« THE DAMNED — CLASSIC FILM PICK | Main | 50 First Dates »

April 04, 2009

Birthday Girl

Birthday_girl There are enough well layered performances in director/co-writer Jez Butterworth's "Birthday Girl" to all but compensate for the film's inept noir flirtations between romantic farce and theft thriller. The two genres are like oil and water elements that can't help but negate the other.  Ben Chaplin plays John, a repressed British banker with a crappy sports car and a fetish for bondage pornography who cures his loneliness by arranging for a Russian mail order bride named Nadia  (played exquisitely by Nicole Kidman) to come live with him. But Nadia doesn't speak English, and casts a coldly ironic Eastern European Eurotrash stare across all she sees, even while fulfilling John's every sexual desire a bit too earnestly. Things get slippery for John when Nadia's unpredictable fake cousin Alexei (Vincent Cassel) and traveling buddy Yuri (Mathieu Kassovitz) show up in time for Nadia's birthday. Chaplin, Kidman, and Cassel flesh out their opposing characters with a wealth of physicality and characteristic body language that provides a feisty and unpredictable interplay.
Rated R. 93 mins. (B-) (Three Stars)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Birthday Girl :


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos



Throwback Thursday

Podcast Series