“I’m just an unhappy 42-year-old woman and my name is Romy Schneider”. Premiered earlier this year at the 68th Berlin Film Festival, 3 DAYS IN QUIBERON (3 TAGE IN QUIBERON) reveals a new, intimate side to the late actress Romy Schneider.
3 DAYS IN QUIBERON relates true events which happened in 1981. It recounts the three days in which journalist Michael Jürgs and photographer Robert Lebeck, from the notorious German magazine Stern, interviewed Austrian actress Romy Schneider (Marie Bäumer) while she was on a retreat in Quiberon, in Brittany. The film displays the actor’s struggles to maintain a balance between her professional and personal life. It is moving, heart-warming and simply beautiful.
The theme of acceptance is undeniably at the centre of the film. All through her life and career, Schneider was the victim of toxic gossip and mind-wrecking scandal. Coming from a family of cinematic tradition, she gained international fame at the age of 17 thanks to her iconic role as the lead in Ernst Marischka’s Sissi trilogy and had to live up to unrealistic expectations ever since. 3 DAYS IN QUIBERON reveals Schneider’s dire need of being accepted by the industry, her family and, ultimately, herself.
Director and writer Emily Atef delivers a rather photographic film to her public. Every detail of the picture mirrors a journalistic account. The camera lens is indeed the prying eye. The cinematography’s perfectly balanced black and white is stunning and provides a dignified and poetic portrait of the late actress. Marie Bäumer’s acting is astounding. Despite her mesmerising resemblance to Schneider, Bäumer naturally takes on the actress’ habits and tics, including her light-hearted laugh. Her performance is, in every sense, a tribute to Romy Schneider.
3 DAYS IN QUIBERON is respectful and truthfully manages to give a voice to the actress’ complex and much misunderstood personality. Just as Jürgs’ intentions with the interview, the film achieves to set things right for Schneider.