Cairo Time (2009)

Cairo Time
Director: Ruba Nadda
Writer: Ruba Nadda
Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Alexander Siddig, Elena Anaya, Amina Annabi

Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) comes to Cairo to visit her husband who is working there for the UN. But when she lands, instead of her husband, it’s Tareq (Alexander Siddig) who picks her up. Tareq used to work with her husband, who is caught up in Gaza. As Juliette waits for her husband to return, she starts to spend more time with Tareq and their sympathies for each other deepen.

Cairo Time was a beautiful, well-written and perfectly acted film that I enjoyed much more than I thought I would.

I went into the film fearing that it would get boring – it is rather long and it doesn’t have much in the way of plot, so that’s a rather reasonable expectation I think. But though the movie is paced rather slowly, it never for a minute gets boring or long.

I credit Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddig for that. Patricia Clarkson was absolutely fantastic and completely owns the entire film with her performance. And Alexander Siddig achieves unprecedented levels of sexiness. It is frankly astonishing – he never did anything for me in DS9 and then he shows up in this film, much too thin for my taste and slightly out of my usual age range, and takes my breath away.

Additionally, the script is really excellent. Unfortunately, Ruba Nadda is a much better writer than she is a director. That makes for the weakest point in the entire film – sometimes the scenes are set in scene just a tad clumsily, if well-meaning, like in a school play.

But Patricia Clarkson, the great pacing and the wonderful cinematography more than make up for that. The film is chockful of beautiful images and stunning pictures. And to round it all off, it has a wonderful soundtrack.

Summarising: I loved it.


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