Myth and history mix in The Treasure, a dry comedy about a man’s attempt to recover a fortune that may or may not be buried in the 800 square-foot backyard of a former family home in a Romanian village. Director Corneliu Porumboiu teases out excellent deadpan performances from his principals, whom he often films in profile, using static medium and long shots. The takes are long as well, but the pace is brisk—every scene provides bouts of tension or wit. When one character boasts of having been successful in publishing, another character retorts, Don’t you know that only two percent of Romanians read more than one book a year? Though without a score, The Treasure offers notable exit music.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White