A castaway, surrounded by water, suffers the most miserable thirst. The same ironic ache haunts lonely souls in the congested city of New York. But on this night, at a hotel, several strangers reach out and connect.
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Cast

Credited cast:
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Hellen
Tanner Blaze ...
Brenden
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Hotel Guest
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Gustavo
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Tito
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Marc
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Rose
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Rick
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Jack
Jacqueline Harris ...
British Journalist
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Tara
Allen C. Liu ...
Asian Journalist
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Cassie
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Tomas
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Limo Driver
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Storyline

On the roof of a Manhattan hotel, Helen, a flight attendant with cancer, meets Marc, a depressed actor. Below, Marketa, a young Czech woman connects with Marlene, a Cuban maid as they struggle to communicate. Brendan, 7, mistakenly dials a sex hot-line, connecting with a lonely operator and Hallie, a runaway shares an encounter with a Danish businessman, neither will forget. Drifting through the hotel we find these strangers connecting in moments of compassion and hope. Written by Aloura Melissa Charles

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Drama | Romance

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2008 (USA)  »

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$1,500,000 (estimated)
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Written by Loren Dean and Seth Freeman
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Loneliness bridged by Connections.
26 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Reservations is an outstanding motion picture. It follows, in the sort of vein as Crash and Babel, a kind of loping, fragmented narrative, but manages to keep the plot clear of complications and remains easy to understand. It doesn't rub your face in the connections between the characters- they happen gently and naturally. The emotions are very real and at times almost raw. Mixing tragedy with a sort of wry comedy, the film manages to draw you into the characters and care about what they end up doing.

It's an indie cliché in many ways, featuring the kind of characters whose stereotypes will be all too familiar. The lonely actor whose career destroyed his family life, the older woman facing cancer alone, the young kid whose parents don't seem to care and leave him behind, the teenage girl who ran away from home to become an awkward prostitute, the maid who manages to make an emotional connection with a lonely guest - everyone knows these archetypes. Loneliness ties the characters together, and as a theme it might seem heavy and forced. Yet Reservations manages to take these characters and propel them into something more than the cliché, something that reminds you why the stereotype became popular in the first place. It's a film about loneliness, about connections, about language and love. Outreach is a major theme, and one done well.

The film is very new, but will likely be making the tour of various festivals. It's beautifully shot on Super16, and the colors are vivid and clear. It really looks like 35mm, and I'm normally picky about these things. There are only a couple weak scenes cinematically - a shot in an elevator that has a kind of glow that is not present in the rest of the film, and the otherwise fantastic landscape and ocean shots that were obviously slowed down in post production have a bit of almost jerky quality. The director, Aloura Charles previously worked as assistant to Scorsese on Gangs of New York, and as her first feature directorial debut the piece is very strong.


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