‘Favourite,’ ‘Roma’ hit Venice fest
The Venice Film Festival took flight yesterday with two high-profile pictures destined for year-end awards competition.
“The Favourite” is a glam, sexually outrageous English period piece about warring women (Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz) seeking power and position from an often infantile and seriously ill Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).
“Roma” jumps back to 1970 as Mexico’s Oscar-winning Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”) replays his childhood with a new understanding of the maid who was like a foster mother.
“Favourite,” said director Yorgis Lanthimos (“The Lobster”), “is an interesting story in its own right and was the opportunity to create three very complex, complicated female characters. It’s something you rarely see on film and it was what immediately drew me to explore this story.”
Asked about her scheming character, a woman of lost privilege climbing up from the dung heap, a buoyant Stone, 29, said, “I loved every element of getting to play her. The challenges included being the only American in the (British) cast. That was a little bit daunting in terms of making sure the accent made sense. And the corsets were a challenge just because you can’t breathe all day.”
Colman (“The Night Manager”) will now play two queens consecutively — she’s Queen Elizabeth in seasons three and four of Netflix’s “The Crown.”
“They’re not very similar — that’s good. I can’t compare the two queens. I don’t think,” she added slyly, “Queen Elizabeth learned anything from Queen Anne.”
How was Alfonso Cuaron able to make “Roma” in black and white, big screen 65 millimeter, with 110 shooting days, casting two indigenous Mexican women who had never acted as his stars, and film with a semi-spontaneous approach that meant few ever saw a complete script? And with a Spanish-language picture?
“We know full well a Spanish film in black and white that’s a drama will have difficulty to find space and room to be shown. That’s why it’s important to have Netflix because they allowed me to make this film this way, the filmmaker explained, adding that “Roma” will be in theaters as well as available for streaming.
“When,” he concluded with a question, “was the last time you saw a (Ingmar) Bergman or (Michelangelo) Antoniono film in a theater? Or at home?
“There’s not a clash between formats but finding something that works.”