Lawrence (played by Bill Nighy) is a gangly, shy, forty-something public servant who works as a researcher for the British Chancellor of the Exchequer. On the whole, he leads a fairly predictable, steady, conservative and uneventful life. He is busy preparing research and support information as part of a team about to attend a G-8 Summit in Iceland. The Summit will focus on world poverty and develop government policy and initiatives to address it. One day, during the lead-up to the conference, Lawrence is sitting in his regular cafe near his office .. on this day, because it’s crowded, he’s having to share a table with another customer. In his very “British” way, he chats self-consciously with his table-mate. She is Gina (by Kelly Macdonald), a beautiful, but timid, intriguing and much younger woman. They strike up a rapport and Lawrence fumblingly asks to meet her again for dinner – to which she agrees! They meet each other on a couple of occasions and then (somewhat out of character), Lawrence invites Gina to attend the Summit in Reykjavík with him. Once in Iceland, although their association is tentative at first, as they get to know each other a romance sparks between them and they find they have several shared areas of interest. They learn more about each others’ backgrounds, ethics, ideals and beliefs, but then a difficult situation arises when Gina realises more about Lawrence’s work, his colleagues and his career, so she is moved to speak out and act. This disgraces Lawrence and he is summarily sacked, while Gina is instantly banished from the Summit. She departs for England without Lawrence, but is this the end? will this be for the betterment of world poverty – and what about their fledgling relationship?
I really like this movie. Bill Nighy is just so authentic as the self deprecating and honest Lawrence – he is refreshing and wonderful. The unlikely connection between Lawrence and Gina is actually quite believable and the major issues and politics that inter-weave this plot make the movie well worth seeing. I like it a lot.
Made in 2005. Directed by David Yates.