Patricia Clarkson projects great warmth as Juliette, a Canadian journalist who travels to Cairo to join her husband, a UN aid worker stationed in Egypt, for a scenic holiday among the Pyramids. He’s held up in the Gaza Strip, however, so he asks a former co-worker, Tareq (Alexander Siddig), to get her settled into her hotel.
Unaccustomed to the overwhelming attention the local male populace pays her (she’s frightened, but flattered, too), the middle-aged blonde beauty flees to the café owned by Tareq, unaware that such places are the domain of men alone. Gradually, a bond blossoms between the two strangers as they stroll about the city, which itself is a character.
The sense of place in Ruba Nadda’s low-key love story is so strong that it almost overwhelms the slow dance of these drifting souls and the tranquility of their tentative romance.