Lisa Langseth’s ensemble drama is by turns funny, unsettling and sad as it explores attitudes to mental health. Erica (Alicia Vikander) seemingly has everything in life; she is a successful, wealthy lawyer who has a clear direction plotted for her life. She is also pregnant. However, her perfect world evaporates when complications cause her baby to be born severely brain damaged and as she struggles to cope with the trauma of the birth, her partner sinks into depression. Unable to reconcile her vision for the future with the reality of caring for a disabled child – so she rejects it and escapes into an anonymous fantasy along with five others from the therapy group.
This is a film very much about the psychology of mental illness, the loneliness and social exclusion and the perception of how you are viewed by society when these issues take hold of your life. I really enjoyed this film when I saw it. It has to be said, it is not easy viewing – and nor should it be – but it is a humorous, nuanced piece, which while it lacks depth in some of the characters, is nevertheless a really worthwhile view.
Hotell – Monday at 9.00pm on Showcase.