Another gift from South Australia, after the recent hit “Talk to Me,” “The Royal Hotel” is a cautionary trip to a dark and arid corner of mindless, toxic masculinity. Hanna (Julia Garner, “The Assistant”) ) and Liv (Jessica Henwick, “Glass Onion”) are two young women from Canada (or so they say), who have run out of friends and money aboard a cruise ship and decide to take jobs at a pub in a remote corner of Australia, where the clientele are sex-starved local miners. Cue the Hitchcock shot of the two women being dropped off in the middle of dusty nowhere by a bus.
When Liv and Hanna first arrive at the pub, they meet at-first-frosty cook and caretaker Carol (Ursula Yovich, “Australia”) and pub owner Billy (Hugo Weaving), who just happens to be a drunk and keeps pickled snakes in glass jars on shelves behind the bar. Hanna and Liv also run into their predecessors in rooms upstairs, Jules (Alex Malone) and Cassie (Kate Cheel), Englishwomen whose going-away party runs out of control.
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