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Hotel America (1981)
"Hôtel des Amériques" (original title)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 450 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 10 critic

Hélène, a distracted pill-popping anesthetist, almost runs down Gilles one evening on a Biarritz street. She is still numb from the drowning death earlier that year of her lover, a ... See full summary »

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Title: Hotel America (1981)

Hotel America (1981) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Patrick Dewaere ...
Etienne Chicot ...
Bernard
Sabine Haudepin ...
Elise Tisserand
Dominique Lavanant ...
Jacqueline
...
Colette
François Perrot ...
Rudel
Jean-Louis Vitrac ...
Luc
Frédérique Ruchaud ...
La mère
Michèle Ban de Loménie ...
La mère de colette
Pascal Bernuchon
Catherine Carrée
Gérard Deleris
Jacques Dichamp ...
Le client de l'hôtel
Rosemary Linousy ...
La clientèle inconnue
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Storyline

Hélène, a distracted pill-popping anesthetist, almost runs down Gilles one evening on a Biarritz street. She is still numb from the drowning death earlier that year of her lover, a visionary architect. Gilles presses for a relationship, then backs away, deciding she could never love someone of lower class and limited prospects. But she does fall in love with him and gradually her depression eases. As she heals, he becomes obsessed with her lover's talents and his own limitations, behaving bizarrely and pushing her away. How these conflicts play out becomes the movie's story. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

2 December 1981 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Begegnung in Biarritz  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Soundtracks

Sing to me mama
(uncredited)
Performed by Karen Chéryl
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User Reviews

Love delayed

Gilles is sponging off his mother, who runs a small hotel in a French coastal city. When he meets Helene, she takes over the job of mothering him, even treating his minor wounds at the hospital one night when he gets into a fight. Gilles's other passionate relationship is with Bernard, a self-absorbed, mediocre singer-guitarist who can't stay out of trouble with the law. Bernard's true passion is probably for Luc, the gay man he beats up in a washroom.

It's beautifully made; sometimes I thought I was watching a Carne film with Michele Morgan instead of Catherine Deneuve. Bruno Nuytten was the cinematographer; there's no one better for moody night scenes. Philippe Sarde's music is full-blown romantic, sometimes too much so. Techine doesn't bother with character development through plot, he just assumes that whatever passes in front of his camera is telling the story. Those casino scenes go nowhere, and the effort to bring Helene's dead lover's architectural plans to life is wasted, since it's just another occasion for Gilles to look hangdog and helpless.

All in all, it left me wondering about Techine's willingness to engage the viewer in the film's material. I walked out of Barocco many years ago, and Soeurs Bronte left me pretty much cold, although I admired the acting. Hotel des Ameriques doesn't seem to be about anything, and the characters are cardboard.


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