ROMANIA – 20O9 – 115 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN ROMANIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
A FILM BY CORNELIU PORUMBOIU
Confirming that the new Romanian cinema is no flash in the pan, Corneliu Porumboiu has followed up his Caméra d'Or-winning “12:08 East of Bucharest” with the magnificently conceived and executed POLICE, ADJECTIVE, cementing his reputation as one of Europe's most exciting new talents.
Cristi is a policeman who refuses to arrest a young man who offers hashish to two of his school mates.
“Offering” is punished by the law. Cristi believes that the law will change, he does not want the life of a young man he considers irresponsible to be a burden on his conscience.
For his superior the word conscience has a different meaning.
"Played by Vlad Ivanov — the amoral abortionist from 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS — the chief is something to behold. He has absolutely no time for Cristi's crisis of conscience, but isn't content simply to order him around. He has to prove his superiority, and does so in a scene that is as excruciating as it his dryly hilarious, forcing Cristi to flip through the dictionary, looking up various related definitions and read them out. It has the tone of a vindictive schoolteacher punishing a student, but with much higher stakes, and yet Cristi is unable to do anything but bow to the will of the headmaster and the cursed dictionary, whose black-and-white factuality crushes any of his thoughtfulness and compassion."
- VUE WEEKLY
4 Stars! "try as you might, you just can’t win a war against grammar."
- SEE MAGAZINE
Video: Reverse Shot‘s Eric Hynes interviews Porumboiu in Central Park.
"kind of slow, but fascinating."
- THE PROVINCE
"POLICE, ADJECTIVE has some anaphora about it, as well as some conscience. Despite its tedium, it settles in your mind, and like a cop on a stakeout, you find it may not leave."
"This was the most extraordinary entry at the 2009 Vancouver International Film Festival. Now’s your chance to find out why."
- THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT
4 Stars! "one of the most captivating conversations committed to film in ages"
"an intriguing study of the way one man’s world works even if he doesn’t fully understand it."
- WE ARE GEEKS
"POLICE, ADJECTIVE has some anaphora about it, as well as some conscience. Despite its longueurs, it settles in your mind, and like a cop on a stakeout, you find it may not leave."
- WINDSOR STAR
"POLICE, ADJECTIVE remains riveting throughout, acting mainly as a drawn-out build-up for a final act punch line that is simultaneously hilarious and terrifying"
"The definition of riveting: Romanian police drama finds its thrill in words, not high-speed chases"
- BOSTON GLOBE
"a cerebral thriller that takes a witty, dry look at the nature of postcommunist justice."
- CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
Liam Lacey's 60 Second Video Review!
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL
4 OUT OF 4 STARS! "A wonderful, slow-moving tribute to inaction"
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL
NNNNN! - "Porumboiu has constructed a thrilling exploration of the intersection between social dynamics and personal morality – and the way a nation can shift from cruel dictatorship to indifferent bureaucracy."
You’ll be on the edge of your seat.
- NOW MAGAZINE
Writer/director Corneliu Porumboiu's Romanian aspect has some comedy to it, but it's too grim for real yuks. The point of this well-acted but pulse-free picture is to show how slowly meaningful change comes. In a country relatively new to democracy and still struggling to shake its Communist past, offences that would escape attention elsewhere can loom large on official radar.
- THE TORONTO STAR
"a welcome respite in an age when so many films seem to employ storyboard artists rather than screenwriters."
- THE NATIONAL POST
"an impressive wrap-up, one that may have you deciding it was worth the wait. Or not. Either way, one leaves POLICE, ADJECTIVE on an artistic high note."
- TORONTO SUN
During a conversation over coffee at Toronto's International Film Festival in September, Porumboiu, 35, discusses the decidedly unglamorous world of his latest film — which opens in Toronto this Friday — and how he fed his interest in film from a small town in Romania.
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL