Hotel Sorrento

on July 14, 1995 by Kim Williamson
This adaptation of Aussie author Hannie Rayson's play centers on the troubled relationships among three Sorrento-born sisters: the eldest, Hillary (Caroline Gillmer), a widow who keeps her emotions and hopes in tight rein; middle sister Meg ("Disclosure"'s Caroline Goodall), a writer who long ago left her Down Under life behind for the cosmopolitan life of London; and Pippa ("Strictly Ballroom's" Tara Morice), a neophyte New Yorker who's thinking of franchising an American sandwich chain and who's nursing a dark family secret. Joan Plowright stars as Marge, an older weekend resident of the coastal town who takes a special interest in the Moynihan clan.
   Marge's interest in the family is a doubly effective dramatic device; her character gives the audience a window into the sisters' stories and also offers a stage manager-like commentary on them. Director/co-writer Richard Franklin ("FX2") has opened up Rayson's play while retaining its cloistered introspection. That introspection, however, places an upper limit on audience involvement with the characters, and the tell-don't-show of the stage isn't perfectly translated to the show-don't-tell of the screen. Still, more like Plowright's "Enchanted April" than her "Widows' Peak," "Hotel Sorrento" is an agreeably pensive place to spend a spell. Starring Joan Plowright, Caroline Goodall, Caroline Gillmer and Tara Morice. Directed and produced by Richard Franklin. Written by Richard Franklin and Peter Fitzpatrick. A Castle Hill release. Drama. Rated R for language. Running time: 112 min.
Tags: Joan Plowright, Caroline Goodall, Caroline Gillmer, Tara Morice, Richard Franklin, Peter Fitzpatrick, A Castle Hill release, Drama, American, sandwich, dramtic, device, introspection, spell, relationship, troubled, emotions

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