1 October 2013 4:24 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

In times of crisis, who hasn’t wished to be someone else, leading a completely different life untouched by hardship, loss or strife? Swedish helmer Lisa Langseth trades on this universal sentiment with her cathartic oddball drama “Hotell,” a guilty-pleasure tale of a therapy group that starts its own unique course of treatment. Creating a sympathetic brew of humor, compassion, awkwardness and devastation, Langseth draws intense and committed performances from a fine cast that that includes Alicia Vikander, the star of the director’s feature debut, “Pure.” Fests will definitely want to check in.

Langseth came to filmmaking from a background as a playwright and theater director, and although “Hotell” was written directly for the screen rather adapted from one of her plays (like “Pure”) it has a classic three-act structure that testifies to her stage experience.

Young, affluent and expecting her first child, type-a interior designer Erika (Vikander) thinks she has everything under control. »


- Alissa Simon

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