Hotel (2013) Poster


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Mixed feelings about this movie
adventurer_ci18 March 2014
I enjoyed watching this movie, but overall have mixed feelings about it. Alicia Vikander again impressed me, but I want to see her in different roles. She is very, very talented. The film attempts to explore a different approach to group therapy. Erika is behind the idea of becoming somebody else, whilst temporary, in an attempt to overcome depression. While the idea seems interesting and plausible, it did not unfold well in the movie. Some scenes were not believable; some characters were too grotesque. It left some questions unanswered. It is impossible to know the extend of brain damage of a newborn. Why the child remained in the hospital? The Peter's story line is not believable at all. I give it 7 for the great performances and original screenplay.
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Alicia Vikander, you did it again!
ingelaallard14 March 2014
Alicia Vikander proves once again why she is Sweden's rising star with yet another strong, intense performance. She plays the smug Erika whose secure existence with a stable boyfriend, a hip job and a high class apartment collapses after a complicated birth. She joins a frustrated therapy group that is trying to find an answer to why they are so unhappy. Together, they spontaneously check into a hotel to escape their reality by being someone else. The day after they realize that they do not want to go back, and check into a new hotel ...

With warm humor and lovingly portrayed characters who grow and develop from their stereotypical shell, Lisa Langseth manages to make a fun but at the same time serious, original work and it is liberating in the Swedish film industry where most of the films are detective stories, slapstick's or comedies.

There is an evocative darkness relieving the more hilarious situations. Langseth takes its characters seriously and chooses no easy solutions to their problems. They are charming and often funny, yet tragic, broken souls on a desperate search for answers to impossible questions. It may be considered pretentious and the resolution is a bit obvious but the director and the actor's stubborn beliefs makes the story pull through.

David Dencik is ridiculously good as an Indian-loving oddball with a mother complex. He is impressively honest and naked (even literally) and transforms what could become the gang's geek to an exciting underdog The other actors are able to breathe life into their characters, including Simon J. Berger in his few scenes as the boyfriend.

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Group therapy on the edge
stensson2 November 2013
This woman gives birth too early and her child is born with brain damages. He must remain in hospital, but his mother can hardly watch him. And impossibly touch him.

So she goes into a deep depression, after a while trying to solve it with group therapy. She's wealthy, she invites the group and herself to a hotel and there, things start moving. The bullied girl, the woman who loathes her body, the man who was abused by his mother.

It's a strong drama. Calling it being lighted up by some humor almost on the slapstick level, is a false expression. But it's interesting with movies, where you hardly can tell whether it's a comedy or the opposite.
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Strange and wonderful.
StrangeBellatrix19 April 2017
This one was very strange but also very wonderful in its own weird sort of a way. A group of people, all broken in some way, coming together and creating something new and powerful and perhaps life-changing.

Over-all a good plot, good performances and a very unique film. Alicia Vikander impressed me yet again. What a great actress she is.

Give this one a chance, I know I'm glad I did.
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Checking out from your own life for a little while
mel-piruski-19904 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
''I want to be someone... somewhere else'' exclaims the heroine of Hotell in one of the key scenes of the film, and she literally means what she is saying. When life twists and turns in unexpected and unpleasant ways people often grant themselves the desire to take a break from their devastating daily routines. But for Lisa Langseth's characters this desire goes much deeper: they want to take a break from their own personalities and from the repression and the obstacles that they seem to impose to themselves. Checking out from their realities and checking into a hotel seems like a logical thing to do. Away from their own houses and lives they have the chance to experience how it is to be someone else somewhere else.

The idea of assuming a new identity and erase the past after a crisis happening in life is not new. One can easily recall Edward Norton giving up his old monotonous life to participate in Project Mayhem in Fight Club, Jim Carey and Kate Winslet paying to have their memories erased in The Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind and Old Boy's Oh Dae-su asking for the help of a hypnotist to forget his guilty present and past. A new identity has in any case to do with deleting past and constructing a clean present but in the case of Erika (Alicia Vikander) things are not so clear-cut because the point of her past that she wants to forget about is her own new born child. Erika was leading a life that appeared to be perfect: she had a committed husband, a successful job, money and most importantly she was expecting to be a mother. She was spending her time in fancy parties with her colleagues and when she was at home she was taking care of the room of her upcoming baby. Everything had to be flawless: the cradle, the decoration, the teddy bears. But because of a complication her pregnancy was disrupted and she gave birth to a child who is brain damaged. Now she has to face reality but she is not ready to do it. For the first time in her life she has to run away. And the world that she knew and lived in for so long will collide with a new one.

After refusing to see her own son and negotiating the problematic situation with her husband she is assigned to participate into a group therapy that would help her to handle the new state of things. The other members of her group seem to be also disoriented and the treatment doesn't help. While talking to each other they spontaneously come up with the idea of going to a hotel and start developing and acting in accordance with a new personality that they would choose for themselves. Hotell seems to follow the structure of a psychotherapy treatment. Erika has to pass through all of these stages that will lead her to reconciliation and catharsis but this process is not an easy one. Checking out from one hotel only to check in in another one, the rooms seem to take the shape of precisely these stages until the time for the inevitable reality check arises. What is she going to do when that happens?

Confusion and fear are always apparent in Erika's face and body. While everyone of her friends seems to find a way to feel better through this weird hotel tour that they are having she remains detached having only some brief moments of tenderness lighting up her mood. Her detachment becomes even stronger because of Langseth's choice to deny the spectator any glimpse of what is going on inside the heroine's head. There are no voice-overs to help us understand what she is thinking and no subjective shots showing how she feels. The tension of her inner world is illustrated by the rough editing of the film but that is not adequate to give any clues about Erika's plans.

This denial for a pass into the heroine's thoughts is perfectly supported by Alicia Vikander's solid and structured acting which is contrasted with the personalities of her four friends . All of them are true misfits and their goofy behavior seems to make the whole atmosphere of the film more light-hearted and funny, balancing the emotional dead end of Erika. Their weirdo way of acting is becoming so exaggerated at some points of the film that it highlights their poor character development that often makes them look one dimensional. Especially in the case of the introvert Ann-Sofi, whose elvish voice haunts the opening and the ending of the film, the need for a more generous depiction of her personality became more than apparent.

Hotell succeeds in telling the story of a traumatized woman by focusing on her and not on the events that happened or may happen around her. Her actions and reactions become landmarks of a process which seems to be more important than the outcome that it is going to produce and Erika's improvised self-psychotherapy leads to an unexpected catharsis whose starting point seem to overlap with an ending and vice versa.
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World of abstraction
agndubec30 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I'm disappointed.. When I was looking for this film I was hoping to watch some kind of human drama. That's way all my hopes I put in the main character. And she failed... Such a big role ! Miss Vikiander has the same (face) expression the whole movie. The same, I must say annoying, kind of one. When in her place would be someone else- like male (just example) Jack Nicholson this film would be OK, or even better than OK. I renember like he played in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest someone who has emotional problems- he was amazing! I remember Anelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted- she was so, so magnetic- to the pain, so badly ! I've seen a lot of actors who has something hard to play, and I must say, that most of them I can remember- I can remember even not famous at all Catherine Deneuve in Roman Polański's movie- and I won't say any bad word about her role. But there in this Lisa Langseth's movie? There was nothing- I hope I'll forget as fast as I can this creepy main female role. Beside that it was sooo sooo funny what happened when in the end - when parents of little boy caught him with some strange guy early NAKED playing on the floor. And what have they done? Just nothing! Holy Moly! Isn't that weird? Some kind of abstraction we have here... Sory- NOT in the real world. That kind of things. And most important- not today! Also when creepy main character ruin the room in the hotel parents didn't even say a word. It OK for them when strange woman just lacerating their stuffs.. And her trip- firstly she goes about 5 hours without any weariness

or even one sweat-drop, that when she goes back and its dark she remember the way to the hotel and walks about a couple of minutes... Not the real word - this film has lots lots of unrealistic moments- the funniest thing is the second one hotel- when they get to him he lays on the sideless, and some evening when the girl look through window she sees a few high bulding outside- what a heterogeneous

world !
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Alicia plays Erika, a traumatized mother of a newborn baby in whom she caused brain damage
nathaliepottier7 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Alicia plays Erika, a traumatized mother of a newborn baby in whom she caused brain damage because of her fear in giving birth in the natural way. Is her best character, Alicia gives everything for this role. Who sees her in this one can hardly remember that she's not that girl that is suffering because of a mistake she committed, the one that will follow her for all life.

The film could be a drama like any other: some problematic people come together trying to cope with their fears and traumas. And yeah, they are being able to help each other, BUT it has a goal point here: Erika! She is suffering a lot and she's carrying some heavy feelings, effects of her trauma, BUT she doesn't let it show. We follow Erika's point of view and we can barely feel her soul. Of course part of the job is coming from Alicia's performance, but the really well written script is also something to add up.

From the beginning of the movie till the end, we keep waiting to see WHY Erika is the only one not being healed, after all she's the one that got the idea, and she's the one funding everything. We want to see this group therapy having some effect on her, but it doesn't. So she needs more than that, she needs "the drop in a cup full of water". And she gets it.

So the movie is about life and how we all repress our feelings, every time. The movie is about let it out and don't mind what people thinking about us. This movie is about the human being in its greatness.
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Bit disturbing at times.
bazookamouth-221-89809714 October 2018
Oddball Swedish movie basically about a traumatized Alicia Vikander (her new born baby was born brain damaged) who attends group therapy and eventually takes the other 4 strangers from the group on a tour of hotels to find themselves apparantely. At times it is revolting and crude and some of the characters actions unrealistic and just not normal. But it is Swedish after all. There is scene where the group intermingle at a wedding at one of the hotels and Erika (Vikander) and Rikard take the small 8 year old son of one of the wedding guests back to the boys hotel room to see his toy collection, proceed to have a bath with him, half clothed and the parents come looking for the boy, find him and on the disgust and disbelief of the parents, Vikander smashes up the hotel room. Then nothing happens. They just walk out. No police. That sums up the movie weirdness.
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