The Niagara Motel and the attached Riverside Grill, located in Niagara Falls, are owned and operated by Serbian father and daughter, the always angry Boris and hard working Sophie. Through ... See full summary »
Based on an acclaimed graphic novel, Mars & Avril is set in Montreal of the future, at the dawn of the first human landing on Mars, and tells the story of a musician who becomes obsessed with his muse.
1851, Manitoba's Red River Valley. As winter sets in, a young woman on the edge of madness arrives exhausted at the fort, a wilderness station, claiming she murdered her husband. She's ... See full summary »
Upon discovering that their town is up for sale, crafty Irish villagers scheme to raise the money to prevent the buy-out. They hold a poetry contest with a tempting grand prize -- the deed ... See full summary »
WW2: In London, Lily marries a Canadian soldier who goes off to war. She and her newborn daughter are invited to come and live with his family in Canada, where conditions are not as ... See full summary »
The Niagara Motel and the attached Riverside Grill, located in Niagara Falls, are owned and operated by Serbian father and daughter, the always angry Boris and hard working Sophie. Through the motel and/or restaurant comes a series of disparate but equally struggling people: middle aged couple Henry and Lil, formerly middle class but who are trying to cope with the loss of employment and its associated money; young couple R.J. and Denise, who are trying to clean up (with varying degrees of success) so that they can reclaim their daughter from foster care; and the restaurant's new waitress, young widowed French-Canadian Lori, who is escaping a complicated situation in her hometown and who is preyed upon by two locals, straight-laced Dave and less than straight-laced Michael. The person who sees everything that is going on is the motel's caretaker Phillie, a Scot who stayed in Niagara Falls following a personal tragedy. To escape memory of that tragedy, Phillie is in a constant state of... Written by
Less shabby-chic, more chic-hole, the eponymous motel is home to an assortment of losers drawn to Niagara for anything but the view.
Permanently drunk hotel manager Phillie (Craig Ferguson. Annoying.) uses whiskey to hide the pain of losing his wife. Recovering addict Denise (Anna Friel in a very impressively layered performance) wants her baby back. A middle-aged couple argue a bit. Groundbreaking, I'm sure.
Well-worn as the story may be, it is rescued by some delightful performances. Friel is a revelation, but it's Canadian beauty Dhavernas who really shines as a naïve waitress on the verge of becoming a low-budget 'adult star'.
Never quite as 'darkly comic' or 'genuinely tragic' as it thinks it is, Niagara Motel is the film Todd Solondz would make had he been more popular at school.
21 of 38 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?