An important movie made with passion and skill but no particular artistry, Hotel Rwanda plays with far greater impact on the small screen, where the human story feels appropriately large and it’s harder to escape the film’s accusing glare. As Paul Rusesabagina, the diplomatic hotel manager who saved more than 1,200 of his fellow Rwandans from death during the 1994 genocide, Don Cheadle gives a committed, controlled performance that turns shocking in the one scene when Paul finally snaps. What felt vaguely like a TV movie in theaters — the filmmakers consciously downplayed on-screen violence to get a PG-13 rating — hits home at last. EXTRAS Director Terry George prods the soft-spoken Rusesabagina to recall the horrific reality on a commentary track, and there’s also selected scene commentary from Cheadle, a making-of doc, and a bone-chilling postscript in which the hotel manager returns to Rwanda for the first time since the genocide.
(Hotel Rwanda: Frank Connor)
Starring: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo; Starring: Djimon Hounsou, Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix; Director: Terry George; Author: Terry George, Keir Pearson; Runtime (in minutes): 121; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: United Artists (MGM)
Posted January 17 2015 — 6:16 AM EST
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