Hotel Noir (2012)

My Score

Los Angeles, 1958: a detective holes up in a downtown hotel awaiting killers to come get him. During the course of one night he will meet various occupants of the hotel and the truth of how he came to be in his present situation will be revealed.

Genre : Crime/Drama
Country : USA

Cast : 
Rufus Sewell : Felix
Malin Akerman :  Swedish Mary
Carla Gugino : Hanna Click

Director : Sebastian Gutierrez

Also Known as : City of Sin

My opinion

“Are you a cop?
Why?
You ask questions like a cop.
How’s that?
Like you’re not really interested in the answer, but the way I answer.
I’m a cop.
No kidding.

You’re on a stakeout?
I was gonna hop a train.
Changed your mind?
Missed my train.”

Hotel Noir” takes place in the infamous 50s. The years of glitter and glamour with its jazzy mood. When men walked around like Humphrey Bogart and every woman seemed to be a diva. Those were the days that lightning a cigarette wasn’t associated with a deadly disease, but with fun and sensuality. The time in which a microphone looked like a significantly oversized toaster and women wore bras as if sophisticated cruise missiles were hidden in it. The same wigwam-shaped things Madonna became famous with, many years later. Men and women had conversation as if they were performing in a stage play with rapid dialogue lines which sounded shrewd and ingenious. It was the Charleston time and the time the mafia ruled with Dick Tracy-like gangsters.

 

Unfortunately this rather old-fashioned-feeling film reminded me of the dull theater shows I had to watch when I went to high school. At the beginning I still had this hopeful thought that this could be a pretty entertaining movie. And this because of the fact that they managed to convince a few well-known actors to cooperate, such as Dany Devito, Rufus I’ll follow you downSewell, Rosario TranceDawson and Carla San AndreasGugino. But despite the well-known cast, the film felt like a third-rate detective novel in which the relationships between the protagonists revealed themselves painfully slow. And the stories are intertwined such as the spaghetti in a Spaghetti Bolognaise.


And that’s also the biggest drawback of this film. The complexity and quantity of twists made it a really hard to follow film. It all feels cheap and minimalistic as well. Both in terms of story as scenography. I bet the limited budget, this movie was made with, probably has something to do with that.  And it’s not really intriguing or exciting at all. The conversation between Felix (Rufus Sewell) and Hanna Click (Carla Gugino) is the most fascinating part of the whole movie. A series of short questions and answers the two protagonists are shooting at eachother. Amazingly shrewd sometimes. But ultimately it’s still nothing more than a colorless film, trying to emulate a similar film from a successful era in film history. A game of Cluedo was more exciting in those days.

My rating 4/10
Links : IMDB

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1 Comment

  1. Louis Riehm says: Reply

    I watched it, though I’m normally not attracted to black/white films. Don’t recall much about it except that the cast was attractive, and the movie itself was good looking. Not hard to look at, but hard to watch. Casa Blanca needn’t worry about the competition.

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