Written by 69th Cannes International Film Festival 2016

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Effortless, Subtle and Insidiously Naturalistic. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 May 2016 (Romania)  »

Also Known As:

Recycling Feelings  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,305, 7 April 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$175,975, 9 June 2017
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character, Romeo, appears in every scene. See more »

Quotes

Romeo: Eliza, you have to do your best. It'd be a pity to miss this chance. Some important steps in life depend on small things. And some chances shouldn't be wasted. You know, in '91, your Mum and I decided to move back. It was a bad decision. We thought things would change, we thought we'd move mountains. We didn't move anything. I have no regrets, though. At least we tried...
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Connections

References Bullitt (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

The Cold Song
Music by Henry Purcell
Performed by The Deller Consort
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User Reviews

 
A father's dreams for his daughter are jeopardized just as she reaches adulthood.
26 May 2017 | by See all my reviews

Graduation, by Cristian Mungiu reviewed by NC Weil

This 2016 Romanian film by the director of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, spans the time between a young woman's high school final exams and her graduation. Her father, a doctor, and mother, a librarian, though estranged (he sleeps on the couch and has a lover), both dote on their daughter, and their highest concern is her well-being. The girl is an excellent student, but the day before her exams she is attacked by a would-be rapist - in the scuffle her wrist is broken, but her violation goes far deeper than bones in a cast.

Her father, a precise, methodical, and - yes - kind man, is determined to see her go to university in the UK where she has been offered a scholarship (contingent on high exam scores). He will do anything to make that plan happen. The assault is one more reason - Romania, for him, is a dead end. He and his wife are stuck there, but for their daughter, it is not too late. She must leave.

The film opens with a rock shattering a window of their ground-floor apartment - the doctor certainly has a point about the benefits of living elsewhere - and he has labored to give her the chance to escape. But after the assault she gets cold feet.

Strip away the differences between Romania's culture and our own, and the film boils down to a father wanting what he is convinced is best for his near-adult daughter, with his intentions overriding her own desires and distractions. Graduation is about leaving one phase of life to move into the next. The impossibility of planting your own experience directly into the heart and mind of a grown child is on painful display here - you have learned the hard way what you should have done, but she, rationally or not, has to make her own choices.

For a parent, relinquishing control can mean one's life has truly been wasted - you didn't save yourself, and you can't save her either. But she's no longer yours to control - to insist on obedience is to keep her dependent, unable to be any kind of adult. In the end, that stunting is probably a worse trap than whatever limits her bad decisions impose. Mungiu's sympathy for all his characters forces us to recognize that everyone, no matter how corrupt or self-serving, is just trying to make the best of the life they're stuck in. Futility outranks evil in his compromised worldview.


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