Waiting for the Messiah (2000) from Tuna

Waiting for the Messiah (2000) is a Spanish/Italian/Argentine co-produced character driven drama set in Buenos Aries. It is presented in Spanish and some Yiddish with forced subtitles.

The story centers on Ariel Goldstein (Daniel Hendler), a young Jewish man who is expected to marry Estela (Melina Petriella) and take his traditional place in the family. Goldstein is not pleased with what he perceives to be the box society has placed him in, and lands a job at a TV station, where he meets Laura (Chiara Caselli), who is a TV personality with a show highlighting ordinary people. She is try-sexual, currently living with Annie (Dolores Fonzi). Annie is openly gay and looking for commitment. Laura longs for her estranged father, who promises to visit, but never does.

A world-wide stock market crash puts all of the plot elements in motion. Santamaria is a bank employee, suddenly unemployed, and consequently kicked out by his wife, who resorts to purse snatching, then returning the ID for a reward, who begins a seduction of the attendant in the ladies room of a train station where he goes each night to clean up. She is waiting for her husband to get out of jail on a robbery conviction. Santamaria snatches Goldstein's mother's purse, and contacts Goldstein to return the ID.

These colorful characters interact with each other is mostly predictable ways. Laura and Ariel get together, Laura interviews Santamaria for her show, and Ariel eventually "outgrows" his Jewish heritage. Estela waits patiently for Ariel to return, much as she is still waiting for the  Messiah. Annie takes a break from the unsatisfying relationship, and Laura sets off to find her father.

The film uses a rich color palette, and is well photographed. It lacks pace and focus, but that is not necessarily a fatal problem in a character-driven piece. In the end, your enjoyment will be determined by how much or little you like the characters.  




Melina Petriella briefly shows her breasts.

Chiara Caselli and Delores Fonzi both show breasts and buns.

The Critics Vote ...

  • There are no English-language reviews on file

  • It was nominated for several awards by the Argentinean film critics, and won some international awards at film festivals.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C+. Good film of its type, but the scope of its appeal is limited by its very nature as an unfocused character-driven film in Spanish and Yiddish.

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