The Hotel New Hampshire 1984 ***

British director Tony Richardson (Tom Jones, The Charge of the Light Brigade) was an unlikely choice for this adaptation of John Irving’s novel, but makes a decent fist of the many disparate plotlines concerning the Berry family, whose dream of living in a hotel makes them the focus for many different elements of society. Beau Bridges plays patriarch Win, with Jodie Foster, Rob Lowe and Seth Green as his children. Irving’s book lays the groundwork for taboo subjects, with incest, terrorism and bestiality all on the somewhat unappetizing menu, and Richardson’s scattershot approach means that several key scenes miss the mark. But with Irving’s usual trademarks, from wrestling to genital injuries, all prominently displayed, this is a brave stab at a difficult novel, and one that features Natasha Kinski in a bear costume can’t be considered to be bland in any way.


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