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I write often about film reviews that I read that are grand in their endeavor and outcome; A.O. Scott's reviews of "Little Children" and "Into the Wild" and Anthony Lane's devastating and hilarious review of "Star Wars: Episode III" are always top of mind.

Today, I read another one by New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis on "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," the Romanian film that took the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, yet was mysteriously shut out of consideration for a Best Foreign Film Oscar earlier this week. 

"In “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” a ferocious, unsentimental, often brilliantly directed film about a young woman who helps a friend secure an abortion, the camera doesn’t follow the action, it expresses consciousness itself. This consciousness — alert to the world and insistently alive — is embodied by a young university student who, one wintry day in the late 1980s, helps her roommate with an abortion in Ceausescu’s Romania when such procedures were illegal, not uncommon and too often fatal. It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement."

This is an exceptional review.

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