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Top Customer Reviews
In comparison, "Birthday Girl" looks and feels low budget. Which it is. That doesn't make it a bad picture. Kidman's deadpan humor is slyly diverting, and her fake Russian accent is delivered with such a lack of pretension, her role as a mail-order bride from Moscow is cute. But after Kidman's year of living famously Hollywood-style, you can bet she won't be appearing in any more pictures like this.
Here she plays a Russian mail-order bride, showing up at the international flights gate of London's airport to meet her computer-matched mail-order buyer, John Buckingham. He is played as a perpetually befuddled bank clerk by Ben Chaplin - exactly the sort of role that brought Hugh Grant so much box office success in the 1990s. For the first two-thirds of "Birthday Girl," Kidman doesn't have any lines in English at all. She speaks Russian. No word, yet, on how she sounds to Russian ears.
This picture is set in the London commuter suburb of St. Albans, filled with new generic architecture where colorless John Buckingham puts in long hours at work, then spends his free time feeling quite lonely. Though John has a sparkling suburban cottage with a big back yard, he always turns to his computer for release - surfing Websites that offer chances to meet beautiful Russian women. Spotting a picture of Nadia (Kidman), and biographic info claiming she is fluent in English, he signs up.Read more ›
Ben Chaplin is also excellent in this film. He, like this film, may be one of the most underrated actors I can think of. He delievers every line like it's the most vital in the scrip, and it's just moving to watch someone so into their role. The pair have massive chemistry on screen, and you feel it from when they first meet in the airport until the last line.
This movie, about a British man and his mail-order bride from Russia, manages to entangle you in a web of unexpected suspense, dark humor, and erotic romance. Many movies fail at every attempt to mix genres, but it works for Birthday Girl.
This film does take a certain tase, however. This movie plays more like a very well-made indie film than it does a Hollywood blockbuster hit. It has amazing action and runs at a fast pace, which does set it apart from many indies.
If you've seen the trailer for this movie and read about it and think you'd like it, believe me then, you will.
Ben Chaplin's character John, inspite of his better judgment, orders a Russian bride on the Internet. Her name is Nadia, who arrives at airport as beautiful Nicole Kidman (perfectly in character). Of course, John is delighted to meet her, but despite what was written on the site, Nadia cannot speak English at all. Not only that, but she starts chainsmoking in his car.
But anyway, John falls in love with Nadia, who is as sexy as Satine in Paris, but later on arrive a pair of uninvited guests from Russia (Vincent Cassel, "Crimson River"; and Matthieu Kassovitz, "Amelie") : these guys are, they claim, the old aquaintances of Nadia, who is not unhappy to meet them again. And with the arrival of those two unwelcome people, John's happy life changes into a nightmare, full of dangers and suspense.
Some sources may categorize "Birthday Girl" as thriller, but the fact is the film is more like a farce surrounding the character of John and Nadia. It has a romantic side, which is sometimes very touching, but the film itself should be called a downbeat, understated romantic comedy. There are some potentially violent elements, but director knows how to handle them with care, not letting them hinder us from appreciating the best part of the film: femme fatale image of Nicole Kidman.
As you may imagine, "Birthday Girl" is Nicole Kidman's film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not a perfect film. But intriguing, thrilling, and entertaining. Nicole Kidman delivers another outstanding performance. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Ada Ardor
I honestly just really got into Nicole Kidman's filmography. With over 20 performances in film and on stage don't ask me why its taken me so long but I've discovered so many hidden... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cass
A sexy drama with some twists. Predictable.. but fun. If you would like to see Nicole playing a naughty Russian, a simple plot is fine.Published 8 months ago by Dave K.
Entertaining while I was recovering from a nasty cold. Silly and shallow ending. Seems like the writers could have done a much, much better job developing a super cool idea. Read morePublished 8 months ago by lee
This film was better than I expected. The film's story is weak in the beginning but gets better after about twenty minutes. Kidman's acting is good.Published 11 months ago by MJJ Fan
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