3 Days in Quiberon
Quiberon, Brittany, is a quaint peninsula to the north-west of France. The region is famed for, well, not that much, although it is visually stunning, making it a popular retreat. Apt, then, that this visually stunning profile of the Austrian actress Romy Schneider should focus its attention on the troubled star’s time spent in a luxury hotel there.
But the gorgeous scenery, the sea and the sand play host to a troubled soul in a chaotic chapter of her life. Emily Atef’s (The Stranger in Me, Molly’s Way) 3 Days in Quiberon is inspired by an interview Schneider gave to two journalists from the Stern magazine based in Germany back in 1981. The interview, conducted at the hotel, has gained legendary status for its depth, frankness and the fact it was one of the final media appearances the actress gave before her untimely death a year later of a cardiac arrest, aged 43.
Marie Bäumer (The Counterfeits) plays a Schneider at an impasse. Mired in financial difficulties the star has come to Quiberon to confront her addiction problems, which have put her career, and her relationship with her son, at risk. She is joined, at first, by a childhood friend before the journalists show up. Bäumer is fastidious in her work, producing a deft portrayal of a woman with intense complexities. Schneider was at once supremely strong and devastatingly vulnerable.
Bäumer’s efforts are as admirable as Atef’s ambition. The supporting cast are strong, but ultimately peripheral, with the director’s vision suffering from its parochial concern.
Although a star of her era, being arguably Europe’s greatest actress at her peak, it was only in death that Schneider developed a global, devoted fandom. Yet the viewer need not be a member of this fanbase, Atef’s study is absorbing, edifying and finally entertaining enough to avoid being a film for students of its subject.
3 Days in Quiberon is released in select cinemas on 16th November 2018.
Watch the trailer for 3 Days in Quiberon here: