Chelsea Walls (2001) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
47 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
xaing928 September 2003
All these characters have problems. But i think that is the point. Because the movie is mostly supposed to be about the hotel itself. The people in it are just passing through. The film is showing how the people change, but ideals stay the same. The ideals that the hotel was built on and for the first place. Is it creativity? Or madness? Or apathy? I like all the open spaces in this story. You can fill in whatever you want. It's the sort of spirit of the Chelsea Hotel of old. But most people these days probably won't get it. Or don't want to. Or can't. Nobody dreams about art anymore. Everybody wants a million bucks. Who's life is richer?
16 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Beyond Chelsea's Walls
thejowatson23 April 2002
Chelsea Walls ~ for me, was like peering into a snow globe, deep into the magnified lives of these haunting people who cohabit in the Chelsea Hotel. I loved every moment of the film, every spoken line, every expression, every look, every touch, every note of music, every movement of the camera, scanning a world that I felt akin to as well as intrusive of; I could not look away nor did I want to.

I fell in love with:

Mary (Natasha Richardson) ~ I just plain love her face while she is talking!

Bud and Greta (Kris Kristofferson and Tuesday Weld) ~ How could I believe they were performing? They tore me up with their intensity, then blew me away with their frailty.

Terry and Ross (Robert Sean Leonard and Steve Zahn) ~ The wise man and the devoted jester perhaps ? Though, not as defineable as you may think. I loved them immediately and related to each of them at both ends of the eccentricity spectrum.

Audrey and Val (Rosario Dawson and Mark Webber) ~ A multi faceted love story, comprehensible by their stark, possibly misguided devotion. Audrey's poem, as she read it to Val, and the simple artistry in the portrayal of the ensuing scenes roused the most tender of spots in my heart and soul.

Grace (Uma Thurman) ~ As boldly determined to let loose and create poetry as she is unassuming and timid in establishing a human connection. In an elusive way, the Chelsea's "anchor". Figure THAT out.

Frank (Vincent D'Onofrio) ~ Heh, what a face ~ The bold, determined, cut loose, creative artist who understands and endures Grace's indifference.

And.......... the somewhat older poet laureate of sorts, "haunting" the halls decked in a t-shirt and baseball cap quoting beautiful, inspiring poetry. His final performance of the movie brought my heart to my throat and the tears, once again overflowed unashamedly.

The memory of what I saw and heard is lingering still ~ I'm having a hard time letting go of this film ~ and I won't. That night, I was metamorphosed, surprised at this startling change; the letting go of trivialities and, the fathomable realization of the holiness of merely existing in this world with all who are merely doing the same.

Oh, there is so much more to tell you of..... you just NEED to experience this film for yourself. Peer into your own snow globe and delight in what you see there!
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Literature and music as cinema? This one works!
hphillips17 August 2002
A literary style, namely poetry, make this energetic and non-linear

movie a real joy to take in; the mixing of sounds and dialogues or

monologues also follow a poetic and jazz-like bee-bop approach.

The characters presented are very real and yet also seems like

phrases in a continually changing musical piece. The DV'ography is just beautiful, some of the most tasteful and

downright pleasurable work I've ever seen in these video-to-film

times...Tom Richmond and Richard Rutkowski have really set a

new standard with this movie, where the form (digital video)

doesn't intrude on the content, but rather complements (and even

compliments!) the tones and textures of the story. Ethan Hawke

did a great job with the actors and the story, I totally recommend

this movie.
10 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The insufferable hunger of the damned
wildstrawbe23 June 2003
There are many lines like the one above in this film. Ethan Hawke in his first work as a director has tried to capture the feeling of these modern beatniks who reside in the Chelsea Hotel in NYC and have chosen for themselves a way of life that is different than the kind of life our society would consider successful. These people aren't even artists, they're just artist wannabes. A little boy says it very clearly "It's hard to say who really is a poet these days". What makes them interesting and what they have in common is that they can't stand the modern world, their perspective on life and the belief that happiness is in simple things. There are several moments in this film that make that so clear. One of them is when Val tells Audrey (played brilliantly by Rosario Dawson) "We only have 43 dollars" and her answer is "We're just living Val. Lots of people do that.". While I was watching this film I was thinking of something I had heard in Charlie Kauffman's 'Adaptation'. "In real life nothing really happens" and I think that's exactly what Ethan Hawke's purpose is, to show us the life of some not so ordinary people who however have feelings and ordinary problems. Ethan Hawke has a wonderful script in his hands, but he fails to deliver and that's the most diappointing thing about this film. But other than that this film has so many beautiful poetic moments that it's worth watching. I understand though that if you never dreamed of this kind of life, if everything that you think matters is to make money in order to afford the comforts of modern life then this film will never appeal to you.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
well made, well acted, reflective and enjoyable
damcqueen15 March 2004
I thought this film was extremely well crafted, with some outstanding performances - never overplayed or played for sensationalistic effect. Kris Kristoferson was a revelation - a very fine actor here, but everyone contributed to the realism and complexity of the stories. Loved the use of music coming through the walls - a good movie to watch late at night with no distractions and a glass of whisky.

If you're looking for a fast moving, action film you've come to the wrong place, but if you like convincing dialogue, good acting and an authentic sense of place you might enjoy this one. Ethan Hawke is clearly a talented director.
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
aristides-123 April 2004
The young poet Audrey is shown writing an epic love ode to her boyfriend. Montage of her on her bare-roomed floor with voice over ("I want to be your wristwatch band so that every pulse throb will subtly remind you of my eternal love", etc.), images of this young Romeo, a spoiled-looking kid with all the depth of a ham sandwich. More poetic verbal images and then the [unintentional] comic moment, seen in a silent image: Romeo and Juliet on the balcony of the Chelsea Hotel where in a Romantic Moment that justifies all her deathless love and poetry....he spits, intentionally, on a sidewalk passerby many feet below. Yes, what Musedom he provides for the piss-elegant poetry of her young being. Priceless! (And, oh yes, a few lines must be dedicated to the usual Kris Kristoferson tired, substance abused, world weary artiste performance: would you want to spend 15 minutes with this drunken dope at a party?)
10 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
think before you speak
bradford_jones_monkey24 January 2003
I feel so ashamed for the people who have trashed this film, they obviously don't know a lot about movies. This film is a wonderful work of art, and it seems that many of the people posting comments here don't appreciate art. Many have noted the grainy and obscure shots in the movie, that is because it was filmed entirely in digital format. It is the second film in the InDigEnt series of films shot entirely on digital, and on a budget of $150,000 or less (another film in this project being Richard Linklater's "Tape", which is an AMAZING film). The film was shot over a period of 16 days using Sony PD-100 digital cameras. As for the writing and characters that have been belittled, these characters are not entirely the creation of screenwriter Nicole Burdette, the story was inspired by the play "Under Milk Wood" by a man called Dylan Thomas, you may have heard of him... if you haven't, go to school, and then come back and critique this movie. Thomas actually resided in the Chelsea at one point in time, as well as Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. And if you didn't enjoy the music of the film by Wilco/Jeff Tweedy... shame on you. Chelsea Walls is a wonderful film, directed by an amazing artist. For Hawke's directorial debut, I think he did a wonderful job.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"Fame" was better than this
sorabji29 March 2004
I connect with what this thing is supposed to be, but the substance of these artists is poor. Nothing we see from them rises above the level of teenage poetry. The Chelsea Hotel is still a mecca for poets and artists, even if today it's more a mecca for kids of Kerouac. This movie shows the Chelsea as a mecca for 21st century sulking hipsters who learned hippy-dom from Woodstock DVDs. I don't think that's accurate. If you take away the artist premise and the reputation of the Chelsea as a setting, and replace it with a college dorm full of political science majors, you'd have an equally fascinating film.

But I find the building, the inside of that building, to be beautiful.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hawke gives new meaning to the myth...
onthemetro19 April 2004
Chelsea Walls is no less than a moving masterpiece. From stage to screen, the integrity of this modern fairytale was not only preserved, but heightened by Hawke's abstract depiction of the hotel and its tenants. Captivating visuals and a kind of sensual stillness give the film a lulling quality, with a near-flawless cast and hypnotic monologue. The score, developed by none other than the incredible Jeff Tweedy, rounds things off to a smooth edge. I, myself, was highly impressed by the subtle references to the artists of the past. Some were apparent from the beginning (Bukowski, Ginsberg, Cassidy, Dylan), while others crept up from the corners of the story, embedding themselves in the minds of audience members everywhere. It's a film you've got to see beyond the picture. A film not fit for the short attention span. A film intended to pull you down into the depths of madness, toss you around at the violent hand of love, sing you to sleep and wake you back up in the morning. Yes, Hawke has done it again, and this time he's done it with jazz and cigarettes.

Key Moments: The Poem, The Speech, The Session, The Madman, The Drunk Best Performance: A surprisingly stunning delivery from Rosario Dawson
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This is the embodiment of ineptitude.
Sylvio1 June 2002
A good film has to be visually interesting. This movie is unbelievably murky, to the point that you can't see what is going on. A good story establishes its characters. See the first page of P.G.Wodehouse's Laughing Gas, if you need some hints. Adapting a movie from a stage play is a difficult task and not for a young guy's first time out. Plays tend to feel claustrophobic when simply filmed. That should have been reckoned with before the project was started. The actors did a good job. They were all good actors. I would like to see them in a better movie, especially, Tuesday Weld, just because I've always had the hots for Tuesday Weld.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
hard to watch; hard to forget
robertg-915 August 2002
I've just seen the dvd of Chelsea Walls and the one thing that seems to be missed by all the other people who have commented on the film is that the screenplay was written by actress Nicole Burdette and existed first as a stage play by her.

Ethan Hawke seems to be getting all the blame for this films lack of narrative structure, but did the play have any? I seriously doubt it. I don't think it was something that Hawke removed just for the film. The script is made up mostly of behavior. Behavior is the kind of thing that serious writers work very hard to expunge from their work in an effort to get to the real meat -- the story or narrative, the thing that the writer needs to say. Chelsea Walls is not that. It plunges the viewer into behavior without any effort to explain what you're watching or who the characters are. This is definitely not what most people expect or want when they go to the movies.

Still though, the actors are very capable, and they are mostly really wonderful to watch. If Burdette had given them the telephone directory to read they probably would have made it at least a little interesting to sit and watch for a while, just because of who they are.

What Hawke, his editor and cameraman have put together here is an ultimately haunting and very poetic experience. I too, like others, have found it very hard to get out of my system. Images and moments from the film still haunt me. There are bits that are true and extremely beautiful in this film, things that are very keenly observed. That, I believe, is what Ethan Hawke brought to Burdette's script.

It was never a very commercial project, but, jeez, all the stones that people are hurling at him seem a little excessive.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Pretentious, many times can you say BORING?! Typically what you expect to see from any Film School student's first project.
CinemaDude26 April 2002
This is what happens when an actor is handed a video camera and convinces himself that he has the talent to make a full-length feature as his first "project" out of the starting gate, rather than honing his directorial skills on smaller, lesser efforts first.

CHELSEA WALLS is a meandering, unfocused film that has all the ear-markings of a self-indulgent, pretentious, look-at-me-world-I'm-directing film school assignment. Scenes go on excruciatingly long, saying nothing and begging for an editor, and worse, not even creating a mood for any substantial ideas to build on. It seems that the ONLY rational idea that comes out of this hodge-podge of ill-defined, self-pitying and pitiful characters is no more than that old, hackneyed cliché that somehow if you are a drunk, an addict or a looser -- or better yet, all of the above, then any gibberish issuing forth from your mouth or your pen MUST be high art.

Of course this is nonsense. But it seems that the director has incorporated that misnomer as his own film-making style -- evidently he feels that all he has to do is aim a camera and shoot without benefit of script, or even a vague notion of what should happen from point A to point B, without adequate lighting or even a simple focus puller, and that will somehow the resultant murky, low contrast, dark (in many scenes, barely visible) and mostly out-of-focus images will rise to "Film Festival Winner" quality. This too is film student's cliché and it is dead wrong. Hopefully by the senior year they have either learned how wrong this is, or they have flunked out. I am afraid, Mr. Hawke is about to flunk out.

If you think it is fun to sit and watch Kris Kristofferson play a falling down, drooling, nearly incoherent drunk, then by all means, knock yourself out. If you think you will be entertained by an endless string of poorly lit scenes in which the characters are barely visible while they spout nonsense lines, supposedly odes to the famous artists who once populated that hotel like Bob Dylan -- however, Dylan they certainly are not, then by all means, hunker down because CHELSEA WALLS is peppered with this kind of aimless, pointless dialogue; it's the "poetic meat" of the film, or so Ethan Hawke keeps telling the hosts on the string of talk shows he's visited in the last week to promote this unpleasant, oh-so-serious trash (even Andy Warhol's TRASH had sense enough to laugh at itself).

The film's director keeps bragging that it only cost him $100,000 to make. It looks it. It feels it. Now there certainly have been plenty of films out of Hollywood that cost hundreds of millions and nevertheless wound up being nothing but garbage, but at least in those they had enough money to pay for key and fill lights so you could at least see the garbage that was going on.

If this is what video-to-film is going to engender -- all those actors who think they can be directors because they can cough up enough money to direct a vanity "movie," then please, in the spirit of truth-in-advertising, let it be clearly stated on the marquee before we plunk down our $10.50 -- "This film was made with a video camera for less money than most productions spend on sandwiches for the crew -- enter at your own risk."
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Ethan Hawke puts it on the line. . .
Rogue-3222 April 2002
. . .and brings to life an unflinching, uncompromised vision of what it means to be an artist - to spend one's life obsessed, desperate, urgently attempting to create something pure out of one's private existence; to give shape, form and substance to one's life, in effect. At the same time the film also deals with what it means to be a human being, desperately attempting to communicate, to reach at least one other human being on something beyond a superficial, defense-ridden level.

This film is not for everyone, it's not commercial in any way, it doesn't provide a 'quick fix' and a 'happy ending', but for those who are willing to drop their preconceptions and give themselves over to the pure poetry that resides in Chelsea Walls, whether they're an artist (who will surely relate in some way, as I did, to nearly every character in the film) or not, there are many deep rewards in store.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Disjointed but poetic
buggirl-31 September 2003
This film may not be the movie of the year, but it is indeed a beautiful piece of work by several great actors and actresses, with a wonderful soundtrack. A great movie about a legendary hotel.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Lives of Artists in the Famous Artist Hotel in New York
lipolaughing9 October 2011
Screenwriter Nicole Burdette's female scrutiny of the male gender in Chelsea walls can be painful at times. The men in the film, except one, are artists desperately devoted to their chosen callings who have trouble loving anything beyond their own work. Of course this is a problem for men well beyond the Chelsea Hotel Bohemian microcosm, so the film has a universal reach. The use of sound is especially impressive, as music and conversation will bleed over into a new scene with new characters like sound travels through hotel walls, giving the film a dream-like quality. Also impressive is the number of characters and story lines the film carries (as can be seen by the list of characters). The film cuts between the numerous story lines and then returns to them in a masterful way that never leaves you lost. It's not a happy film and offers little in the way of redemption, except perhaps in the young Vietnamese poet's capacity for love, yet the use of music, poetry, and the mesmerizing way the stories are folded together and told, make the movie a lovely and insightful viewing experience.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great Promise
theorbitor21 February 2003
Ethan Hawke should really continue to direct, this debut film shows great promise. The outstanding cast is a credit to the trust they must have had in his talent. If your a Kris Kristofferson fan, you must see this performance, it's the best he's ever given. This film might not be for everyone, but it's a very well thought out work.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Hundred Stories and a hundred differrent stories
saunders4810 December 2002
Chelsea Walls is not the usual film, that somehow all of the characters and their stories are inter-related. In 'Walls', none of the characters and their stories touch one another. This is what makes it more life-like, because all of us know that this is reality and not the movies. This film requires the participation of the audience in viewing it, there are many fascinating characters who are telling fascinating stories, just watch and listen. Finally, it is about Americans who are still 'On the Road' for that career in the arts and the experiences that they have and the people that enter their lives while they are on that journey. It is somewhat in the genre of Jack Kerouac, the difference being that this is a group of total strangers who never connect with each other, just with life.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A very enjoyable, well acted, and well directed film
accidental7622 October 2002
This movie is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I originally picked it up at the video store because of the amazing cast and Kris Kristofferson, Robert Sean Leonard, Uma Thurman (to name a few) are a few of my favorites. The movie is full of poetry, music, color and the narration throughout the film is as much a part of the story as the dialogue between the actors. Other films that I've seen with stories all interelated like this one, such as "Things you can tell just by looking at her" didn't hold my attention as well. I think this film was very well done and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the written or sung word. Also, I would like to mention that Robert Sean Leonard's guitar playing and singing are wonderful! Kudos to this great cast!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
spirit in film
write81726 March 2002
I was recently privileged to see the premiere of Chelsea Walls at SxSW in Austin, Texas. I was dumbstruck when Richard (Slacker) Linklater, a great hero of mine, got on stage to introduce his friend's film. (His involvement in CW is limited to a cameo). I watched the film with a mix of awe at it's lack of vanity and, strangely, lack of emotional reaction. However, when I wandered alone into the streets of Austin, I found myself overwhelmed by an instant need to plant myself on a bench with paper and pen...and words flowed from me as they only do when I am truly inspired by another artists work.

After allowing myself to act as an external vehicle for the spirit of Chelsea Walls, I was able to reflect on the film itself. It is one of the few films I have EVER seen that tapped into the true essence of poetry, and the true nature of an artist. I felt connected to the plight of the characters, since it has been too often that I've felt the self destructiveness that accompanies artistic pursuit, that is founded in the belief that the most profound art is born in emotional turmoil. Both the acting and storytelling were superb.

I was fortunate enough to sit beside Ethan and Rick Linklater during a documentary the following day. It was only after ranting about Chelsea Walls, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater and how I would love to meet them and pick their brains to a random girl who sat to my right, that I realized that they sat just to my left. My embarrassment was quickly crushed by both Ethan and Rick's friendly demeanors. My words to Ethan then were obscured by the fact that I was blown away by Linklater's presence, and how kind and funny they both seemed. So, Ethan, if you read this, props to you for staying true to your roots as an artist and making such an authentic directorial debut....Jen
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Kristofferson Holds it Together
elvis197329 April 2002
The non-linear story of "Chelsea Walls" is an atmospheric collage of a variety of stories. What brings the film its merit is the performance of Kris Kristofferson. Finally, he's given some material to express his talents and delivers a passionately, brooding performance. He sucks in the essence of his drunken-has-been writer, and expels it for all to witness and reflect. If there's one reason to see this film, it's for Kris.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
more of a felony than a film
stuhh20019 November 2002
I've contacted the proper authorities, and everyone connected with this "project", down to the kid that delivered coffee to the set, will be apprehended, prosecuted, persecuted, and sentenced to the full extent of the law. This film makes Andy Warhol's twelve hour film of the Empire State building, eight hour one of a man sleeping, and his "Trash" starring Holly Woodlawn seem like Oscar contenders. Mr. Kristofferson, whom I've enjoyed on other occassions, extends his acting range from A to B. His "prep" for a scene seems to be awakened in the middle of the night, thrown before the camera trying to figure out where he is and what it is he is supposed to be doing. Vincent D'Onofrio, whom I believe has it in him to be in the Brando/ Pacino class, once again finds himself in another project that makes us ask, "You needed the money this bad?". This sort of thing was started by John Cassavetes, who thought if you throw actors in front of a camera, and have them improvise, THE TRUTH will emerge. The result was something called "Shadows". He learned nothing from this. Then he took his wife, Gena Rowlands, one of the most beautiful, and talented actresses in Hollywood, and had her "star" in several improvised diasters when she should have been doing real movies, and in my opinion wrecked a great career. Mr. Skinny Bones is played by the great singer Jimmie Scott. A memorable film could be made from his life story, but no one would believe it. If you ever faced adversity, and thought you were dealt a lousy hand in life, check out Jimmie's life and career. Still performing in his seventies, he is a man who could write the ultimate book on survival.
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Ethan builds Hotel on Baltic Avenue...
film-critic27 July 2007
The Chelsea Hotel is a landmark in American culture, alas, due to modern advances in low-income housing; it has become nothing more than a demolished idea coupled with a forgotten past. Hawke, using nearly every technique patented by Richard Linklater, attempts to revitalize the forgotten hotel with non-sequitur stories and impossible characters, yet incredible actors. Using now-cliché camera style (a.k.a. The grain of pure film school) and a powerful score by Wilco, Hawke pulls every grunge independent filmmaker technique known to man, mashes them together like potatoes, and hopes – actually prays – that it will be a big "hurrah" at the cinematic Thanksgiving. Enough references for now, but truthfully, Hawke creates an eyesore of a film with "Chelsea Walls'. Beginning with characters that never develop AT ALL, coupling with a story that is never existent, Hawke horribly displays whatever talent he may have thought he had by employing friends to carry the burden. "Chelsea Walls" was a smear on cinema, not because of the subject (of which I do believe an honest film needs to be made of the events leading to the demise of this building), but because of the surroundings. Hawke borrows, as mentioned before, unsuccessfully from Linklater's work, attempting to bring a "Waking Life"-esquire story to the surface sans the animation. Where Hawke failed was that he brought unexcited characters into a place that really needed an introduction. He needed to guide this audience through his train of thought – not just assume we were all as intellectual as he portrayed himself to be.

What upped me about this film was that we had intelligent, powerful actors giving us nothing. From the beginning of the scene until the end, there was nothing solid for us to stand. Kris Kristofferson is a phenomenal actor, but he couldn't bring me to the surface in "Chelsea Walls". He cried, he drank, he womanized, but for what purpose – this critic has absolutely no idea why. The same can be said for Natasha Richardson, whom in my eyes, cannot do wrong, was misguided from the beginning thanks to Mr. Hawke. Rosario Dawson gave the only comprehensible portrayal throughout the film, but she was flanked by horrid direction and choppy "anti-independent" cliché surroundings. She tried, but Hawke wouldn't allow her to prosper. The only one that went the distance, albeit horribly, was Robert Sean Leonard who only was given screen time because of his friendship with director Hawke. He did have a moving story, and if we were left with just the central focus of Leonard's character as he interacted with the others of this building, I think we could have had a keeper of a film, but we didn't. We jumped. We jumped from one actor to another hoping that we could see the chaos surrounding these talented artists. Alas, all we witnessed was Jell-o slipping down a wall -- nothing was sticking.

I hate to be pessimistic because I had high hopes for this film. Look at the billing for "Chelsea Walls", who wouldn't get excited. What did happen is that Hawke went to the Linklater school of direction, but abysmally failed out, possibly never quite going to the first class, but instead just copying someone's notes. This was a dark depressing tale that had elements that could work, but just like any first year filmmaker, it all depends on how you put those ideas together. Hawke had some great ideas, but he could not assemble them. He tried to bring music into the scene, and the use of Wilco was genuine, but overbearing – not to mention overused – throughout the film. This seemed to be the common theme or pedestal that Hawke used for "Chelsea Walls" – overuse, until it becomes painful to the viewer. You can obviously see that with the extra lack-tastic features attached to this disc. There are some additional scenes, which only continue the abrasive, unknown of the film. There are some interviews, but done many years after the film. Hawke tries his best, but the funniest is Robert Sean Leonard who forgets everything and attempts to change the subject. My favorite, "What was your favorite scene Mr. Leonard", answered with a long pause and the phrase, "…anything with Rosario". That sums this film up in a nutshell.

Overall, I cannot suggest this film. I love the actor Ethan Hawke, and I like this style of film-making, but for "Chelsea Walls" it just didn't seem put together. Linklater would have been upset with the results – just as we were as we watched it. Do not be fooled by the big names associated here, they accomplish nothing and in the end, make you want this hotel to be torn down. This was a sad attempt at film-making, and I can only suggest watching a better combination film with these actors called "Tape". I have mentioned this in a couple of other reviews and truly believe this is the best Hawkes/Leonard/Linklater combo platter you will ever get.

Grade: * ½ out of *****
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
As a director Ethan Hawke should keep his day job.
acearms13 March 2004
This story didn't have a story. Bouncing around the lives of several couples living in a run down seedy hotel had no real plot. All the characters seemed to sit around, dance down the halls, strum guitars or otherwise providing inane performances. Frank Whaley, as an example, played the part of a want-a-be stand up comic, a second attempt for him for which he again failed miserably. Ethan Hawke should keep his day job as an actor, something he does extremely well and quit trying to be a director. The rest of the actors were equally inane in their performances. The camera angles were faulty, the multiple colors from one scene to another added nothing all the while the various characters moped around whining about their sad lot in life. A movie you will be glad you missed. I gave it a 1/10 only because they don't allow zeros. Waste of time.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It was tasteful
coedog330 August 2003
I don't know why most people don't like this movie, especially if your a connoisseur of the cinema. I admit I am not a big fan of Kris Kristofferson, but aside from him I thought it was a well done movie. It was a bit hard to understand what was going on sometimes, but I think that might have been Ethan Hawke's intention. Any how, if you like indy films, and don't mind being confused, I think this movies worth watching. There were just certain moments in the film when the natural beauty was almost overwhelming it was so powerful. I think Ethan Hawke is on his way.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Just a single question
martinf-314 April 2003
Christopher Walken is credited as a character without a name (and his name appears on the VHS cassette). Can anyone tell my exactly what part he plays and/or when he appeared? I surely didn't see him - and I watched for him through the whole movie as I expected him to fit in quite well in this original movie. Or maybe I just went blind?
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed