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Hotel du Lac [DVD] 
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A romantic novelist travels to a lakeside hotel to recover from an unhappy affair. There she encounters a variety of interesting characters, and another tantalizing possibility of love.
Christopher Hampton's adaptation of Anita Brookner's novel was shot on location in London and Switzerland.
Running time: 75 minutes approx.
Hotel du Lac is an impeccably produced BBC television adaptation of Anita Brookner's Booker Prize-winning novel. Middle-aged writer Edith Hope has fled London and romantic disappointment to find sanctuary at a luxury hotel on a Swiss Lake, but finding no escape from her loneliness must eventually face her past. Edith is played with compassion by Anna Massey, her intellect and wit acting as a defence against her own failings, and support comes from a superb cast including Denholm Elliott, Googie Withers, Julia McKenzie, Patricia Hodge, Irene Handl and Barry Foster.
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
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Top Customer Reviews
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......
I stayed at the real Hotel du Lac in switzerland, which is a beautiful place full of style and grace. It is also right on the banks of Lake Geneva. I read the book first and could see all the author was writing about.
The dvd was wonderful and stuck mostly to the book.
A slight film but intelligent and also rather sad. The ex-pats in the hotel are all suffocating under the weight of their own disappointments. The scenery doesn't add much but the Swiss setting, the land where nothing much ever happens, serenely, is well chosen. If you like books about mousey women who observe well and dress badly, where lots of people misbehave in the politest possible way, this is for you. It would be nice to think her character later learned how to smoke a joint, cut loose, do the samba. Fingers-crossed.
could be conveyed through a film. This film does the trick.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was originally made for television, by the BBC, back in 1986, and is only 75 minutes long. Anna Massey stars in this as Edith Hope, a writer who has been quite successful,... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sue
Had just reread the book and vaguely remembered a TVs adaptation. So thrilled to find this!Published 8 months ago by Mrs M
This movie is very out of date now in terms of attitudes to women and relationships, but is it really? Read morePublished 11 months ago by Nel