HOTEL AMERICA | L’HÔTEL DES AMÉRIQUES
Drama/Romance | 1981 | 99min | Rating: M | France| Dir: André Téchiné | Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Patrick Dewaere, and Etienne Chicot
With this year’s Festival reuniting the powerhouse director/ actress team of André Téchiné and Catherine Deneuve in Farewell to the Night, 1981’s Hotel America reveals another side to their enduring, collaborative relationship. Winning her the César Award for Best Actress, Deneuve sets the screen on fire in Hotel America, “one of the most beautiful French films of all time” (Les Inrocks).
Set in Biarritz on the Bay of Biscay, Deneuve’s character Hélène is recovering from the traumatic loss of her partner when she meets the lower-class Gilles (Patrick Dewaere) after almost running him over in her car. Despite her hesitation and fears, Hélène is drawn to Gilles but learns that he too has his own complicated history, which places their tentative, burgeoning romance at risk.
While many filmmakers have attempted in vain to capture the unspoken complexities of grief, few understand its nuanced depths with the poetry, sensitivity and truth of Téchiné, Deneuve and Dewaere. A film where what is left unspoken is just as moving as what is said, Hotel America remains one of the most enchanting, yet reflective, love stories ever made.
French with English subtitles