A Romanian tidbit from director Corneliu Porumboiu that unfolds with all the slow assurance of a fable. Regular guy Costi gets a visit from Adrian, a neighbor who’s down on his luck and desperate for help. He thinks maybe there’s buried treasure out behind his grandfather’s house, buried there just before the Communists came in and turned it into a kindergarten (and a brickworks, and a steelworks, and a strip club...here and elsewhere, if the humor were any drier, it would be dust). If Costi will pay for a guy to come in with a metal detector, he’ll split the profits 50/50. Why does Costi risk his savings (and more) to chase what he calls “the opportunity of a lifetime?” Because he’s a romantic, the sort who takes joy in reading Robin Hood to his bored and bullied son. For such a quiet and measured film, it’s strangely packed with moments of potential, albeit small, disaster. The result is a tension that’s almost below the threshold of feeling, which may or may not make up for its general paucity of action. In Romanian with English subtitles. (2015) — Matthew Lickona
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