Brookner's apparently slight but multi-layered tale is skilfully crafted by writer Christopher Hampton, who has with such films as Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and The Quiet American (2002) become a master of literary adaptation. Giles Foster's direction focuses on bringing the best from his cast, rather than attempting any sort of cinematic sweep, and Carl Davis' eloquent theme music makes the introspection all the more touching. Ultimately, though, it is Anna Massey's insightful central performance which makes Hotel du Lac such a memorable slice of television.
On the DVD: Hotel du Lac is presented in the original TV broadcast 4:3 ratio with a very poor, extremely grainy and soft picture. The sound is reasonable mono, clear and free from distortion though lacking in dynamic range. The only extra, though one well worth having, is a serious and highly informative commentary from Giles, Hampton and producer Sue Birtwistle. --Gary S Dalkin
Christopher Hampton's adaptation of Anita Brookner's novel was shot on location in London and Switzerland.
Running time: 75 minutes approx.
Anna Massey plays a romantic novelist. Although she creates characters for her books, she cant read real people and knows nothing about human nature.
The guests in the Hotel du Lac where she goes to escape, are anything but what she believes them to be...
All the characters are living un-real lives, Googie Withers as the overbearing mother, Denholm Elliot as the philandering wanderer, Patricia Hodge as the child longing wife and Irene Handel as the abandonded old lady are all brought to life by wonderful acting.
The location of the film, the Swiss Lakes in Autumn, gives the film a luminous quality that gradually overtakes everthing else.
This gentle film probes the depths of the human condition and over the course of her stay she learns what means the most in her life.
A wonderful film to curl up with on a Winters Evening......