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All Critics (14)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (13)
| Rotten (1)
Hong builds the action into a framework of poetic premonitions that exude anticipatory danger.
Hong continues to find playful new ways of organizing his obsessions. He's got a natural genius for rearranging the furniture, and it makes a virtue of the fact that he's always working inside the same house.
As a forlorn kind of hangout movie, then, "Hotel by the Sea" proceeds at a pleasing shuffle, spiked with bittersweet humor and even a gentle, surprising hint of sentimentality.
A portrait of two souls coming to a reckoning - one with encroaching death, the other, in a less developed story, with life after a relationship.
It can be tempting, even from the outset, to read this hotel, this winter, these people, as a sort of purgatory. But wherever they are, these five have managed to remind themselves of love.
Where in other films the miscommunications with women are played for laughs that suggest they're merely bumps on the road to a later happiness, here they feel more fundamentally broken, with sorrowful repercussions that reach across generations.
Hotel by the River is a minimalist... beautiful film that portrays melancholy and the fear of dying in a way that's ironic, funny and friendly, and all thanks to very good characters. [Full review in Spanish]
Two groups gather at a hotel by the Han River in a film more straight-ahead, sentimental, and serious film than most by the Korean master.
Filled with Hong's usual sharp wit, self-deprecating jokes, many personal references and his staple drinking scene.
Hong Sang-soo's film looks incredible, but his characters are tiring to listen to...Maybe it was because this is the director's least boozy film in a while, but even this cast of Hong regulars seems to be having a hard time making it fly.
Hotel by the River may end up being strewn amongst [Hong Sangsoo's] extensive B-side items but it ends up being one of the director's more serene, introspective efforts to date.
Hong's latest confirms a nascent sorrow in this increasingly complicated director's work. The results are troubling, touching, and never less than beautiful.
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