Hotell is a 2013 Swedish drama film written and directed by Lisa Langseth. It was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film received four nominations at the 49th Guldbagge Awards: Best Script, Lisa Langseth, Best Supporting Actress, Anna Bjelkerud and Mira Eklund and Best Supporting Actor, David Dencik. Anna Bjelkerud received a Guldbagge Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In Venice, Italy, a collection of strangers at a hotel vary from strange to corrupt to disturbed. A film crew from the U.K. is in the process of filming a take on the play "The Duchess of Malfi" by John Webster, while a documentarian records their work behind the scenes. A tour guide (Julian Sands) is hiding something. A call girl establishes herself as a hotel presence, and maids practice strange acts and behaviors. Meanwhile, an assassin (Andrea Di Stefano) frequents the hotel after jobs.
Another bestseller from Arthur Hailey (Airport, Wheels, The Moneychangers) comes to pulsating life in this grand, multi-storied feature film that explodes the secrets of a dozen private lives. Through the doors of the St. Gregory, a posh, aging luxury hotel in the lusty New Orleans French Quarter, pass the powerful, the proud and the predatory. Among them are bigoted, blustery owner Melvyn Douglas, tough-minded general manager Rod Taylor, Merle Oberon as an arrogant Duchess who dominates her weak-willed diplomat husband (Michael Rennie), Kevin McCarthy as a Bible-thumping business tycoon who’ll invoke any means to add the St. Gregory to his conformity-stamped hotel chain, Richard Conte as a duplicitous detective and Karl Malden as the thief with a briefcase full of room keys, compliments of the town’s hookers. Only so many secrets can be swept under the plush carpet of the St. Gregory.
Two tales intersect at a riverside hotel: an elderly poet (Ki Joo-bong), invited to stay there for free by the owner, summons his two estranged sons, sensing his life drawing to a close; and a young woman (Kim Min-hee) nursing a recently broken heart is visited by a friend who tries to console her. At times these threads overlap, at others they run tantalizingly close to each other. Using a stark black-and-white palette and handheld cinematography (with frequent DP Kim Hyungkoo), Hong crafts an affecting examination of family, mortality, and the ways in which we attempt to heal wounds old and fresh.