A look at the glamorous life at an old-world Prague hotel.
Like his Academy Award winning Closely Watched Trains, Czech director Jiri Menzel puts the focus of this light-footed comedy on a loveably naïve central character. Though we first meet Jan Dite as an old ex-con, Menzel is bustling to take us back to Jan’s pre-WWII youth, where as a humble waiter his pursuits are those of young men everywhere: pretty girls and cash. As the young Jan, Ivan Barnev plays like a blonde, European Zack Braff, all wide-eyed wonder at the fun that life can bring. He’s a man of mixed fortunes, always taking the good with the bad – even when the War hits home for him, or the Communists turn up just as he finally becomes a millionaire. Funny, vivacious and profound without being earnest, this is an utter delight.
Funny, vivacious and profound without being earnest, this is an utter delight.