Cairo Time

Rated 3.0

Some spectacular Egyptian scenery is the real star of this curiously slack account of a brief romance in an exotic setting. Patricia Clarkson stars as a married woman of a certain age who comes to Cairo to visit her husband, who works for the UN. The husband, however, is delayed elsewhere in the Middle East and so he dispatches Tareq (handsome Alexander Siddig), an old Egyptian friend, to introduce her to the city. Writer/director Ruba Nadda takes an admirably laid-back approach to the very slow-brewing romance between Juliette (Clarkson) and Tareq, treating their cautious, half-deflected amour as almost an afterthought in the margins of a leisurely travelogue mildly peppered with tiny bits of culture conflict. Siddig is gracious and courtly, but the always distinctive Clarkson seems oddly sedated and a little out of synch in some small but important moments. She doesn’t have much spark until Juliette’s comparatively lumpish spouse (Tom McCamus) finally shows up near the end and lets us see the contrasts between what she has and what she might have had. Pageant Theatre. Rated R