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The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)

Moartea domnului Lãzãrescu (original title)
Mr. Lãzãrescu, a dying old man, is shuttled from hospital to hospital by a loyal paramedic as doctors refuse to operate and no one can agree on a diagnosis.

Director:

Cristi Puiu
29 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Doru Ana Doru Ana ... Sandu Sterian
Monica Barladeanu ... Mariana
Alina Berzunteanu Alina Berzunteanu ... Dr. Zamfir
Dorian Boguta ... Ambulantier (as Doru Boguta)
Mimi Branescu ... Dr. Mirica
Mihai Bratila Mihai Bratila ... Dr. Breslasu
Dragos Bucur ... Misu
Robert Bumbes Robert Bumbes ... Robert
Dan Chiriac Dan Chiriac ... Medic triaj Spitalui Universitar
Mirela Cioaba Mirela Cioaba ... Marioara
Laura Cret Laura Cret ... Medic ecograf, Spitalui Sf. Spiridon
Dana Dogaru Dana Dogaru ... Mihaela Sterian
Bogdan Dumitrache ... Medic, Spitalui Sf. Spiridon
Alexandru Fifea Alexandru Fifea ... Brancardier, Spitalui Sf. Spiridon
Ion Fiscuteanu ... Mr. Lazarescu (Domnui Lazarescu) (as Ioan Fiscuteanu)
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Storyline

Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old lonely man feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives, the paramedic decides he should take him to the hospital but once there they decide to send him to another hospital and then yet another... As the night unfolds and they can't find a hospital for Mr. Lazarescu, his health starts to deteriorate fast. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Romania

Language:

Romanian

Release Date:

22 September 2005 (Romania) See more »

Also Known As:

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu See more »

Filming Locations:

Romania See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,880, 30 April 2006

Gross USA:

$80,301

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$216,922
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mandragora See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Acclaimed director Mike Leigh prepared in 2010 a list of his 10 favorite films for the website top10films.co.uk and included The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) as his No.5. [Feb. 2010] See more »

Quotes

Mr. Lazarescu (Domnui Lazarescu): Excuse me, Nurse, but how old are you?
Mioara Avram: I'm not that young anymore. I'm 55.
Mr. Lazarescu (Domnui Lazarescu): 55?
Mioara Avram: Yes. In September.
Mr. Lazarescu (Domnui Lazarescu): In September? Just like Virgil, my brother-in-law, only he's 68.
See more »


Soundtracks

In Apa Marii
Music by George Grigoriu and lyrics by Mircea Block
Performed by Margareta Pîslaru (as Margareta Paslaru)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Hellish Ride
23 September 2005 | by tributarystuSee all my reviews

Mr. Lazarescu: nearing 63, lives alone with his three cats, underwent surgery due to ulcer, has a sister still living in Romania and a daughter who left (it seems) unannounced and moved to Canada. This is the man: old, alone and ill. A terrible fate.

Puiu's movie, inspired from true events (some years ago, a man was transported from one hospital to the other with a most tragic consequence) follows its protagonist through the final stages of his life: feeling ill, Lazarescu calls for an ambulance and awaits its (delayed) arrival drinking and making telephone calls. As the hands of the clock turn and the ambulance is nowhere to be heard or seen, the old man goes next door, trying to get some help from the neighbors: a stereotype of their kind. Once the ambulance finally arrives, Lazarescu embarks on a most dreadful road trip, from hospital to hospital, in an elaborate attempt to diagnose and operate him. The story begins.

It would be unfair not to acknowledge the film's authenticity from the outset. Truly segmented - as the director himself affirmed, regarding "Lazarescu" as the first in six stories about the Romanian capital - in several (short) "stories of Bucharest", we meet most intriguing characters and situations, each of them highly rewarding on different levels. Good doctors, bad doctors, grumpy doctors, snobbish doctors, pitiful doctors - all the guys and girls our great medical system can offer. Still, some continue to resemble human beings, which - to a certain degree - is quite an achievement.

The bad light Puiu sheds on them may be diminished by the fact that the night Lazarescu chose to fall ill was most unfortunate: a terrible car accident filled most of the hospitals so that it was extremely difficult to find a place for an old, drunk man who was automatically labeled as a drinker and treated as such. Few characters in the film show authentic sympathy for Lazarescu, as most of them just want to get on with the job and do themselves a greater good. There is no such concept of readiness to help a fellow man struggling between life and death: commodity reigns. Unlike Lazarus, our main character will most probably not rise from the dead. And the people who still stand and didn't give their everything are up to their throats in guilt.

But this is the terrible, depressing half of the story. A most regretful reality. Cristi Puiu's and Razvan Radulescu's (a bit overlong) script is at times filled with moments of sheer irony, sarcasm and cynicism, all worth their laughs. Some of these moments are brilliant. Lazarescu is witty and gutsy, as long as he can talk. He is a man who - despite what others think - wants to stand up for himself and would rather not let anyone treat him like scum. Sadly, though, all is part of a gigantic vicious circle: doctors remain people and patients are not at all different. Flawed. Yet, there is a question of humanity and dignity involved. A choice between what is right and what is easy, as the saying goes.


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