Feature

Cairo Time

A New York fashion editor's first visit to Cairo becomes a romantic interlude when she is escorted around the city by a former associate of her husband.

Directed by Ruba Nadda
(PG)

***

Cairo Time portrays a “lovely and languid flirtation with a foreign land”—and a foreign man, said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. Patricia Clarkson stars as a New York fashion editor who goes to Cairo to visit her husband, a U.N. diplomat, only to find he’s been detained in Gaza. He asks a former associate—played by the tall and darkly handsome Alexander Siddig—to escort her around the Egyptian capital. Writer-director Ruba Nadda “feeds off the cool beauty of Clarkson and the dry heat” of Siddig to create a gentle tale of a romantic cross-cultural interlude. Though visually enchanting, Cairo Time “fails to summon any magic,” said Jake Coyle in the Associated Press. The snapshots of Egypt—the eternal Nile, the White Desert, the Pyramids of Giza—capture its appeal, but the meandering story plays like a “kind of Middle East Lost in Translation.Cairo Time isn’t perfect, said Rex Reed in The New York Observer. But the film’s strengths outweigh its weaknesses, and its understated emotion and subtle storytelling are two qualities that are “all too rare on screen today.”

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