Astrology: Film: Review: ‘Child’s Pose’ (2014)

Zeitgeist Films

Zeitgeist Films

The stunningly self-involved central figure in the Romanian movie Child’s Pose is Cornelia Keneres (Luminita Gheorghiu), the latest in a long line of cinematic devouring mothers who operate from terrifying, chthonic depths when unable to control offspring who’ve had enough of Mommy.

Directed by Calin Peter Netzer, Child’s Pose is set in Bucharest, where the upper class Cornelia – she’s a married, sixtyish, culture-consuming architect with a ton of friends and an equally high number of fur coats – gets a sobering phone call. Her adult son Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache), while speeding in his car, has fatally mowed down a teenage boy.

Cornelia is clearly a Underworld ravager who regularly snoops her way through Barbu’s apartment, is almost sexually inappropriate when being affectionate towards him, and is hardly kind in her comments about his girlfriend (Ilinca Goia). After the automotive incident, Cornelia takes on the mantle of Neptunian self-sacrificial priestess, suggesting that she sees this disaster as an opportunity to win back the love of a son who despises her meddling.

Knowing how to work the governmental system, she springs into action with no other goal than to save Barbu from a jail sentence. And she’s not above bribery when it comes to meeting with an accident witness (Vlad Ivanov) to persuade him to alter his statement that her son, who has a decidedly irresponsible shadow side, was speeding.

Child’s Pose plays out the radical disconnect between what Cornelia believes to be her incorruptibly pure love for Barbu, and her Plutonically hellish core that leads her to pursue a Saturnine end-justifies-the-means strategy to get him off the hook.

When she eventually visits the bereaved parents to plead her case, her emotional outpouring is sincere and heartfelt. But, with Barbu’s fate in her hands, is her display merely a useful, moist maneuver? It’s (brilliantly) impossible to tell.

Astrology Film Rating: ♆♇ (Neptune, Pluto)

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