Long walks, meals, drinks, conversations and Kim Min-hee are all back in Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s latest monochrome offering “Hotel by the River”.
An old poet staying for free in a riverside hotel summons his two estranged sons. This is because he feels, for no apparent reason, like he is going to die. After being betrayed by the man she was living with, a young woman gets a room at the hotel. Seeking support, she summons a friend. The poet spends a day with his sons and tries to wrap up the loose ends in his life. But it’s not so easy to do that in one day. But then he sees the young woman and her friend, after a sudden, unbelievably heavy snowfall.
Apart from Hong Sang-soo’s muse Kim Min-hee (“Right Now, Wrong Then”, “The Handmaiden”), the film stars regular Hong Sang-soo collaborators Song Seon-mi (“The Day He Arrives”, “On The Beach At Night Alone”), Kwon Hae-hyo (“In Another Country”, “The Day After”), Yoo Jun-sang (“In Another Country”, “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon” and veteran actor Ki Joo-bong (“Right Now, Wrong Then”, “Grass”), who won the Best Actor award for this film at the 71st Locarno Festival. The film will next screen at the Toronto Film Festival, with a wider domestic and international release expected later this year or early next year.