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 It was originally made for television, by the BBC, and is only 75 minutes long in all; that was part of the reason I decided on it rather than any of the others we were thinking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 Sue F copyright 2016 Sue's DVD Reviews