A one-off debut destined for the potential cult-movie drawer. The increasingly madcap plot gives only half a clue. Kath (Collette), one of life's intractable upsetters, returns to a crumbling, dysfunctional spa hotel on a remote island in hope of reuniting with old flame Ronald (Craig). The latter's one of the least bubo-encrusted of the Blanches - a family ruled with an invert's petty passion by Dezmond (Tompkinson) in accordance with their dead mother's grisly health regimen. Forces divide. Kath's 'liberated' cooking causes the guests to revolt on her behalf; and although Ronald's heart starts to thaw, Dezmond's hardens demonically, while sensitive Cora (Cartlidge) gets caught in the emotional crossfire. Watching this modest production is a strange, uneven experience, pulled along, as it is, by the divergent horses of satire, farce and psychological realism. But it's played with undisguised gusto and feeling. And though the images of the film's crumbling fabric (brown and green fungus, faeces-fired heating system and all) may have you heaving, writer/director Gross's surreal intelligence and sense of invention may well leave you moved and amused. A very English movie.
Cast and crew