The Death of Mr Lăzărescu/Moartea domnului Lăzărescu (2005) | by Cristi Puiu
*All movies are in Romanian with English subtitles
The film that, for many people, signaled the emergence of the new Romanian cinema, Cristi Puiu’s second feature was a revelation at Cannes 2005, where it took top prize in the Un Certain Regard section. A sardonic, darkly humorous, compulsively vibrant feature, The Death of Mr Lăzărescu seems so realistic and convincing, unfolding as though in real time, that it’s hard to believe it was acted.
As it follows an ailing retired engineer, too fond of booze, who gets carted from one overtaxed Bucharest hospital to another in search of proper medical care, a whole stressed society is laid bare: Each doctor, nurse, paramedic and patient leaps into view with individuality and articulate self-defensiveness. Compassion and indifference clash, often within the same person.
The fluid, mobile camera recalls the great works of Fred Wiseman and John Cassavetes. Luminița Gheorghiu, who plays the good-samaritan nurse, was named Best Supporting Actress by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Romania, 2005, 154 min
Directed by: Cristi Puiu
Screenwriters: Cristi Puiu, Răzvan Rădulescu
Director of Photography: Oleg Mutu
Cast: Ion Fiscuteanu, Luminiţa Gheorghiu, Gabriel Spahiu, Doru Ana, Dana Dogaru, Florin Zamfirescu, Clara Vodă, Adrian Titieni, Mihai Brătilă, Monica Bârlădeanu
Festivals: Un Certain Regard Award – Cannes Film Festival 2005
Romanian with English subtitles