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Hotel Sorrento

Where to Watch Hotel Sorrento

1995

Hotel Sorrento is a remarkable piece of Australian cinema released in 1995. It's an envelope-pushing drama that explores the dynamics of family, the theme of belonging, and the cross-currents of love and bitterness that exist within families. The film was directed by Richard Franklin, known for his skilled storytelling and cinematic mastery, an adaptation of a successful stage play written by multi-award-winning playwright Hannie Rayson, which swept Australian theatre awards in the early 90s.

The cinematic adaptation maintains the power, poignancy, and raw honesty of the original play, featuring an ensemble of talented performers including Caroline Goodall, Caroline Gillmer, and Tara Morice. All the characters, expertly brought to life by these stellar actresses, are fully realised, fleshed-out individuals. The performances are both understated and deeply affecting, lending a naturalistic sense of realism to the film. Their performances beautifully convey the simmering tensions, underlying resentments, and deep-seated love that mark the three Murchison sisters at the core of the story.

Hotel Sorrento is set in the beautiful, scenic seaside town of Sorrento, Victoria. The aesthetic beauty of the location plays a central role in the film, and cinematographer Geoff Burton captures the unique beauty of the Australian coast with a keen eye, framing the town as a character in its own right. The stunning backdrops offer visual relief from the confrontations and complications that unfold in the narrative, mirroring the undercurrents lurking beneath the surface of the seemingly idyllic town. The enchanting setting lends an extra layer to the film, offering a visual juxtaposition against the complex and often conflicting emotions the characters grapple with.

The film tells the story of three sisters, Meg (Goodall), Pippa (Gillmer), and Hilary (Morice), who reunite in their family home in Sorrento after a ten-year stretch of living separate lives scattered across the globe. Meg, the middle sister, is an author who has recently released a semi-autobiographical novel that draws heavily from her family's life. The publication sends shockwaves through the family, not least because it reveals unspoken tensions, family secrets, and hidden resentments.

Meg's return stirs up emotions as her novel turns a critical eye on their shared past. The sisters are forced to reassess their relationships with each other, grappling with their identities within and outside the family unit. Throughout the course of the movie, the audience is given glimpses into their intimate conversations and confrontations, each interaction revealing an underlying layer of complex emotions - love, resentment, envy, disappointment, and regret.

A subplot involves the cultural clash between the sisters' working-class Australian origins and the more “sophisticated” world Meg has embraced as a novelist living in England. This cultural tension offers a deeper commentary on parochial attitudes and class division, adding an extra layer of complexity to the already multi-dimensional narrative.

Hotel Sorrento dives deep into the intricacies of family dynamics, and the concept of the outsider - whether it be because of class, geographical location, or the simple fact of being different. It uses the family as a lens with which to view broader societal dynamics, opening up a space for dialogue around identity and belonging. The script is emotionally intelligent, revealing a deep understanding of human nature and our need for connection.

Overall, Hotel Sorrento is an evocative narrative exploring how ties of family and home can both bind and divide us. It's emotionally rewarding and explores universal themes through a distinctly Australian lens, making it not only an example of great filmmaking but also a snapshot of Australian culture. It's a thoughtful and deeply impactful film that remains as relevant today as when it was first released. It's definitely a must-watch for anyone who appreciates well-crafted character-driven dramas.

Hotel Sorrento is a Drama movie released in 1995. It has a runtime of 107. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.5..

How to Watch Hotel Sorrento

Where can I stream Hotel Sorrento movie online? Hotel Sorrento is available to watch and stream at The Roku Channel, Kanopy.

6.5/10
Director
Richard Franklin
Genres
Also starring Caroline Goodall
Hotel Sorrento is available on .