The sophomore effort by young Argentine talent Diego Lerman, whose offbeat debut "Suddenly" won a Silver Leopard in Locarno in 2003, is a small film about people living in Buenos Aires in uncertain times. Skipping back and forth from one story to another, "Meanwhile" is less distinctive than the earlier title, depicting a more familiar world with less atmosphere.

The sophomore effort by young Argentine talent Diego Lerman, whose offbeat debut “Suddenly” won a Silver Leopard in Locarno in 2003, is a small film about people living in Buenos Aires in uncertain times. Skipping back and forth from one story to another, “Meanwhile” is less distinctive than the earlier title, depicting a more familiar world with less atmosphere. Though the stories are well told, “Meanwhile” looks to be mostly of local interest apart from fest exposure.

Violeta (Maria Merlino) and Mono (Claudio Quinteros), who have a young daughter, are splitting up. Eva (Valeria Bertucelli), a quiet young maid, is driven to an act of rage by the middle-class family she works for. Dalmiro (Sergio Boris) tries to get out from under his imperious mother. A couple unable to have children goes to extremes to have a baby. A buddy of Mono’s gets a duckbilled platypus tattoo. This is thin material and it’s played straight, sans the ambiguity that made “Suddenly” a kinky sleeper. Reminding us Lerman has some personality are the pic’s irreverent use of dogs, and an intermittently sinister air of foreboding that haunts this professionally lensed low-budgeter.

Meanwhile

Argentina-France

Production

A Pyramide Prods./BD Cine coproduction. (International sales: Pyramide Intl., Paris.) Produced by Fabienne Vonnier, Diego Dubcovsky, Daniel Burman, Diego Lerman. Directed by Diego Lerman. Screenplay, Lerman, Graciela Speranza.

Crew

Camera (color), Jose Maria Gomez; editor, Alejandro Brodersohn; music, Juan Ignacio Bouscayrol; production designer, Mauro Doporto; costume designer, Carla Danio. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Venice Days), Aug. 30, 2006. Original title: Mientra tanto. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Valeria Bertucelli, Maria Merlino, Claudio Quinteros, Sergio Boris, Luis Herrera, Tatiana Saphir, Beatriz Thibaudin, Osmar Nunez, Luis Ziembrowsky, Marilu Marini, Paloma Palacios.
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