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February 28, 2012

Vermont Hotel Stars in Luxury-Obsessed Adverti-Art Film

Some might call it a long ad for fancy hotels. The press release from Starwood Hotel Group calls it "a cinematic experience that offers a glimpse into the hidden treasures of some of America’s favorite destinations." But there's no doubt that "Here," the new 15-minute film (or ad) from the acclaimed director of I Am Love, is quite a showcase for the Equinox Golf Resort and Spa in Manchester.

Here's the plot (which, by the way, was cowritten by Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton): A flawlessly attired and groomed young woman, played by model Agyness Deyn, receives a cryptic, handwritten message telling her to "Take the train till you're here."

Rather than tossing the missive and returning to her busy life, as some of us plebeians might do, our heroine smiles, crosses out everything in her appointment book and hops a train to Vermont, where she explores the Equinox and does a spot of rowing and falconing. Though it's foliage season, the inn appears creepily empty.

That's pretty much it for Vermont content. A new clue takes Deyn on to the Phoenician in Arizona, then to the Royal Hawaiian, where she finally meets up with her mysterious correspondent. The whole thing is beautifully shot (no surprise from director Luca Guadagnino). With Deyn sporting a platinum coiffure and icy composure, it reminded me of a Hitchcock film, except for the part where nothing happens.

So ... come to the Equinox if you have enough money to drop everything on a whim and follow some control freak's trail of clues across the country? Seriously, though, the hotel looks ravishing, and it's nice to imagine having the place to yourself. I just wish Swinton had penned a scene where Deyn has to search for a clue by mucking out manure, or buying a pickled egg at the general store.

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