From the director of Shakespeare in Love (1998) comes a more serious film, as a disparate group of seven Brits go to India to live in the hotel of the title, not knowing it's not really open yet, due to the ineptitude of undercapitalized owner Dev Patel, who inherited it when his father died..
This is a comedy with some tender moments, and a little drama, but without sentimentality, and with Oscar winners Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and the impeccable Tom Wilkinson in the cast, who is terrific here, it has a high degree of craftmanship..
IF anything, Dench has gotten even better with age.. I 1st saw her topless in Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM in 68 and I've been a big fan ever since (she was a babe!) - her acting is even better now, as tv's BEHAVING BADLY added to the argument that some of her best work may even be for the little screen.. (I think of all the living actresses, I could spend my life with her 1st! sorry, Salma, Scarlett, and Sofia!)
As for Tom Wilkinson, I've never seen even an avg performance from him, you very soon forget he's acting in any role he tackles - he's superb here, steals the acting kudos.. Nighy is good again as usual, Maggie Smith doesn't have much to do, and Dev Patel is easily the most overrated actor in the cast, the other Indian actors are all better in fact (he's an over-actor)
The rest of the hotel's name was "For the Elderly and Beautiful", and the story is from the novel THESE FOOLISH THINGS by Deborah Moggach. Like most, the literature is, no doubt, deeper and richer than the film, which is fine, just not overpowering.