WriterCristi Puiu, Răzvan Rădulescu
Top castIon Fiscuteanu, Luminița Gheorghiu, Mimi Brănescu, Monica Bârladeanu, Mihai Brătilă
Release Year2005
Runtime 2h33
Mr. Lăzărescu, 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.


Doru AnaSandu Sterian
Monica BarladeanuMariana
Alina BerzunteanuDr. Zamfir
Dorian BogutaAmbulantier
Mimi BranescuDr. Mirica
Mihai BratilaDr. Breslasu
Dragos BucurMisu
Robert BumbesRobert
Dan ChiriacMedic triaj Spitalui Universitar
Mirela CioabaMarioara
Laura CretMedic ecograf, Spitalui Sf. Spiridon
Dana DogaruMihaela Sterian
Bogdan DumitracheMedic, Spitalui Sf. Spiridon
Alexandru FifeaBrancardier, Spitalui Sf. Spiridon
Ion FiscuteanuMr. Lazarescu (Domnui Lazarescu)
Luminita GheorghiuMioara Avram
Florina Alina GlezneaAsistenta, Spitalui Sf. Spiridon
Tudor HristescuDr. Kelemen
Rodica IonescuAsistenta, Spitalui Universitar
Cerasela IosifescuAsistenta, Spitalui Filaret
Irina KozsarAsistenta, Spitalui Universitar
Iulia LazarAsistenta. Spitalui Filaret
Rodica LazarDr. Laura Serban
Serban PavluGelu
Simona PopescuAsistenta, Spitalui Bagdasar
Alexandru PotoceanBrancardier, Spitualui Bagdasar
Calin PuiaBrancardier, Spitalui Universitar
Anca PuiuVecina
Emil PuiuDl. Sandu
Iuliana PuiuDna. Sanui
Smaranda PuiuSmaranda
Gabriel SpahiuLeo
Jean Lorin SterianMedic, Spitalui Universitar
Mariana StoicaPacienta, Spitalui Sf. Spiridon
Maria SerbAssistenta, Spitalui Bagdasar
Andrei SerbanBrancardier, Spitalui Sf. Spiridon
Adrian TitieniDr. Dragos Popescu
Cristian TurungiuBrancardier, Spitalui Universitar
Clara VodaDr. Gina Filip
Ionel ZahariaBrancardier, Spitalui Universitar
Florin ZamfirescuDr. Ardelean
Lorena-Andrada ZabrautanuAsistenta, Spitalui Universitar


  • Director of photography Oleg Mutu
  • Sound Constantin Fleancu, Pavel Gabrielescu, Cristian Tarnovețchi
  • Set design Cristina Barbu
  • Costume design Cristina Barbu
  • Make-up and hair Silvana Bratu
  • Film editing Dana Bunescu
  • Production manager Tudor Hristescu
  • Executive producer Alexandru Munteanu
  • Producer Bobby Păunescu, Anca Puiu
  • Countries of origin Romania


Dante Remus Lăzărescu (Ioan Fiscuteanu), a cranky retired engineer, lives alone as a widower with his three cats in a Bucharest apartment. In the grip of extreme pain, Lăzărescu calls for an ambulance, but when none arrives, he asks for his neighbors' help. Not having the medicine Lăzărescu wants, the neighbors give him some pills for his nausea. A neighbor reveals that Lăzărescu is a heavy drinker. His neighbor helps Lăzărescu back to his apartment and to bed. They call again for an ambulance.


When the ambulance finally arrives, the nurse, Mioara (Luminița Gheorghiu), dispels the idea that Lăzărescu's ulcer surgery over a decade before could cause this pain. While taking the patient history, she suspects that Lăzărescu has colon cancer. After informing his sister, who lives in a different city, that the condition could be serious and she should visit Lăzărescu in the hospital, the nurse decides to get him to a hospital. His sister makes arrangements to come the following day; his only child, a daughter, lives in Toronto, Canada.


The film follows Lăzărescu's journey through the night, as he is carried from one hospital to the next. At the first three hospitals, the doctors, after much delay, reluctantly agree to examine Lăzărescu. Then, although finding that he is gravely ill and needs emergency surgery, each team refuses to admit him and sends him to another hospital. Meanwhile, Lăzărescu's condition deteriorates rapidly, his speech is reduced to babbling, and he slowly loses consciousness. The hospitals are jammed with injured passengers from a bus accident, but some doctors appear to reject him out of fatigue or because they do not feel like taking care of a smelly old drunkard. During the night, his only advocate is Mioara, the paramedic who stubbornly stays by him and tries to get him hospitalized and treated, while passively accepting verbal abuse from the doctors who look down on her.


Finally, at the fourth hospital, the doctors admit Lăzărescu. The film ends as they prepare to perform an emergency operation to remove a blood clot in his brain.


Cannes Film Festival (Romania, 2005)

  • winner - Un Certain Regard

    Cristi Puiu

Transilvania International Film Festival (Romania, 2005)

  • winner - Best Romanian Film

    Cristi Puiu

  • winner - Best Direction

    Cristi Puiu

  • winner - Best Audience

    Cristi Puiu

  • winner - Best Actor

    Ion Fiscuteanu

  • winner - Best Actress

    Luminita Gheorghiu

  • winner - FIPRESCI Prize

    Cristi Puiu

European Film Awards (Romania, 2005)

  • winner - European Director

    Cristi Puiu

  • winner - European Screenwriter

    Cristi Puiu, Razvan Radulescu


It seems extraordinary to claim that this film is funny but it is.

Peter Bradshaw | Guardian

Jul 15, 2006 | Full review ↗

There's something about Fiscuteanu's quietly desperate performance (with much of the emotion conveyed through his eyes), that gets under your skin.

Moira MacDonald | Seattle Times

July 28, 2006 | Full review ↗

Puiu's seemingly artless, documentary-style mise en scène, with the characters followed by a shoulder-mounted camera, conceals countless subtleties, foreshadowings and running themes.

Michael Brooke | Sight & Sound

September 28, 2006 | Full review ↗

Long, but engrossing and frequently enraging drama that not only exposes the flaws in the Romanian health service, but also in modern humanity.

David Parkinson | Empire Magazine

Jul 14, 2006 | Full review ↗