[ VARIETY FEBRUARY 19, 2018 ]
One year before her tragic death at the age of 43, Romy Schneider posed for photographs and gave an extensive interview to a German journalist while staying at a Breton spa hotel in Quiberon. Her magnetic personality and evanescent moods were memorably captured in the monochromatic images, and the interview turned into an unvarnished, emotional self-appraisal at a time when she was roiled in insecurities. That’s the setting of Emily Atef’s respectful, by-the-numbers semi-recreation “3 Days in Quiberon,” a fictionalized treatment inspired by those sessions. Marie Bäumer’s uncanny resemblance and fine central performance anchor what is ultimately a predictable treatment of a tortured actress, nicely lensed in black and white, that will find resonance in countries where Schneider remains a much-beloved star.
Schneider’s tremendous European popularity never made it across the ocean, largely because the “Sissi” films that made her a major celebrity at the age of 17 never achieved the cult status in the States that they did in Austria, Germany, and beyond. The film series was a highly romanticized concoction about Empress Elisabeth of Austria, and for many, Romy became the embodiment of that fiction. The teenage purity and sweetness worked against her as a woman, and her frustration at not being able to break free from the Sissi image led to her moving to France, where she chose ever more challenging roles designed to counter the studio’s anodyne construction. She also engaged in a series of well-publicized affairs, marriages, and divorces, making her major fodder for the tabloids. Continue reading “Film Review: 3 Days In Quiberon”