Mia Misses Her Revenge ★★★★

MIA MISSES HER REVENGE plays like something new and fresh in Romanian cinema. Built around long takes of people talking - it alternates between 1.85 and Academy ratio - it's set in a firmly middle-class milieu of actors, directors and influencers. (Many scenes suggest acting class improv exercises.) It's also a post-#metoo film reflecting on the nuances of consent, desire and the exploitation of women's bodies in filmmaking and theater. But it has no simple answers to the questions Mia (Ioana Bugarin) starts asking after her boyfriend slaps her. As she starts searching for them among her family and group of friends, she discovers there's no real consensus about where the lines of violence should be drawn or what women (or men, once she decides to make amateur porn to get back at her ex) are willing to put up with. The performances are refreshingly vibrant, with director Bogdan Theodor Olteanu using conversations between Mia and her mother as a repeated motif. He has a rare knack for turning such scenes into cinema, with a carefully calibrated rhythm.