3 Days in Quiberon (2018) 

Adored in Europe following her roles in the Sissi film trilogy, German actress Romy Schneider sought to expand her professional and personal life when she relocated to France with her lover, actor Alain Delon. Unwilling to accept the more mature Schneider on and off the screen, the German press turned on their once favoured star, greeting each of her setbacks with a degree of schadenfreude. Little wonder then that her lifelong friend can’t understand why, twenty years and two husbands later, the actress has agreed to be interviewed by the German magazine Stern, an apt title considering the questions that followed.

 

Recuperating at a health retreat in the French town of Quiberon, Schneider finds herself in a vulnerable state. Her ex-husband has recently committed suicide and their teenage son has become distant. Realising that her defences are down, a manipulative journalist peppers the actress with accusations posed as questions. Though her friend attempts to shield her from the assault, Schneider ends up revealing much more than she would have liked… or so it would appear.

Based on the recollections of journalist Michael Jürgs and photographer Robert Lebeck, this slight story by writer/director Emily Atef is fatally stretched over a two hour running time. Less a battle of wits than some prattle in bits, the back and forth between actress, journalist, friend and photographer struggles to maintain interest. Meandering diversions, including a protracted visit to a local restaurant, may be factually accurate but add little to the dynamic of this boresome foursome. Though the movie ends on a high note, within a year of the events depicted both Schneider and her son were dead.

Marie Bäumer’s fine performance as the troubled star deserved a better showcase.  Schneider was previously portrayed by Jessica Schwarz in the 2009 TV movie Romy.

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Biopic infers it was journalist Michael Jürgs’ decision to have Romy Schneider sign off on the interview before it was published, where in fact it was a condition of the interview being granted in the first place.

Though a friend did accompany Romy Schneider during her stay in Quiberon, the character of Hilde Fritsch is fictional.

No scene recreations in this biopic, though some scenes do resemble Romy Schneider’s role in Mado (1976)

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