On the surface, the story is about a mother's love for her son and her desire to be central in his life even now he is grown up. Barbu is fighting for his independence at the same time. When her son has a car accident, for which he may be to blame, she sets out to use her power and influence to sweep it under the carpet...
There are obvious parallels here with the corrupt state of Romania post their revolution. Director Calin Peter Netzer successfully weaves the gripping plot into this political background and the emotional minefield of the mother-son relationship.
“Netzer's film is about moral decline, but it's also about the survival instincts of the economic elites, always ready to channel their vast resources in order to overwhelm those underclass interlopers who might think of battering down the walls to their paradise. The intense final scenes of the film cement the fact that, despite his obvious mania, it's not Barbu who needs saving from himself, it's Cornelia”
“Challenging, intelligent work.”