Should a plain description of Hungarian writer-director Ágnes Kocsis’s accomplished second feature
– a withdrawn, obese nurse (Éva Gábor) working in a terminal ward of a dreary Budapest hospital finds a new admission bears the same name of a dearly remembered old school friend and sets out, slowly, to trace her – suggest an unpalatable dose of miserabilist eastern European minimalism, don’t be put off. True, the approach to filmmaking of Kocsis and her team (which re-unites the co-writer, cinematographer and editor from her first feature) is undemonstrative, painstaking and patient, never out of step with the stoic rhythms of her ‘ordinary’ heroine. But there is a special quality to Kocsis's attentiveness to her subject – call it her gift for creative listening – that pushes her discreet and observant evocation of this yet unfulfilled woman’s life beyond the usual boundaries of credible realism into something more mysterious, suggestive, open-ended and rewarding, and which illicits from Gábor one of the festival’s most intriguing, engrossing and quietly moving performances.
Author: Wally Hammond / Time Out Online 2010 London Film Festival