Archive for the ‘Short Films’ Category

Hotel Chevalier (***)

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

hotel-chevalier.jpg

Before (or after) Wes Anderson’s brilliant new movie The Darjeeling Limited, audiences should check out his short film, Hotel Chevalier, which stars Jason Schwartzman (playing his character, Jack, from Darjeeling) and Natalie Portman. It’s considered the first part of The Darjeeling Limited story, but I really don’t think it matters which order you see the movies (I watched Hotel Chevalier the night after I saw Darjeeling.)

Apparently, audiences are now being treated with the short film before screenings of The Darjeeling Limited, which is nice because Hotel Chevalier is getting pretty darn hard to find online. I thought it was an enjoyable little short, built on the kind of attention to detail and quirky characters that has made Wes Anderson one of the most unique of modern day filmmakers.

The 13 minute movie shows the bitter, awkward reunion between Jack and his ex-girlfriend. She is in Paris, calls him at his hotel, and arrives in hope of a brief… Reunion? Fling? Their dialogue is cold, distant. They go through the motions of romance, and we get the distinct feeling that this same ritual has occurred before.

Hotel Chevalier is not interesting so much in the plot details, but in Schwartzman and Portman’s performances, and in Anderson’s stylized direction. Hotel Chevalier provides, in its short running time, a great amount of insight into a failed relationship. Plus, if you’re a Wes Anderson fan, you should probably see it; you know, for bragging rights.