5.9/10
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4 user 17 critic

Niagara Motel (2005)

R | | Drama | 24 March 2006 (Canada)
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 »

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(story), (plays) | 2 more credits »
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Phillie
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Henry
Damir Andrei ...
Boris the Motel Owner
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Lily
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Denise
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R.J. (as Kristen Holden-Ried)
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Michael
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Loretta
Catherine Fitch ...
Sophie
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Dave
Normand Daneau ...
Gilles
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Helen
Harry Nelken ...
Bartender
Mike Bell ...
Pool Player / Talk Show Guest #4
Curtis Moore ...
Salesman
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Storyline

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 Huggo

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Pack your bags. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

24 March 2006 (Canada)  »

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Budget:

CAD 8,000,000 (estimated)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the costumes were constructed from second hand clothing items purchased at local thrift stores. See more »

Connections

References Niagara (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

What a Difference a Day Makes
Written by Stanley Adams and María Grever
Performed by Dinah Washington
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User Reviews

 
Well-worn story saved by impressive performances
12 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

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.


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