The Delay

(La demora)
Rodrigo Plá | Drama, Fiction

2012 | 84 minutes | France, Mexico, Uruguay

An exploration of the intense, painful ambivalence of family responsibility. When her elderly father's mental deterioration becomes a burden for her and three young children, María has to make a drastic decision.


María lives with her three school-age children and 80-year-old father, Agustín. It’s clearly a struggle for her to make ends meet and to juggle all of her commitments. Agustín has periods of lucidity, but his mental deterioration is such that Maria explores the possibility of his either living with another relative or moving into some kind of care facility. When both of these options seem imposible, María makes a drastic decision.

Selected as Uruguay’s entry for the 2013 Academy Awards, Rodrigo Plá’s narrative accuracy gets audiences involved in this simple story with no false notes. Far from the notion of dysfunctional family American cinema has transformed into a tight system of clichés, The Delay moves far beyond the realm of black and white, employing a subtle variation of grays, underlining what becomes the film’s central theme: the intense, painful ambivalence of family responsibility.


"The careworn, drawn face of María, a single mother raising three school-age children in a cramped, dingy apartment with her increasingly confused elderly father, communicates every element of this small but elegant film...Set in Montevideo, this unsparing look at the modern realities of getting old in a world without a social safety net has global application." — Sandra Collins, Byzantine Catholic Seminary Library, Pittsburgh, EMRO

"A powerful, realistic drama about an impaired old man and the daughter who cares for him, this is not only a closely observed psychological portrait of the relations between them but more than that, a moving social study of penury at work destroying the fabric of a family." — Dan Fainar, Screen Daily

"Indeed, while the Montevideo we see in The Delay is a grubby, dilapidated city, painted in unhealthy, mildew shades of gray and blue, community spirit is alive and well here, with people looking out for each other in what's clearly a cold climate both economically and heat-wise (and where humor of any kind is decidedly thin on the ground)." — Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter

"Carlos Vallarino and Roxana Blanco offer up moving yet underplayed perfs as a father and daughter who find themselves in a desperate situation wrought with finely nuanced emotional brushstrokes." — Variety

"A wonderful lesson in humanity that leaves you shaken." — Le Monde

"A beautiful film of distress and love, played with great accuracy." — Le Figaro

"Sober and modest, La Demora demonstrates the presence of a true filmmaker." — Cahiers du Cinéma

"A beautiful film about family and intergenerational relations." — Pelerin

"A powerful film and sensitive story beautifully interpreted and very cleverly done." — Les Fiches du Cinéma

"A delicate film of a beautiful simplicity yet expressive." — La Croix

Main credits

Plá, Rodrigo (film director)
Plá, Rodrigo (film producer)
Valdelièvre, Christian (film producer)
Saravia Vinay, Sandino (film producer)
Blanco, Roxana (actor)
Vallarino, Carlos (actor)

Other credits

Cinematography, María Secco; editor, Miguel Schverdfinger; music, Jacobo Lieberman, Leonardo Heiblum.

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Academy Awards® - Uruguay’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film
Berlin International Film Festival - Ecumenical Prize
Biarritz International Film Festival of Latin American Cinema - Best Actress
Lima Latin American Film Festival - Best Screenplay
Motovun Film Festival - Propeller of Motovun to Best Film
4+1 International Film Festival - Audience Award

DIRECTOR: Rodrigo Plá

NATIONALITY: France, Mexico, Uruguay

YEAR: 2012

GENRE: Drama, Fiction


COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: High School, College, Adults



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