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The girl in the cafe

girlcafeL.jpgOf course I immediately signed up for Ingrid’s wonderful project. Yesterday I finally got the chance to see the film, which I had already seen a few years ago but didn’t remember all that clearly.
Bill Nighy (Laurence) and Kelly MacDonald (Gina) meet (surprise, surprise) in a café. Two totally different people, in age and background. Laurence, an older man who works and works to forget he has a life to live, and Gina, the girl with the troubled past. Why these two became connected is a mystery, as it is often in real life a mystery why people like each other or even fall in love. Laurence, who works for the government and will participate to the G8 in Reykjavik, takes Gina along for the trip. By accident, or because Laurence isn’t all that practical, they end up in the same hotel room. During their stay at this room Laurence explains to Gina what eight powerful world leaders could achieve if they would really set their minds to it. In this particular G8 it could mean a big breakthrough in the reduction of world poverty.
Gina, at first sight a shy and quiet girl, can’t keep her mouth shut, and while the world leaders and their wives have dinners or other official get togethers, she speaks out. Not a very appropriate thing to do, but as a spectator you sit on your couch, wanting to shout: Yes! Yes! Tell them!
For me, the film is about compromise. How you never ever will achieve what you really want, if you settle for compromise. The only way to get what you want, which could be as grand as fighting against poverty or inequality or as small as improving your own little life, is to set your goals straight, use your power and go for it.
The girl in the café is a slow film. Don’t expect action and speed or loud music. If you like Lost in Translation you will like this film too. The two leading actors are a perfect match, Bill Nighy has transformed Laurence into a kind but clumsy man with a good sense of humour and a funny walk. Oh yes, I can understand perfectly why Gina falls in love with him. What I don’t understand is why we don’t see the actrice Kelly MacDonald more often on the screen. With those eyes and that soft voice, there must be piles of work for her.

And now I’m going to send the DVD all the way to Austria. And Ava, I hope you like the film as much as I did!


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