Aurora

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Romania's Cristi Puiu follows up his impressive and influential The Death of Mr. Lazarescu with another rigorous character study, though this time, tedium prevails. Puiu himself assumes the lead role of Viorel, a grim-faced metallurgist who wanders the streets of Bucharest—and walks for extended stretches around a half-renovated apartment—with an initially undefined purpose that slowly (very, very slowly) becomes clear. Whatever significance—political, social, psychological—we're meant to draw from Viorel's journey is counteracted by the film's consistently enervating tempo.—Keith Uhlich

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