An all-star cast mills about a posh hotel fretting about love, business and money.
Joan Crawford’s character orders absinthe in the bar – how awesome is that? Also, keep an eye out for the Triforce from the Legend of Zelda as it makes a cameo appearance on a decorative lamp.
The Random Remake
Felix Baron (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a jet-setting venture capitalist who storms into the lobby of the Spanish-inspired Hotel Belleza in San Francisco. He has several meetings set up with random Internet startups in the area and he loudly proclaims to his assistant that one of these groups better wow him before he moves on to Seattle, Austin, New York, etc. and see more startups.
At the same time, “next big thing” Hollywood actress Greta Grusin (Anne Hathaway) barges into the Belleza lobby to check in before she shoots her next big-budget romantic comedy set in San Fran. She is moody and demanding, telling her handlers to give her the script, send her to room and “I just want to be left alone.”
At the same time, a humble, somewhat disheveled man named Oscar Lein (Ben Foster) gets lost in his check-in process due to the attention paid Felix and Greta. He gets upset, demanding service and saying his money is as good as anyone else’s.
Shortly after, a gruff businessman, Wallace Preysing (David Walliams), comes from his room through the lobby to meet with an incoming set of businessmen. Wallace and his brand-new accountant, Joan Flaemmchen (Emma Stone), are talking nervously about how to negotiate a merger of the companies on an oil pipeline from Alaska down the coast to California. The deal hinges on a number of Wallace’s accounts being more profitable than they are in reality and Wallace is pressing Joan to massage the books.
Over the course of the day at the hotel, all five interact with each other through chance meetings in the lobby, hallways, restaurant, bar. Joan falls for Felix. Felix falls for Greta. Oscar falls for Joan. Wallace begins to prey on Joan.
Wallace’s merger goes through – but only after he lies and Joan reluctantly backs him up. Oscar has cancer and is dying, coming to the Belleza to spend lavishly the money he has miserly saved up his whole life; he wants to be treated like royalty on his way out. Felix is wined and dined and promised lavish adventures from the startup founders, but we learn he’s a con man taking advantage of naïve geeks. He gets closer to Greta to begin a con on her and scan her room for valuables to steal but falls in love with her instead. They make plans to escape from the hotel and live it up in San Francisco that night – which forces Felix into some quick conning as he’s owed money to a local loan shark who’s been scoping him out at the hotel.
Felix arranges a shady card game with some of the startup geeks and cheats so Oscar wins. Meanwhile Greta is undergoing a plan to hide from her handlers and sneak off to the rendezvous point with Felix (we last see her in a diner telling the hostess that she won’t be dining alone; “No I have a guest coming,” she says). Felix then plies Oscar with drinks and is about to take all of Oscar’s money (game winnings and life savings) when Oscar thanks him for showing him attention and a fun time; Felix stops and returns the money. He then sneaks into Wallace’s room to get something valuable to buy time with the loan shark when Wallace (who’s been pushing himself on Joan in the joining room) sees him and shoots him with a gun he travels with. The police take Wallace away for questioning, leaving Oscar and Joan together in the hotel. Oscar confesses to Joan his sickness (he had said something only to Felix and asked Felix to keep it quiet). Joan then promises to show him the time of his life. “This is a hotel. People come and go. Nothing ever happens. Let’s go out and really live,” she says.
Hotel Belleza: It’s what happens inside that counts
Next up: It’s a Great Feeling (1949)