Director Jiri Menzel’s film 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, and his eventual wealth gain and downfall. The movie has a Chaplin feel to it, if Chaplin had been allowed to show breasts and butts. Menzel has a talent for casting some of the most beautiful women to grace a 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 for sure … 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. It’s got all of the ingredients.

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