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The Death of Mr. Lazarescu(Moartea domnului Lăzărescu)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Romania

2005

Rated R • 2h 30m

Director Cristi Puiu

Starring Ioan Fiscuteanu, Luminița Gheorghiu, Doru Ana, Monica Bârlădeanu

Genre Comedy, Drama

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Mr. Lazarescu, a retired Romanian engineer, enjoys spending his time with his cats and a good drink. When he starts to feel ill, he searches for painkillers in his neighborhood. As his illness progresses, Mr. Lazarescu finds himself in an ambulance with a chatty nurse with thoughts about what is making him ill.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

90

Variety by

Picture's dour take on the dehumanizing process of medical treatment is leavened by black humor and dialogue that always rings true.
90

Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

Almost as exhilarating as it is depressing. Puiu's filmmaking technique is remarkable, and all the more so because it's almost invisible.
80

The New Yorker by David Denby

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, for all its terrible matter-of-factness, produces tumultuous feelings of amazement and revolt.
70

The Hollywood Reporter by Duane Byrge

In this deep probe into modern-day medicine, the old guy is shuttled from hospital to hospital in a surreal, horrifying ordeal of errors, missed diagnoses and institutional malaise. At two hours and 34 minutes, we, seemingly, also endure his agony -- part of this Romanian film's power and, also, its Achilles heel.
100

Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Both sad and darkly funny, the film is so sharply conceived and richly populated that it often registers like a Frederick Wiseman documentary, even though everything is scripted and every part played by a professional... This is only the second feature of Cristi Puiu, who claims to have been inspired by his own hypochondria, but he's already clearly a master.
91

The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

An intoxicating performance piece in which skilled actors pinball off each other with such energy and nuance that the audience almost forgets about the dying man on the edge of the frame. The style alone makes the movie's point.
70

Film Threat by Phil Hall

Do not, under any circumstance, approach this film lightly. Prepare to be depressed, agitated and shocked. And prepare to see a brilliant work of cinematic art.

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