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Birthday Girl

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United Kingdom, United States · 2001
Rated R · 1h 33m
Director Jez Butterworth
Starring Nicole Kidman, Ben Chaplin, Vincent Cassel, Mathieu Kassovitz
Genre Comedy, Crime, Thriller

John is a lonely, introverted bank clerk. Desperate for love, he decides to order a Russian mail-order bride named Nadia. Despite a language barrier, they become close—but things take a turn when two men show up claiming to be her friends. Nadia’s past and her whole identity may be shadier than John believed.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Variety by Deborah Young

Charmingly setting aside glamour for a turn at pure acting, Nicole Kidman zings up the already zingy script of Birthday Girl.


Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Ellen A. Kim

The good news is that Kidman's the best thing in this rather subdued film: sexy, coy and even a bit funny. The bad news is that the movie itself is unlikely to register very long on anyone's radar.


New York Daily News by Jack Mathews

It's a slight, old-fashioned B movie, the last thing you would expect from an actress coming off a breakout year, but it has a charm and freshness we don't see much these days.


Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

Butterworth guides us through the world of chaos and romantic confusion he's created as if it's the most natural place in the world. After a while, we actually believe it is.


Boston Globe by Loren King

This bizarre, uneven comedy is notable mostly for the unsettling presence of Nicole Kidman in full, kinky, sex-kitten mode.


New York Magazine (Vulture) by Peter Rainer

The film's Russians are all played by French and Australian actors. Too bad Butterworth didn't find a Russian to play the Brit. That would have made the inauthenticity complete.


Film Threat by Tim Merrill

Starts out as a first-rate chick movie and winds up a second-rate guy movie. But if this somehow proves to be a formula for the perfect date movie, then Kidman is even more brilliant than we thought.

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