- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 30 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: May 15, 2012
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: Miramax Echo Bridge
- Encoding: Region [unknown]
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Variety - 09/17/2001
"...Nicole Kidman zings up the already zingy script of BIRTHDAY GIRL....[A] smart and funny love story..."
New York Times - 02/01/2002
"...The film is brisk and tidy..."
USA Today - 02/01/2002
"...The story keeps you guessing right up to the end..."
Los Angeles Times - 02/01/2002
"...In a fierce black farce, BIRTHDAY GIRL's remixing of traditional genre elements tells you from frame one that a distinctive film sensibility is at work..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2002
"...There are some beautifully nuanced scenes....Chaplin and Kidman have a fizzy chemistry..."
Total Film - 08/01/2002
"...If you're happy to swing from drama to black comedy to noir this will reward your effort....Tom and Jez Butterworth sustain a winning freshness throughout..."
At a London airport, shy bank clerk John (Ben Chaplin) watches passengers arriving from an international flight. He's waiting for his mail order bride to arrive from Russia. When she finally appears, she's not exactly what John had in mind--tall, thin, and gangly, with scruffy hair and rings around her eyes, Nadia (Nicole Kidman) seems worn, apprehensive, and tired. As he drives her home, John discovers she can't speak a word of English, but she does smoke prodigiously. He makes repeated calls to the agency that arranged the marriage, leaving messages that a mistake has been made. But although Nadia doesn't know any English, John soon discovers that she knows all about sex. He changes his mind about sending her back.
The opening of director Jez Butterworth's BIRTHDAY GIRL is amusing and raunchy. But the film takes off in another direction when, on Nadia's birthday, two boisterous Russians (exuberantly played by French actors Vincent Cassel and Matthieu Kassovitz) arrive and take over John's home. The clever, twisting narrative that follows is, by turns, surprising, funny, and suspenseful. Chaplin's thoughtful performance counterbalances Kidman's troubled volatile heroine, who is not who she seems to be.
- Theatrical release: February 1, 2002 (NY/LA)
- Original Production Year: 2000.