Video Review

The Oak (1994)

MPAA Rating: Unrated
EW's GRADE
A

Details Movie Rated: Unrated; Genres: Drama, Foreign Language; With: Maia Morgenstern and Razvan Vasilescu

Writer-director Lucian Pintilie's outrageous film The Oak roils with a dizzying momentum as it casually piles up absurdity and ghastliness like so many corpses. At the end of the Ceausescu regime in Romania, the fiery Nela (Maia Morgenstern) takes off to the country, where she experiences one horror (rape) after another (watching a busload of children being gunned down by the secret police) while becoming involved with an anarchic doctor (Razvan Vasilescu). It's not for all tastes, to be sure, but there hasn't been such a brazenly unsentimental film since the young Jean-Luc Godard peered from behind a camera. A

Originally posted Aug 19, 1994 Published in issue #236 Aug 19, 1994 Order article reprints