Of all the great monster mothers in cinema history, Cornelia Keneres (Luminita Gheorghiu, who sets the standard other performances should be judged by this year) ranks high on the list.
At the start of “Child’s Pose,” Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer’s near etymological study of the profound dysfunctions at the heart of a well-to-do Bucharest family, Cornelia is elegantly attired (she’s a successful architect) and smoking furiously. She’s in mid-rant to her best friend, the equally ritzy Olga (Natasa Raab). She’s airing out her discontents with her only child, Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache), and, in particular, Carmen (Ilinca Goia) the woman he’s been living with for the past three years. When the 30ish, apparently unemployed Barbu isn’t avoiding his mother, he’s verbally and physically abusing her and telling her she’s ruining his life — despite the fact that she’s apparently the one paying for it.