The film opens with an adulterous couple, Paul and Raluca, naked in bed. Then we see Paul, a married man, doing ordinary domestic things with his wife and daughter. Afterwards there is an increase in silent pain and silent stress, followed by . . . nothing good.
Tuesday, After Christmas (2011) is a deeply sophisticated and realistic Romanian movie about marital infidelity. Its characters live for the love of an adult, for amatory love–they don’t live for religion, to be sure. The new adult for Paul, Raluca, is a trade-up to replace good wife Adriana (go figure). The film reveals the easy destruction which immorality brings about, and the frequent quietness with which people introduce disaster to a particular sphere.
It’s a subdued work directed by Radu Muntean, who uses no music to speak of and a myriad of medium shots in long takes. As for the acting, Mimi Branescu (Paul) is perfectly true as a middle-class man who is ordinary but not boring and hardly without moral awareness. Marie Popistau (Raluca) supplies subtlety and nimbleness as a dentist-cum-mistress. Exquisitely Mirela Opriser gets everything right as Adriana, a conventional woman suddenly thrust into anguish and rage.
By the way, what negative criticism this fine film received was sadly stupid.
(Tuesday, After Christmas is in Romanian with English subtitles.)