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At the start of World War II, the fate of the free world hangs in the balance at the posh Hotel Splendide in Bordeaux. Cabinet members, journalists, physicists, and spies of all persuasions gather in order to escape the Nazi occupation of Paris. High society socialites hobnob with jailbirds. Murderous intrigues, scientific secrets and love affairs flourish. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
This movie was unique in the fact that it took place in the few months prior to and during the Nazi invasion of WWII. This gave the film a hectic atmosphere, as the French government and those surrounding it are in constant chaos while fleeing the approaching Blitzkrieg. For once we see the great disruption that war causes to millions of innocents, not just the horrors that occur on the front. However I don't agree with he genre characterization that it is a comedy- as it is a very entertaining blend of mystery, double-crossing and drama, as well as a few funny moments. Gerard Depardieu didn't have a overbearing role in the film, but played just one of the many interesting characters that are introduced. I was also surprised by Peter Coyote's French and German language skills - and I think it's worth commenting that an American was included in a French film - and I'm glad to say he held his own. Of course Ms. Adjani and Virginie Ledoyen play excellent roles- there's just something about those French ladies...
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