The Palace, the trailer for Roman Polanski’s film in competition at the Venice Film Festival

THE PALACE is the new film by Roman Polanski, produced by Luca Barbareschi for Èliseo entertainment with Rai Cinema, an international co-production made together with Lucky BOB (Poland), CAB Productions (Switzerland) and RP Productions (France). A productive partnership that sees Polanski, Barbareschi and Rai Cinema together again afterwards The officer and the spy winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2019. The screenplay was written by the director together with the great screenwriter Jerzy Skolimovski and Ewa Piąskowska. The cast boasts a roster of international characters: Oliver Masucci, Fanny Ardant, John Cleese, Bronwyn James, Joaquim de Almeida, Luca Barbareschi, Milan Peschel, Fortunato Cerlino and Mickey Rourke. Alongside them, a large number of extras, original and eccentric, who enrich this splendid noir comedy with music and colour. The film will have its world premiere at the 80th edition of the Venice Film Festival and will arrive in theaters from 28 September

The Palace, the plot of the film

Once upon a time, and still is, the Palace Hotel. An extraordinary castle designed in the early 1900s by a mystical architect, a castle that is located in the mountains of Switzerland, in the middle of a snowy valley. It is the Palace Hotel, a building with a gothic and fairytale atmosphere where every year, rich, spoiled and vicious guests converge from all over the world. A once-in-a-lifetime event brought them all together, the 2000 New Year’s Eve party. Serving their extravagant needs is a bevy of waiters, porters, cooks and receptionists.

It is the dawn of the new millennium and Hansueli, a devoted fifty-year-old manager of the sumptuous hotel, almost militarily inspects the staff before the guests arrive for New Year’s Eve 2000, reiterating that it won’t be the end of the world.

“At eight o’clock some really important people will dine at our tables. The lives of millions will depend on the mood in which they leave the next morning. It’s our duty to make sure that their butts don’t atrophy because the chairs are too hard, that they gorge themselves on caviar until they explode and that champagne comes out of their noses and ears. It’s clear?”

But the Millennium Bug hovers in the air and the fear or hope that at the stroke of midnight the accounts of the big financiers will undergo unexpected fluctuations thanks to the blocking of computer systems.

In fact, what is being prepared is really a war fought with the extravagance and eccentricity of the hotel guests. Dogs and penguins with human needs and humans with animal needs.

Their stories give life to an absurd, dark and provocative comedy. It’s the end of 1999, not just the epilogue of a century, but the end of an entire and controversial millennium.