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HOTEL SPLENDIDE

UK, 1999 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Terence Gross

Situated on a remote windswept English island. Hotel Sptendide is accessible only by a monthly ferry Kalh (Toni Collette) arrives, after a five year absence, with a mysterious note urging her to return. The hotel is a family-run affair that makes Fawlty Towers seem accommodating. The matriarch, Mrs Blanche has been dead for a year, leaving her children to run the ailing building. Dezmond has taken over hotel management, obsessed with running it as 'mother' would have wished. Cora administers the various treatments including mud baths and enemas!

Ronald, as head chef, trained Kath years prior. Initially we presume that he summoned Kath in an effort to rekindle their affair, however we soon discover that any number of characters from the dilapidated hotel could have sent the plea for help. As ferry day approaches, the humour and tension mount until the explosive finale. Evoking Delicatessen in style and sensibility, with its oddball characters and black humour, this stylish debut feature from Terence Gross is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

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