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Hotel Chevalier
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Hotel Chevalier More at IMDbPro »

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39 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

An artful short take on a little sex with the ex

Author: eugenecroc from United States
27 September 2007

Really a beautiful short piece of enticement, with tone and sight and sound and dialogue all letting you know that there's a story here, while only hinting at the many things that story might be. And it captures a particular feel that lets you in on the situation kind of like a good short story in a book does.

The way the whole thing looks, and the way the action comes across, are pure Wes Anderson at his best. Deadpan. Melancholy. Hurtfully truthful-feeling.

You know they say there used to be shorts before all the movies when you saw 'em in the theatre. Now we get a string of commercials bigger, louder, and stupider than on TV. It would be so cool if more top notch film-makers like these made more stuff like this. Viva Short Film.

And Thank You Especially, Miss Portman, for getting behind in your work.

Your talent and beauty are in a neck and neck race for first place in many hearts like my own.

I'll be there for "Darjeeling Ltd" the day it opens.

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42 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

The beginning of a journey...

Author: Veritas_Lux_Mea from United States
27 September 2007

This is a wonderful short film to introduce us to one of the main characters in Wes Anderson's film The Darjeeling Limited. A broken romance sends Jack (Jason Schwartzman) off to a Paris hotel to lick his wounds it seems. In this short the ex-girlfriend has arrived and Jack must come face to face with her and his pain. Pay very close attention as you watch this as I think it will pay off. Personally I found this to be a nice little gift from Anderson as we wait for the release of The Darjeeling Limited. I don't really understand the question about it appearing in theatres as part of the main film but I think it does a nice job revealing the characters a bit. I enjoyed it and it certainly is very much like Anderson's previous work.

I know that many fans of Wes Anderson tend to be very thrown by each new film he creates and they tend to have a favorite that they won't stray from. I have never really understood this because I think his body of work is really quite consistent and he seems to improve with each film. The key to all of his films, at least to me, is that you feel that you have stepped in to each one and lived with the characters because he takes such care revealing their quirks to you. I think what causes the discord among his fans is that they feel so close to certain characters they have trouble letting go of them. So, we end up with passionate arguments about why Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, or The Royal Tenenbaums were "better" than The Life Aquatic.

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29 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

like a quick little short story, as Anderson puts it, the emotional subtleties make it work so well

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
13 October 2007

Hotel Chevalier is the kind of thing Wes Anderson could've written in his sleep- or for that matter written in his sleep while on the plane from the US to France to shoot in two days and edit on his computer. But in such a quick burst of minor creativity he has created a stark, amusing and tragic little situation that makes clearer (if not totally clear) the disconnect between Jack (Schwartzmann's character from Darjeeling Limited) and the 'ex-girlfriend' (Portman, with her V for Vendetta cut coming back in and her attitude like that of a pure b***ch). At first Jack has no idea she's coming, by the long pauses they have (albeit he asks why she pauses so long, when he paused longer), and orders a grilled cheese sandwich. She arrives. She brushes her teeth. She decides against going into a bath Jack's specially prepared- as in Darjeeling we see the obsessive-control side to the Whitman family via the IPOD machine playing the song- and instead they go into a very 'French' kind of torturous love scene.

It's erotic in what isn't shown; one might expect this to finally be *the* one, for skin-flick fans anyway, where Portman goes nude. She does, by the way, but tastefully in the Anderson sense- we're not getting the wacky nudity of the girl from Life Aquatic who never has a shirt on, or the lesbian girlfriend of Paltrow in that one shot in Tenenbaums. By the end, it doesn't make any grand statement about love or love in a hotel room or Paris, but in a self-contained way Anderson's created a mini-masterwork of emotional frustration in the midst of crazy lust. And, by a stroke of something of a quasi-in-joke, like one of the 'brilliant' short stories that the character Jack writes that are 'fictional' though never really at the same time.

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26 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Oddly beautiful slice of life

Author: whatwhere78 from United States
14 October 2007

This was a beautiful little film that that plays out like one Truffaut's Antoine Donielle films. Not only is it the perfect prequel to (the wonderful) "The Darjeeling Limited", but it is a self-contained simple and moving story.

This whole "New Wave" feeling is a departure from Wes Anderson's usually theatrical and highly-stylized film making. It suits him well. Don't get me wrong, Rushmore is one of my favorite films and the Royal Tannenbaums is fantastic, but I am really digging this new naturalistic style Anderson is applying to his new films and cannot wait to see what he does next.

Shwartzman is a wonderful actor who never ceases to entertain. and Natalie Portman gives honest and touching performance.

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19 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

He would not be going to Italy

Author: richard_sleboe from Germany
6 January 2008

Designed as a semi-independent prelude to "The Darjeeling Limited", "Hotel Chevalier" proves that ten minutes of Wes Anderson's wizardry are worth more than many another big-budget director's feature-length film. It's a study in the pain and the lust only love can bring, as well as a variation of Anderson's trademark motif, control. Where "The Darjeeling Limited" bubbles over with substance abuse, poisonous snakes, restroom romps, brotherly affection and fatal accidents, "Hotel Chevalier" is a quiet and slightly eerie two-character mini drama set in a lavish Merchant-Ivory style suite. The suite's sole resident is a reclusive control-freak writer in a long-distance relationship (Jason Schwartzman). We watch as he half enjoys, half endures a surprise visit by his control-freak girlfriend (Natalie Portman). Is she a woman of flesh and blood, or is she just an imaginary incarnation of the jet-setting girl from "Where do you go to my lovely", the song Peter keeps playing on his portable stereo? There's no knowing what's real and what isn't in Anderson's paper moon world. But the importance of fact and fiction fades as she reclines on the bed and has Peter take off her spike-heeled boots. It's the most emotionally and sexually loaded scene I have seen in a long time, like a 20-second tango. It seems some of Natalie Portman's best work is done in shorts set in Paris. Remember Tom Tykwer's "True"?

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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Unnecessary. Entertaining, sure, but unnecessary.

Author: Polaris_DiB from United States
29 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hokay... if you've gone to the theatre to see Darjeeling Limited lately, it is preceded by this short film prologue to the feature presentation. Though shot before The Darjeeling Limited, apparently the idea behind it is to create a better understanding of Natalie Portman's character's relationship to Jason Schwartzman's character. This is unnecessary. In fact, as short films go, this one does not make it high on my list of favorites, just to be polite.

It does have its moments and it successfully stands alone. That's what's important. That's why this short gets as many stars as it has in my rating. In fact, for Anderson enthusiasts, this short film is most interesting because it shows his approach to style as it would be confined to a single hotel room. It also has a nude Natalie Portman, which is in fact something to consider.

However... whatever. The Darjeeling Limited itself doesn't need this, and this short is more curious than it is revelation-creating. I honestly don't understand why it's necessary or why Anderson didn't just go ahead and find a way to expand upon it a little in a non-Darjeeling way to make it a bit stronger by itself.

So, in conclusion, show up late to The Darjeeling Limited. You're not missing anything.


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19 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

a fantastic snapshot of a relationship

Author: stephentheh from United States
26 September 2007

One of the things i've always liked about Wes Anderson is how well he can subtly imply certain characteristics or histories in a dry sort of humor. This film accomplishes that in a more pronounced scale than a longer film might have.

Jason Schwartzman is great, perhaps the stronger of the two performances, although Natalie Portman is not to be dismissed here.

Without giving anything away, the film accomplishes its goal of setting a mood and not forcing itself to tell the entire history - something too many other directors might have tried in a 13 minute time span and thus sacrificed most if not all of the actual feeling behind the couple's reunion.

I rate this a ten out of ten - a great short, and even though i'm a big fan of Wes Anderson's, i'm glad he didn't over-stylize it. It's simplistic, humorous, and yet bitter-sweet and thoroughly enjoyable.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Has value however you see it but it is a strange beast that could have been better if it had gone one direction or other

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
31 May 2008

At the end of The Darjeeling Limited, Jack has written the end of a short story and it is essentially the majority of the short film Hotel Chevalier. Francis reads it and comments that it is hard to judge without knowing the rest of it and indeed this may have been a reference to the fact that you need to watch this short film in immediate combination with the film. Others have asked why this part of the story was broken up from the film when it is clearly part of the story but my feelings on that are to simply shrug and ask when Wes Anderson ever did anything that was straightforward? So a separate short film it is and to appreciate it you do need to know "the rest of it".

Looking back on it from more of a knowledgeable position in regards the character is to introduce a level of understanding and emotional interest that is lacking the first time you watch it. Dealing with the film as a short film in its own right, this is clearly a failing because it cannot (or does not) deliver this on its own but does need the feature to do it. Even with the film it is more a matter of back-story than really informing the events of the short – ie the short fits into the film rather than the short suddenly holding a lot of meaning to the viewer. So in terms of content, while it is "better" watched with the film, it still doesn't deserve to be a separate entity.

I suppose the one thing in its defence would be that, as an upmarket trailer, it will really work for Anderson's fans. The short has a great air to it and all the style and tone that exist within his films. The restrained and yet brooding emotion of his two characters are well painted in the dialogue but, more importantly, Schwartzman and Portman nail it – the former in particular showing as much pain as desire in his actions and language. The colours and the shots all make the film look great and Anderson makes great use of the limited space within the hotel and for fans it will be a matter of lapping this up. But for me I have the same reservations as I have had with one or two of his features in the way that the style and manner may interest me but there is nothing of substance to really engage with or feel for.

Hotel Chevalier is a strange beast then; it can be viewed in several ways but it is not that great in any of them. As a part of the Darjeeling Limited feature it is a solid couple of scenes but not more or less remarkable than the rest of the film. As a stand alone film it offers style and typically Anderson manner but very little in the way of real meat. While as a high-brow trailer it does have the style and content to excite fans but then also feels a bit "big" just to be used to sell a product. Regardless it does have good stuff in the style, the performances, the simmering emotion and the overall delivery but it badly needed to either be part of the film or expanded and strengthened to be able to stand alone as a short film that "connects" to the feature rather than being "connected" to it (if you appreciate the difference).

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I love you. I never hurt you on purpose.

Author: sharky_55 from Australia
10 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If there is one thing we can agree on it is that there is no real conceivable way to fit this into The Darjeeling Limited. We sense Jack's loss in the void of the feature length film because he is entranced by a pretty Indian waitress and tries to connect with her based on the initial physical attraction. This is of course nonsense in that particular situation; she has a boyfriend (or ex?), her own life worlds away from Jack, and he is simply trying to force the same relationship that he lost in this short film. Hotel Chevalier explores this sorrow in more detail but including it would take away from the two other brothers' stories, which together make up the family dynamic which is so crucial to the film. So, while we are allowed glimpses of their past, Anderson wants to push the reconciliation.

In truth there is not a whole canvas of backstory here, either. We are able to sketch out a basic diagram of the man and woman's past relationship, but not any significantly unique nuances or traces. It doesn't really matter. What is so brilliant is how Anderson dictates our way of thinking and allows us to excavate their past through the little gestures and signals. How Jack hesitates for a mere brief second before quickly blurting out a "yes" to her visit. How he obsesses over each detail of the clearly rundown and decrepit hotel room, and how the smash-cut fast forwards to him sitting on the bed, in that agonising wait that most will know very well. How Schwartzman's body language shields the inevitable blow-back of reality as he opens the door; Portman is casually finished up a phone call, instead of leaping into his arms, and questions the music choice. He dodges the initial kiss because he is searching for something more than just a physical reunion. "2 Bloody Mary's", he swiftly mimics. But they are kissing even before the door closely, and he betrays his own feelings. In so little time, Anderson sketches such a tragically heartfelt portrait. Jack is in serious denial of his desires, so much so that his self-imposed exile is so easily tracked down. This is a race of who is more vulnerable, but in the end, he is the clear winner. Guess who initiated the breakup? It would be easy to tell even without a single word of Portman's dialogue.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Pretty dreadful - on the nose writing

Author: jmydgeek from United States
2 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are a lot of wannabe filmmakers and writers out there, and this would seem to be made by one of them. Wes Anderson has made some movies, some of which actually have characters and pacing, but is somehow reverted to wannabe status. He created a situation straight out of a loser's fantasy, the sort someone wallowing in self-pity over a breakup might come up with. The anguished, devastated hero (with nothing in him to attract anyone) gets to be morose and unforgiving and his (ex) girlfriend still comes more or less begging like no ex ever has or will. Sure, people get back together, or see each other, but the whole interaction was as false and fantasy driven as a GI Joe cartoon. The girlfriend was essentially a prop, not a character with recognizable motivation. Nobody behaves like the people in this movie. Writing like this comes when you don't know who your characters are, but you know what you want them to do. Ugh. And they all say exactly what they mean, totally on-the-nose writing, like nobody ever talks. No subtext, perfect self-knowledge, such character as is revealed is done through dialogue. "Show, don't tell"

Anderson should try making a silent movie.

And of course, nobody has any material worries. Watching "Hannah and Her Sisters" long ago, it struck me that nobody had any place they had to be, no bills to pay, every Manhattan apt. was a palace. This strikes that same false note without any real characters or desires, which HaHS did. I'm glad it was a short, and I'll skip Part II.

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