The Girl in the Café (The Girl in the Cafe) Reviews

  • Oct 09, 2017

    A surprising, slight story blessed with excellent performances .

    A surprising, slight story blessed with excellent performances .

  • Aug 09, 2016

    Enjoyable for good acting The Girl in the Cafe is a combination political drama, about the attempts of the world's governments to end extreme poverty and a May-December love story, with Bill Nighy as a shy and idealistic British government official and Kelly Macdonald as the much younger girl he falls awkwardly in love with. The love story is well done, with the acting excellent, and since part of the story is set at a government conference in Iceland, we get some spectacular Icelandic scenery included. The film is worth watching for these elements, and can be especially recommended to those who liked the original British version of the TV series State of Play, since The Girl in the Cafe features the same director (David Yates) and two of the same lead actors (Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald.) On the down side, the film has been criticized for a naive and simplistic view of how to address world poverty. In my opinion, the criticism is largely valid. The film suffers from what I'd call the Scrooge fantasy: that if the powerful people at the top would just show a little more humanity, the wretched of the earth would be just fine. No they wouldn't: economic injustice isn't caused by the inhumanity of the people who are rich, it's caused by the inhumanity of the system that makes and keeps them rich. This review is based on the 2005 standard HBO DVD, which has very good image and sound quality. There apparently is a later release; I don't know if it's any different.

    Enjoyable for good acting The Girl in the Cafe is a combination political drama, about the attempts of the world's governments to end extreme poverty and a May-December love story, with Bill Nighy as a shy and idealistic British government official and Kelly Macdonald as the much younger girl he falls awkwardly in love with. The love story is well done, with the acting excellent, and since part of the story is set at a government conference in Iceland, we get some spectacular Icelandic scenery included. The film is worth watching for these elements, and can be especially recommended to those who liked the original British version of the TV series State of Play, since The Girl in the Cafe features the same director (David Yates) and two of the same lead actors (Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald.) On the down side, the film has been criticized for a naive and simplistic view of how to address world poverty. In my opinion, the criticism is largely valid. The film suffers from what I'd call the Scrooge fantasy: that if the powerful people at the top would just show a little more humanity, the wretched of the earth would be just fine. No they wouldn't: economic injustice isn't caused by the inhumanity of the people who are rich, it's caused by the inhumanity of the system that makes and keeps them rich. This review is based on the 2005 standard HBO DVD, which has very good image and sound quality. There apparently is a later release; I don't know if it's any different.

  • Mar 25, 2016

    Couldn't finish it. Too self-conscious for its own good. Twee.

    Couldn't finish it. Too self-conscious for its own good. Twee.

  • Jan 14, 2016

    A thought provoking, heart warming perspective on complicated love. An instant classic.

    A thought provoking, heart warming perspective on complicated love. An instant classic.

  • May 25, 2014

    Yes, Bill Is Masterful In The Character He Slowly Builds, Both In Mannerisms & Script Delivery, Which Others Just Bounce Off.. Unfortunately, The Overall Film, Due To Rubbish Pacing & Crap Directing Is Just So Sub-Standard It Is A Task For Anyone To Not See This As Dragging On & VERY Boring.

    Yes, Bill Is Masterful In The Character He Slowly Builds, Both In Mannerisms & Script Delivery, Which Others Just Bounce Off.. Unfortunately, The Overall Film, Due To Rubbish Pacing & Crap Directing Is Just So Sub-Standard It Is A Task For Anyone To Not See This As Dragging On & VERY Boring.

  • May 22, 2014

    terrible do not watch! unless u want it as background lullaby for sleeping

    terrible do not watch! unless u want it as background lullaby for sleeping

  • Mar 17, 2014

    A great hidden gem I've had since 05, Nighy is epic as always and Macdonald can talk in her cute accent for as long as she likes.

    A great hidden gem I've had since 05, Nighy is epic as always and Macdonald can talk in her cute accent for as long as she likes.

  • Sep 29, 2013

    Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald are both very good here, but the movie is unable to quite pull off the strange balancing act it attempts between endearing relationship dramedy and humanitarian activism. Yes, it is as odd as it sounds.

    Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald are both very good here, but the movie is unable to quite pull off the strange balancing act it attempts between endearing relationship dramedy and humanitarian activism. Yes, it is as odd as it sounds.

  • Jul 14, 2013

    This was quirky & wonderful movie. Kelly Macdonald was great and even Bill Nighy was good as a very quirky character.

    This was quirky & wonderful movie. Kelly Macdonald was great and even Bill Nighy was good as a very quirky character.

  • Apr 05, 2013

    My wife rented this. I didn't want to watch it with her, but she wanted a "shared experience" beyond propane-air mix explosions and Bruce Willis running through machine gun fire. This movie was slow in spots, a little sad, but charming, and a bit puzzling. Bill Nighy, undeniably a great actor, pulled off the lonely civil servant masterfully. I was able to make out all of his inner dialogue by watching his expressions. Often he portrayed a character who struggled to and almost -- but never did -- break free of his business suit and red tie; a perfect portrayal of a man trapped in one lonely identity. However, I was constantly distracted by the actor's odd gaits. I can be thick about symbolism, but his walk resembled a man who had sat naked on a pine cone, but was now too busy at the moment to dig it out. Actress Kelly MacDonald, beautiful, subtle, remained the ever enigmatic girl, even after she explained her past and thus her behavior at the G8 summit. I was left to wondering if such a May-December relationship really happens. Still, I decided I liked the movie in spite of it having not even the tiniest of explosions.

    My wife rented this. I didn't want to watch it with her, but she wanted a "shared experience" beyond propane-air mix explosions and Bruce Willis running through machine gun fire. This movie was slow in spots, a little sad, but charming, and a bit puzzling. Bill Nighy, undeniably a great actor, pulled off the lonely civil servant masterfully. I was able to make out all of his inner dialogue by watching his expressions. Often he portrayed a character who struggled to and almost -- but never did -- break free of his business suit and red tie; a perfect portrayal of a man trapped in one lonely identity. However, I was constantly distracted by the actor's odd gaits. I can be thick about symbolism, but his walk resembled a man who had sat naked on a pine cone, but was now too busy at the moment to dig it out. Actress Kelly MacDonald, beautiful, subtle, remained the ever enigmatic girl, even after she explained her past and thus her behavior at the G8 summit. I was left to wondering if such a May-December relationship really happens. Still, I decided I liked the movie in spite of it having not even the tiniest of explosions.