Caramel by Nadine Labaki is a story of five Lebanese women who gather in a Beirut beauty salon to gossip about the days events. Layal (Nadine Labaki) works in a beauty salon in Beirut along with 3 other women. Each one has a problem: Layal has a relationship with a married man, Nisrine who is no more a virgin, will soon be married, Rima is lesbian and Jamal is worried about getting old. Rose, a tailor with a shop next to the salon, is an old lady who devoted her life to take care of her older sister, have found her first love.
It's sounds like a female version of "The Barbershop," which was entertaining to me. Also, "Offsides" - an Iranian film that played at the festival last year had a similar strategy that I enjoyed. The setups were completely different, however. In 'Offsides" you had several Iranian females trying to sneak into a soccer game only to get caught. Once you got past this setup, the film was basically the caught teenagers talking about various issues that face them in their society. For me that was fascinating, learning about other cultures through simple casual conversation. So I have a feeling that Caramel may provide the same opportunity. This is Ms. Labaki's first film and it debut in Cannes. It is part of the Contemporary World Cinema series at the TIFF.