(Working on organizing it by similar aesthetic.)
Grief? Depression? Ambiguity in a Paris hotel room. Jack Whitman lies on a bed, ordering a grilled cheese sandwich from room service. His phone rings; it's a woman on her way to see him, a surprise. He readies the room, moving without affect, drawing a bath, changing his clothes. She arrives, as does the food, and the complications of their relationship emerge in bits and pieces. He invites her out on the balcony to see his view. Will they make love? Is the relationship over?
That ass though!
Prequel to the brilliant The Darjeeling Unlimited, this short film captures Wes Anderson’s film style perfectly in only thirteen minutes. Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman are brilliant, and their dialogue and chemistry make an interesting bit of viewing.
And then you get to see Portman's bum, so what's not to like?
Review In A Nutshell:
Hotel Chevalier is an interesting companion piece to Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited, fleshing out one of the three brothers and helps explains some of the ambigious details and drives behind Jack Whitman's character. It also introduces and shows us Jack's girlfriend, a character that was only spoken of and shown through a metaphorical train scene in Anderson's feature film; she comes into this scene with subtle but intimidating force, manipulating Jack in order to suit her own personal needs. It is from this relationship, that the audience is able to empathise with the emotions that Jack suffers from during his trip to India with his brothers, and it certainly gives more weight to the poems…
Heart-felt as always, and for once it isnt all drowned in quirk. Its actually a serious Anderson flick, which was very refreshing to see. Its supposed to be a prologue to Darjeeling Ltd, which I have not seen, so i guess the story makes more sense if you are familiar with its companion piece, because nothing much happened but both Anderson and actors created a thick melancholic atmosphere that told a lot in itself. The straight lines, strict framing and stylization still very much present but for once Anderson has attempted a different mood which was nice to see. And Natalie Portman gets nude. so.
Makes me wish Wes Anderson made other short films about curious characters in his films. There are so many quirky moments spoken about in his films and many questions left unanswered.
Always beautifully shot and full of melancholy. Vintage Anderson.
The Good: Lovely cinematography. Lovely Natalie Portman. Peter Sarstedt's 'Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)'. Anderson sure knows how to pick great songs.
The Bad: Anderson has a knack for creating great characters. Schwartzman and Portman's characters don't feel like Wes Anderson characters. These people are bland and uninteresting.
The Bottom Line: I didn't care much for this film. Not one of Wes Anderson's best moments.
♬ But where do you go to, my lovely,
When you're alone in your bed,
Tell me the thoughts that surround you,
I want to look inside your head, yes I do ♬
I get the feeling that Wes Anderson wanted to be an interior decorator as a kid, but realized that was unrealistic and settled on filmmaking.
And wow, does Natalie Portman have a nice butt or what?
Where do you go to my lovely?
A 12 minute definition of Anderson's style and aesthetic. Always remained as a favorite of mine aside from his full-lengths.
Hotel Chevalier works very well as a prelude to The Darjeeling Limited, where it presents many ideas that are later referenced.
"I promise, i will never be your friend. No matter what. Ever."
This could almost be looked at as a music video for the Peter Sarstedt song. But damn, what a good music video. This thing oozes with a very specific tone, style, and atmosphere. It's just plain interesting.
The most beautiful & melancholic booty call ever, with arguably the best use of Wes' trademark slo-mo walking shots. And call me crazy, but I think this may be Natalie Portman's best performance (usually not really a fan), she's so unusually playful yet quietly wry & needing. She's totally in control here & it's a shame Wes didn't make this into a feature like he initially wanted to because she would have potentially made his best, most interesting & human female character by far, with his female characters almost never being a strong point in his writing. Yet, I'm glad we have this, and goddamn, the guy is just a master at picking great music cues for his scenes, this one being one of his very best.
The color yellow, Natalie Portman's assets and the view from the balcony are big plusses - but otherwise this Wes Andreson short feels rather forced.
Maybe it's because I haven't seen Darjeeling?
UPDATED: April 23, 2016
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