Layale (Labaki), a hair stylist in Beirut, is locked into an unsatisfactory affair with a married man that seems to offer no easy solutions. Meanwhile, her employees, Nisrine (Al Masri) and Rima (Moukarzel), are coping with seemingly insoluble problems of their own: Nisrine is about to be married to a man who believes she's a virgin, while Rima is attracted to women but forced to remain mum about it due to social mores. How these striking, colorful women and the eclectic denizens of their shop cope with such life woes forms the basis of this international hit.
Why we love it
For her debut feature, Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki directs a gentle, slice-of-life drama that deals head on with important issues (religion, gender restrictions, extramarital conflict) in Middle East culture. She also takes the starring role, displaying all the easygoing confidence and natural skill that gives her film such a realistic, unaffected vibe. Great performances from a sparkling nonprofessional cast makes "Caramel" a very sweet treat for lovers of smart women's films.