Three Days in Quiberon review – when Romy Schneider went to rehab | Biopics

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Emily Atef’s film is a kind of filmic biopic-footnote, an episode from the real-life decline of troubled Austrian-born movie star Romy Schneider, famed for her collaborations with Tavernier, Welles and Chabrol and her tempestuous personal life. It is a curious movie: ruminative, lugubrious and theatrical – intense at some moments; at others low-key and almost inconsequential. The black-and-white cinematography gives it the look of a 70s picture by Wim Wenders.

In 1981, Schneider retreated to a rehab resort in Quiberon in Brittany, where she conducted her final, recklessly indiscreet interview with Stern magazine’s star writer Michael Jürgs, who was accompanied by photographer Robert Lebeck – chiefly because she already knew and trusted Lebeck. The results laid bare her emotional agony and money worries, and this has here been translated into fictional form by Atef, who intersperses the stages of their interview with boozy, off-the-record encounters, in a Frost/Nixon style. Schneider is eerily impersonated by Marie Bäumer. Robert Gwisdek plays Jürgs, Charly Hübner is Lebeck, and Atef invents a fictional best friend for Schneider: Hilde (Birgit Minichmayr), whose job is to warn her about how manipulative and destructive the whole thing is. Their confrontations are explosive but cathartic, and Schneider is perhaps more in control of this journalistic encounter than anyone realises.

There are some interesting comments on her mother, a movie star from the Third Reich era. “Not everyone can claim that Hitler had a crush on their mother …” remarks Schneider drily. Denis Levant contributes a rumbustious cameo as a wild-eyed poet whose bohemianism entrances Schneider one night in a restaurant.

Yet the ending is strange. We conclude on a note of calm, and even happiness. However, the awful truth is that within a year of this event, her beloved 14-year-old son was killed in an accident, sending Schneider back into the spiral of depression and substance abuse that was to kill her. This is what gives this “final interview” its awful tragic context and it makes the upbeat ending here seem weirdly obtuse. Well, it has a wonderful performance from Bäumer.

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Source: The Guardian
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