16 February 2016

Hotel du Lac (starring Anna Massey)

I saw some positive reviews of this film, and it sounded like my kind of thing: gentle, about a writer, and with a hopeful ending. It went on my wishlist and I was given it for Christmas two years ago. For some reason, we never selected it when sitting down to a DVD evening.

However we finally picked out ‘Hotel du Lac’ and watched it last night. It was originally made for television, by the BBC, and is only 75 minutes long in all; that was part of the reason I decided on it rather than any of the others we were thinking about, as we started rather later than usual. It was evidently a bit dated in style; we discovered afterwards that it was made as long ago as 1986 and based on a book of the same name.

Anna Massey stars in this as Edith Hope, a middle-aged writer who has been quite successful in her field, although her personal life is more of a problem. We quickly learn that she’s been shipped abroad to stay in a hotel in Switzerland because of some ‘crime’; the nature of this becomes clear later on.

Edith is quiet, unassuming and rather dowdy, but has a quick and lively mind, even if she’s not very good at reading people. She get to know the other long-term residents of the hotel - mostly well-known actresses - who are all rather caricatured, slightly ridiculous in their way, and yet played to such perfection that I almost believed in them.

The story is character-based; Edith has to make some decisions, but she’s in no hurry to do so. Those who prefer action films would probably find it slow, even tedious, but I found it relaxing and enjoyable. There were one or two moments of pathos, and a few places where we smiled, though the humour is understated, in the people and their attitudes rather than anything more overt.

No bad language, no violence; intimacies are hinted at but there’s no actual nudity, as far as I recall. The rating is PG but I can’t imagine it being of the slightest interest to anyone under the age of at least twelve, probably older.

The scenery is attractive, the pace just right - all in all I thought it a pleasant evening’s viewing.

There are no extras on the DVD, other than the option of a commentary from some of the production staff. It's remarkably expensive at present, so I would not recommend buying it new; however it's the kind of film that's sometimes found in charity shops.

Review by copyright 2016 Sue's DVD Reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment