Hotel Splendide Review

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Rising out of a grim island seascape is the Hotel Splendide: once a glamorous resort, now a hideous health farm. The Blanche family run the hotel according to the standards of dear mamma, who believed in feeding guests eel-based products, then 'treating' them to liberal colonic irrigation and - gulp - using their excrement to heat the hotel.


Surprisingly, this is a deliciously dark comedy, with a Coen brothers feel. The surreal element and grimy scenery form a marvellous stage for the actors to turn in top-notch performances. And what a cast - Collette and Craig breathe life into the script, while Tompkinson manages to capture the sleazy hotel manager without becoming a caricature. There's also some terrific turns from Katrin Cartlidge and Helen McCrory. It's an idiosyncratic, acquired taste, but its message - buried under congealed gloom it may be - is a refreshing one, and this is an assured feature debut from previous short film director (and in this instance, coincidentally named) Gross.

It may be too dark and surreal for some palates, but get past the 'orribleness, and there's much fun to be had.