Child's Pose

A wealthy Romanian theatrical designer (Luminita Gheorghiu), celebrating her birthday with a party at a swank hotel, earns her guests’ applause with her abandoned dancing, but her brio is tested to its limits after her no-account son (Bogdan Dumitrache) kills a child in a speeding accident on the expressway. Screenwriter Razvan Radulescu (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Tuesday, After Christmas) follows this serpentine character as she barges into her son’s police interrogation, curries favor with the investigating officer, tries to persuade a witness to change his testimony, and coolly strategizes an offering to the dead boy’s parents that will get her live one off the hook. A tour-de-force performance from Gheorghiu carries this 2013 drama along, but Radulescu provides the fine edge, noting how this lioness cloaks her selfish crusade in a plea for humanity. Calin Peter Netzer directed. In Romanian with subtitles.