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Cairo Time

An Egyptian holiday proves revelatory

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If, like me, you love actress Patricia Clarkson, and have ever said, "I could just watch her walk around Cairo in pretty sundresses," you're in luck. On its surface this gentle romance from writer-director Ruba Nadda isn't much more than that. Juliet (Clarkson) arrives in Cairo to visit her husband, who ends up being detained at his work in nearby Gaza. Finding navigating the wondrous old city as a single woman awkward, she accepts the sight-seeing services of Tariq (Alexander Siddig), a former colleague of her husband's. Together, they take strolls through markets, cruise the Nile at sunset, share coffees and courteously banter about their cultural differences.

Cairo Time doesn't present your typical scenario of mid-life dalliances -- Juliet is happily married, and Tariq is a perfect gentleman -- but somewhere in this almost enchanted place of lively exoticism, the two succumb to the fantasies that nibble around the edge of their contented lives. Though the 90 minutes are a delightful travelogue of Cairo, this is a film for the patient, with not much plot or drama. Nonetheless, the payoff just might be worth it. Manor

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