David Appleby
Owen Gleiberman
June 13, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

12:08 East of Bucharest

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
89 minutes
Limited Release Date
06/06/07
performer
Mircea Andreescu, Teodor Corban
director
Corneliu Porumboiu
distributor
Tartan
author
Corneliu Porumboiu
genre
Foreign Language, Comedy, Drama

We gave it an B-

On a scrappy, small-town Romanian talk show, the host bumbles through 45 minutes (shot in real time) with two dubious guests: an alcoholic professor and a befuddled old crank. The topic — ”Did a revolution happen in this town?” — means: When the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled from power on Dec. 22, 1989, did protesters arrive in the square before 12:08 (i.e., when they might have been punished) or were they just wimpy followers? 12:08 East of Bucharest is a shrewdly built comedy, but the characters are broad-verging-on-cheap unholy hick fools. B-

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