Bagdad Cafe (1988)
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as Jasmin Münchgstettne...
as Rudi Cox
as Sheriff Arnie
as Trucker Ron
as Trucker Mark
as Trucker Ray
as Trucker Ray
as Trucker Gary
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Critic Reviews for Bagdad Cafe
Unfortunately, the film's curious conceits remain implausible even on a fantasy level, and most of the satirical possibilities are either sidestepped or fumbled.
Audience Reviews for Bagdad Cafe
This enjoyable fable is expertly edited and makes smart use of a surreal cinematography to enhance the sense of oddness created by the rather unusual story. But it also doesn't know how to end and simply drifts without any clear direction in the last fifteen minutes.
Starts out like low budget community theater but that's probably part of its charm. Bagdad Cafe has substance and heart that reveals itself in a slow-burn of oddball characters and intelligent scripting.
Bizarre, eccentric, and for the most part quite wonderful film. Jasmin, a tourist from Bavaria, Germany, walks away from her husband in the middle of the Mojave Desert and eventually stumbles upon a rundown roadside cafe/motel/gas station, managed by the stressed out and overworked Brenda (CCH Pounder, The Shield). The two characters clash as they try to make sense of each other; Brenda is suspicious of Jasmin as she arrived without a car and with a suitcase full of men's clothes and magic tricks. Jasmin, meanwhile, fills her time by befriending Brenda's children and setting to work at cleaning the motel, much to Brenda's irritation. Gradually (this is a slow paced film), the two form an understanding and a friendship, and the cafe is soon attracting lots of visitors due to word-of-mouth. The film is graced with very unusual but strong performances from the two leads, and from some stunning photography and off-kilter editing. A frankly surreal music number near the end is toe-curlingly embarrassing and almost ruins what has gone before, but the film just about rights itself in its final scenes. The film was successful enough to warrant a spin-off television series starring Whoopi Goldberg, which ran for two seasons.
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