6.8/10
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3 user 39 critic

Hotel by the River (2018)

Gangbyeon hotel (original title)
Trailer
1:39 | Trailer
It is the dead of winter and a poet invites his sons to join him at a hotel for a reunion. The hotel also hosts a newly single woman who has a friend keep her company and with whom she ... See full summary »

Director:

Sang-soo Hong

Writer:

Sang-soo Hong
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ju-bong Gi Ju-bong Gi ... Young-Hwan (as Joo-Bong Ki)
Min-hee Kim ... A-Reum
Hae-hyo Kwon Hae-hyo Kwon ... Kyung-Soo
Seon-mi Song ... Yeon-Joo
Joon-Sang Yoo ... Byung-Soo
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Storyline

It is the dead of winter and a poet invites his sons to join him at a hotel for a reunion. The hotel also hosts a newly single woman who has a friend keep her company and with whom she shares a room, strolls and conversations. The poet is drawn to the beautiful girls and cannot resist the temptation to discover more. Their lives intersect, connect and disconnect and potentially become a metaphor for modern life. Written by aghaemi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

15 February 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hotel by the River See more »

Filming Locations:

South Korea

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,534, 17 February 2019

Gross USA:

$28,354

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$101,879
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jeonwonsa Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film premiered at TIFF in Toronto, Canada in September 2018. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tedium by the river
13 November 2018 | by mcousi11See all my reviews

This film is unfortunately the nadir (to date) in Hang's decline into tedium and pointlessness. Audiences tend to either love or hate Hang Sang So. Personally I am a fan but his work in recent years has become increasingly dull. This film looks beautiful but that's the only thing going for it. Unlike most Hang films, the male and female characters are largely separated. While, in the early Power of Kangwon Province, Hang used a complex time shift to tell the story from separate male and female viewpoints, here the two sets of characters are crudely filmed in different parts of the same building (at adjacent restaurant tables in one shot). Unlike most Hang films, there is no time shifting or viewing of the same scene from different perspectives. Instead we have characters who are unable to find each other in an almost deserted small hotel. If there is supposed to be a deeper message in this, it is not obvious. The story takes place in small hotel where Kim Min Hee has come to get over a broken relationship and is joined by a friend. There is the potential for an interesting story here but Hang seems largely apathetic. He focusses instead on an ageing poet who has been invited to stay in the hotel by the admiring owner (or so he says). Fearing death (with some justification given his alcohol intake) he invites his two sons to the hotel. Unfortunately one character is less interesting than the next and the dialogue is less interesting than the characters. Like the hotel owner, one may quickly tire of the tedious poet. Shown at the excellent London Korean Film Festival, an introductory speaker commented on Hang's prodigious current output and the fact that he wakes up every morning of shooting at 6 am to write the dialogue for the day. This film (like several before it) suggests that these working methods are suffering from the law of declining returns.


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