Film Scouts Reviews

"Trop Tard"

by Lisa Nesselson

May 19, 1996

Capsule Review: by Lisa Nesselson

Nowhere near a frenetic as Pintilie's "The Oak" and nowhere near as wrenching as Pintilie's "An Unforgettable Summer", "Too Late" features enough full frontal male nudity to run a lending library for the other 82 films in selections and sidebars at Cannes and still have a few uncricumsized penises to spare. An ethically driven inspector in contemporary Romania looks into murderous events in a coal mine. Corruption is rife and (surprise, surprise) worker safety and welfare is not upmost in management's mind. The twist is that the workers don't necessarily WANT their welfare looked into -- they just want to keep their thankless, dangerous jobs..

Capsule Review: by David Sterritt

There's less to say about Lucian Pintilie's new drama, "Too Late," which also has a midway position in its director's aesthetic, between the rambunctious ramblings of "The Oak" and the old-fashioned narrativuity of "An Unforgettable Summer," which forgettably screened here a year ago. Set in and around a proliferating mine that's evidently symbolic of Rumania's complexities in recent years, it builds toward a suspense sequence that almost makes up in dramatic momentum what it lacks in metaphoric originality. (I far prefer the metaphorical edge-of-your-seat stuff at the end of Mircea Daneliuc's ferocious "Jacob" back in 1988.) Pintilie knows filmmaking, but he hasn't yet convinced me of the consistency of his talent.

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