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Rated NR

Comedy, Romance, War
This film from director Jirí Menzel’s is a nutty one. It features an old ex-prisoner reminiscing about his times as a waiter in a Prague hotel during World War II, his march to wealth and his subsequent downfall. The movie has a Chaplin feel to it (that is, if Chaplin had been allowed to show breasts and butts). Menzel has a talent for casting some of the most beautiful women to grace the screen in recent years, and his lead performers are enjoyable. The film has some awkward moments, and I still don’t know what to think about a quick shot of a waiter fantasizing about having sex with Hitler. But the vibe and look of the film is interesting … this is certainly one of the more unique films you will see this year. Menzel is equally good with pleasant scenes and uncomfortable ones, with all of them maintaining a storybook quality. I suspect this one will be in the running for Best Foreign Film at the next Oscars.

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