The Perfect Candidate

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May 1, 2020

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A revealing look at the changing roles of women in Saudi Arabia from director Haifaa Al-Mansour (WADJDA), THE PERFECT CANDIDATE follows Maryam, a determined young doctor who runs for city council after the male incumbent repeatedly ignores her request to fix the muddy road leading to her clinic. Despite her father and her community's struggle to accept her as their town's first female candidate, Maryam's creative and ambitious campaign builds momentum, becoming a symbol for a larger movement.


  • Nora Al Awadh
  • Dae Al Hilali
  • Mila Al Zahrani
  • Khalid Abdulraheem
  • Shafi Alharthy
  • Tareq Al Khaldi
  • Khadeeja Mua'th

Atom User Reviews

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Sep 2, 2019

What The Perfect Candidate lacks in sophistication it makes up for in intuition, entwining the longtime taboos of music (especially the female voice) and women's active participation in political life in a positive storyline.

Metacritic review by Deborah Young
Deborah Young
The Hollywood Reporter
Sep 2, 2019

The film never entirely transcends its nature as a polemical pamphlet - and despite strong presence in those scenes where Maryam speaks truth to power, Alzahrani doesn’t quite have the charisma to make her substantially more than a representative figure.

Jonathan Romney
Screen Daily
Sep 2, 2019

The Perfect Candidate feels like a film that both represents a new era for women in the Muslim world and also one that will help push that movement forward.

Metacritic review by Alonso Duralde
Alonso Duralde