Blu-ray Review: Everybody in Our Family

Romania has long produced highly individual and unashamedly idiosyncratic cinema. Heralded by the release of Cristi Puiu’s directorial debut Stuff and Dough in 2001, and exploding during the middle of the decade, the Romanian new wave movement is characterised by an emphasis on minimalism and realism. Directors such as Corneliu Porumboiu, Adrian Sitaru, Cristian Mungiu, Cătălin Mitulescu and Puiu’ have all made a splash on festival circuits and beyond. However, it is, perhaps, Radu Jude who has made the most adventurous films. Released in 2012, Everybody in Our Family is one of his best.

After an acrimonious divorce, Marius (Șerban Pavlu) struggles to stay in contact with his 5-year-old daughter Sophia (Sofia Nicolaescu). With only limited visitation rights, he has planned a special trip to the seaside for them during his vacation. When he arrives at his mother-in-law’s (Tamara Buciuceanu-Botez) house to pick her up, his ex-wife (Mihaela Sîrbu) isn’t there and her new partner (Gabriel Spahiu) isn’t entirely helpful. Marius faces an uphill battle to realise his ambition.

Everybody in Our Family is a thrilling dialogue-driven drama about one man’s increasingly desperate struggle to take his daughter on holiday. Jude catapults Marius into a game of cat and mouse. Surrounded by enemies, their veneer of politeness soon fades to reveal the past enmities which bubble below the surface. Pavlu is magnificent as the increasingly frayed ex-husband. This one argument acts as a microcosm for his failed life. Everybody in Our Family is a searing black comedy about family strife.

Special edition contents:

• Presented from a new HD transfer, approved by the director.
• An exclusive, newly filmed interview with director Radu Jude.
• Two of Radu Jude’s award-winning short films:
 The Tube with a Hat (Lampa cu căciulă, 2006)
– Alexandra (2007)
• Trailer.
• Booklet with a new essay on the film by critic and journalist Carmen Gray.
• DTS-HD 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo 24-bit LPCM audio options.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• World premiere release on Blu-ray.
• Region free (A/B/C)

Everybody in Our Family is released on Blu-ray by Second Run on 29 April.

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