The Million Dollar Hotel (2000)
Critic Consensus: Critics say the weirdness of The Million Dollar Hotel is more grating and pretentious than interesting. Also, it takes too long to get to the conclusion.
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Critic Reviews for The Million Dollar Hotel
It is probably asking too much of this phantasmagoria that it make sense.
If you're looking for a defining Wenders image, try starting with the gloomy angels in overcoats in Wings Of Desire.
An exercise in whimsy.
If any of these characters were half as resonant as Wenders appears to think they are, the film might have seemed charming instead of merely stranded.
Audiences partial to this rather rarefied material will find plenty to enjoy in the technically polished production, but those not on Wenders' wavelength will be seriously alienated.
The script that Nicholas Klein has conjured from Bono's idea is a quicksand that sucks down a solid cast.
Audience Reviews for The Million Dollar Hotel
Not many people I have spoken to have seen this film but as a Jeremy Davies fan (whom I discovered a love for first in his portrayal of Charles Manson in Helter Skelter and then by accident as Topper in the darkly deviant black comedy Ravenous) I would have to say that it is one of the most haunting and heartbreaking movies I have ever seen. Although Mel Gibson's presence seems a little odd, as you keep expecting him to pull out a gun and start shooting (as he does on one occasion) I felt his portrayal as a physically deformed polic officer investigating the suicide of a man in the hotel believable. With a perfect narrative from Davies and a strong, all be it odd, cast of characters behind him, this movie is one of my favorites and is one I am happy not many people have seen.
The film version of a literary style known as Magical Realism
It's a screwball tragedy, a term made up by someone else to describe this film. There are no others of this type. It's a love story without "They lived happily ever after"; it's a mystery (the essence of real) in a subtly surreal world. Not only is the story unique, but so are most of the characters, which seems to be a problem for some viewers. I don't want to paint this movie as too weird, but its differences are some of the best things about it.
Cinematography is classic, sharp, lots of deep focus. Exteriors, interiors, non-traditional lighting, a dawn scene shot before the magic hour, it all looks great. I can't recall a scene with foreground in focus while background is out, or vice versa.
U2 contributed a tune or two to the soundtrack, as they have for all Wim Wenders films since the 80s. The rest of the soundtrack is jazzy. It supports the film beautifully, and is available on CD.
If you've liked any of Wim Wenders films, I think you'll love this one.
Very off beat. It was fun, and even though I hate Jeremy Davies, the rest of the cast checked out.
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