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Cairo Time

82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A married magazine editor falls for one of her husband's old acquaintances while vacationing in Cairo in this romantic drama from writer/director Ruba Nadda. Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) is a magazine editor who is happily married to Mark (Tom McCamus), a Canadian diplomat. Their kids are all grown up, and they've planned a three-week vacation in Cairo together when Mark gets delayed in the Palestinian territories and Juliette is left to navigate the Egyptian capitol alone. In order to ensure his wife's safety until he arrives, Mark asks his former security officer and longtime friend Tareq (Alexander Siddig) to be her guide though the city. He never imagined that they would fall in love, but the more time Tareq and Juliette spend together the more difficult is becomes for them to deny their intense attraction to one another.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Patricia Clarkson, Alexander Siddig
  • Directors: Ruba Nadda
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: IFC Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041KT3NK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,281 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cairo Time" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel's Grace on September 20, 2010
Format: DVD
I completely disagree with the previous review. I found the movie delightful. The film brought back many memories of Cairo and Egypt (and Arab men) for me. There is also the experience of a woman traveling alone rather than traveling with a companion or family. I recognized many of the experiences that Juliette had as captured by the exquisite acting of Patricia Clarkson. I had no idea what an excellent actress she is. I especially loved the slow development of the relationship between Juliette and Tarek, played by Alexander Siddig. Hopefully, the film industry will cast Siddig in more romantic leads (if thats what he wants).
The movie did just scratch the surface on several little subplots but it did not get weighed down by them and kept to the theme of friendship and romance developing while a woman waits (unaccompanied) in Cairo. The music was beautiful as well. I recommend the movie (unless you only like action films) and I suggest checking out "The Making of Cairo Time" on Youtube for a little more background on the film and director. (Its an art film and a romance film.)
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Format: DVD
"Cairo Time" seems to be inspired by the restraint of silver screen romances of the 1940s. "Casablanca" comes to mind for Ingrid Bergman's passionate but loyal and decorous character -and for the exoticism of that Moroccan city. "Cairo Time" is a romantic drama, however, without political intrigue or action. The action is in the characters' emotions, but they are rarely expressed overtly. Juliette Grant (Patricia Clarkson) is a magazine editor whose husband works for the United Nations in Gaza. She has traveled to Cairo to meet him for a romantic vacation, but he has been delayed due to unrest in Gaza. So Tareq (Alexander Siddig), an Egyptian former colleague, meets Juliette at the airport and gets her settled into her hotel.

The city of Cairo is a big part of this film, with all of its chaos, beauty, poverty, ancient wonders and modern skyscrapers, both Western and Eastern, Muslim and secular. Writer and director Ruba Nadda, an Arab Canadian, references the city's relaxed pace in the title "Cairo Time", and she has adopted that pace for the film. But it's not dull. The film is only 90 minutes long. It's just not frenzied, as that would be out of place in the extreme heat and languorous Mediterranean culture. Juliette is going stir crazy at the hotel with nothing to do but worry about her husband, so she sets out to explore. At first alone, but when it becomes clear that is a challenge for a blond woman in an Arab city, Tareq becomes her guide.

The adventure catches Juliette when her role is changing. Her children have left home. She's come a long way to be closer to her husband, but, for the moment, those plans have fallen through. Tareq is a man who is very familiar with Western ways, having worked for the UN, but he has a traditionalist streak.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Jones on March 19, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie felt like "L'Aventura" . Each time I have seen that movie I feel such intensity of unspoken desires, tension, sadness...and disillusionment. The characters yearn for a romantic ideal which the "object" will inevitably fail to fulfill. Though in "Cairo Time" the characters do not consummate those fantasies, the viewer feels their intensity. During each event of the film the impulse to overcome "rules" and its potential for disaster, slowly works its will. Those fantasies and stirred up needs appear likely to spill over into disillusionment with "normal life". Often reviewers commented that the movie expresses a superficial-cleaned up view of Cairo or that the main characters were not politically correct or sophisticated "they should have known...". Yet such superficial characters and glossy settings represent a protection against deep emotion. They are revealed as brittle when "fate" takes a hand. A woman who has not been admired by young men for years may feel invisible to men and perfectly safe to wander the streets. When young men follow and crowd her she is suddenly visible and vulnerable. Unfamiliar sensations change her perceptions of others. When the husband suddenly appears, her emotional nature tries to regain that familiar surface but instead, suddenly she shows true pain. To summarize-- I disagree with others who deny that this film is more than a lovely unreal travelogue. I feel it contains many painful truths.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. Collins on October 2, 2010
Format: DVD
This film has its strengths and its weaknesses. It is about a North American liberal woman who has come to Cairo Egypt to meet with her UN employed husband who is negotiation in Gaza. Unfortunately her husband is not able to break away from the conflict to join his wife and so she has been left alone. Thus to some extent the movie is about a woman traveling alone in an Islamic country and the cultural differences that both attract her and some which threaten her. Her husband's former employee, Tarek, now retired, is her companion while her husband is detained, opening many doors for her, including romance. The film also explores the concept that when we are in a different culture, feeling alone and isolated, and also feeling somewhat vulnerable, that our decisions and thoughts are not typical and we may act in a way that we would not under our normal circumstances. The strength of having two characters over 50 years old is that sometimes more experienced people recognize these circumstances and are able to reconnect with former lives and attachments. The city of Cairo was beautiful and the film made me want to visit someday. The Nile River, which played a major visual role in the film, was stunning. There is a scene as to how Egyptian young men would respond to a blond North American woman walking the streets alone. They assumed they could seduce her and that she was sexually available, which highly threatened Juliette. But Juliette continues to explore. Sometimes this results in beauty and insight, especially the wonderful scene where she goes into an ancient mosque to see and hear the chanter's beautiful call to prayer. Sometimes her loneliness leads to problems, such as the scene where she tries to pass into Gaza and is turned back by the Israeli military border guards.Read more ›
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Topic From this Discussion
Special Features on "Cairo Time" DVD?
Yes, the Amazon descriptions clearly indicate that each version has the same extras. Of those extras, "Aadan" (Servant of the Giving") is truly wonderful, in which the piety of a young muslim woman doing her mid-day prayer is luminous. It moves and wins the hearts of a lot of... Read More
Oct 14, 2012 by Panola Man |  See all 4 posts
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