Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
Reminds me a bit of "The Singing Detective", the BBC miniseries with Michael Gambon rather than the Robert Downey Jr. movie of similar plot, except that this is much more an ensemble piece by lots of familiar faces in Canadian television, some of whom have gone on to more exposure on both Canadian and US productions in the past five years.
"Welcome to the Rousseau" is the opening episode of a stylized and occasionally fantastical miniseries based in an aging luxury hotel. Once famous for the stars of stage, screen and gallery who frequented it, the Rousseau is now inhabited by eccentric has-beens (including the owner) served by staff who gamble, smoke pot, snoop and steal.
Outside perspectives come from the sweet new chambermaid and the handsome young writer commissioned to compile a history of the hotel's glorious past. First on the writer's agenda is to discover whatever is known about a chambermaid found dead in the hotel pool during its heyday in 1961 (it's in the opening credits) but he can't get any answers from the family or the older staff.
There is humour, some singing as part of the plot (except for a random, snarkily funny musical number by a chambermaid), and a few sad character revelations among the residents and staff. Nothing ground-breaking or earth-shattering, but enough of curiosity to make me watch the second episode.
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