Best Movies by Farr


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What's it About

For several years, factory supervisor Kata (Berek) has carried on a secret affair with the married Joska (Szabo). Now in her early forties, she realizes she wants a child with him. Joska, who has no intention of disrupting his settled life, strongly resists the idea. Meanwhile, Kata meets Anna (Vigh), a beautiful but troubled teen who lives at the neighboring orphanage. Anna wants to marry her boyfriend Sanyi (Fried), but she’s underage so needs the approval of her estranged parents. Kata decides to help Anna, and eventually their relationship will lead Kata to re-examine her own plans.

Why we love it

This stripped down, intimate drama is both mood piece and character study, as one middle-aged woman stuck in a bleak, routinized existence decides to affirm what she really wants — a baby — before it’s too late. Then, with her mentorship of Anna, Kata confronts a child who was never really wanted. Director Meszaros loves faces in close-up, with her characters’ expressions often standing in for dialogue. She also evokes the drab grayness of communist Hungary, while relating a poignant story of unexpected connections and growth. The female leads in particular are note-perfect. Kudos to the Criterion Collection for showcasing this largely forgotten cinematic gem.