Art at the Ritz
Chelsea Walls
Review by Ross Anthony

This is a street-poetic, slice of lives, artists in downtown, kind of flick.

An interestingly eclectic cast of strong actors drive this stage poem with subject content that meanders around relationships (always imperfect), drugs, and art creation. The latter is almost non-existent despite the quantity of artists in the picture.

Somewhat interesting, somewhat curious, a little slow, mostly drab in mood even to the point of suicide in one instance (one of the characters), the film is scored with poetry reading in the place of music. More of a slice of lives picture, the camera follows several artistic couples in a once ritzy downtown hotel. The building has become a haven for starving painters and writers, both extended stays and transient. Though it seems to be going somewhere, there is no emotional climax, no resolution, and very little profundity. Still, some of the thought towards understanding of one's predicaments, irrational longings, desires etc. is interesting. And to be fair, like much poetry, the film is more concerned with expressing feelings and emotions as important standalones (actual understanding isn't the goal).

As you may know, this film is directed by Ethan Hawke. Nicely shot, well acted, fine direction, well-organized (for what it is), but short on both impact and message.

  • Chelsea Walls. Copyright © 2000.
  • Starring Rosario Dawson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Sean Leonard, Natasha Richardson, Uma Thurman, Mark Webber, Steve Zahn.
  • Directed by Ethan Hawke.
  • Screenplay by Nicole Burdette.
  • Produced by Christine Vachon and Pamela R. Koffler at Killer films/Lions Gate.

Grade..........................B- (1.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:16:36 PDT