Lawrence, an aging, lonely civil servant falls for Gina, an enigmatic young woman. When he takes her to the G8 Summit in Reykjavik, however, their bond is tested by Lawrence's professional obligations.
I have seen this film twice, about ten years apart. It is the sort of quiet film that is wonderful when it is done right, though sometimes you need to be in the mood for them. Bill Nighy as Lawrence gives a strong, understated performance here. The movie description states that his character is lonely and I suppose that is true. But he is lonely in the way that William Hurt is lonely in the classic The Accidental Tourist. Contemplative, leading a quiet existence, but not pathetic or requiring pity. But I also have this image of a man who once might have been excited about his job, his role in bringing about social change for the better, but as a career government employee, now knows that the game is lowered expectations, endless negotiations and much less than perfect results. And just as Geena Davis’s character lights a fire under William Hurt’s finely crafted life in the earlier film, a character with a similar name, Gina, does the same for our Lawrence. She possesses a spark, a fierce idealism That has long since slipped away from Lawrence. She challenges the notion that social justice is something that can be negotiated by politicians, and her energy enlivens Lawrence. The question is, will her enthusiasm and stubborn activist attitude threaten the career that has all but defined Lawrence’s life for many years?