The Million Dollar Hotel is a hotel in downtown Los
Angeles, at 5th Street and Main. Built in 1914, it once was
the tallest and greatest building of LA, right in the center of the
prospering film industry. Presidents, famous actors and actresses
stayed there. Today, it's a place where poor, old & mentally ill
people, drug addicts, prostitutes live for $11/day.
The Million Dollar Hotel is the twentieth movie of German
director Wim Wenders, based on a story by Bono and a script by
Nicholas Klein. The whodunnit, thriller and tragi-comic love
story premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2000 (and
received the Silver Bear).
The story revolves around the investigation of the death of a
high-level politician's son, lead by FBI agent Skinner (Mel
Gibson), who proves not to fit the cliché of the hard-boiled,
invulnerable FBI agent after all. Connected to this is the
wonderfully weird love of Eloise (Milla Jovovich), who can't
believe in her own existence, and Tom-Tom (Jeremy Davies), who is
just infantile, innocent and naive.
The photography was influenced by Edward Hopper and realized
by Phedon Papamichael - it is spooky how they managed to tell such a
fragile and beautiful story in this hostile environment. If you pay
attention, you will see the letters RW standing on the roof - that is
a homage to Rainer Werner Fassbinder.