Hotel Chevalier is best known for 1) being better than The Darjeeling Limited, the feature film it ties with, and 2) the one time Natalie Portman got naked in front of the camera.
Well, I think that point 1 is just not true, and point 2 is far from the most interesting visual thing the short is doing. Much more compelling to me is the pervasive, almost fetishistic, yellow palate. The claustrophobic interior sense of space matching the emotional entrapment the characters are feeling is striking, too.
The script is acerbic, with just enough detail for us to understand the toxic romance while suggesting a much deeper story. It’s charmingly nasty, but misses the depth and empathy of Anderson’s feature films.
Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.