MUNICH (MunichNOW FFM) –– Rupert Everett has been in Munich most of the end of the week, and he charmed the audience during a Filmmakers Live event on Wednesday evening. Ostensibly, he was here not only to receive his CineMerit Award, which he did the same evening, but to present the new movie “A Royal Night Out”. However, he has transparently had other motives.
He cannot stop talking about the upcoming Oscar Wilde film that he is both producing and starring in. A film that is to be in four languages without any subtitles is ‘thoroughly European’ he assured the audience. Although it will not even begin filming until next year, Everett has little else on his mind.
Answering questions about other films that have been shown during this year’s filmfest, he did say a few words about “The Comfort of Strangers”, which is a 1989 Paul Shrader film. Visually intriguing with Natasha Richardson, Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren, the film set in Venice simply did not quite succeed. A fascinating and disturbing story, Everett said it was a piece of art that tried so hard, but somehow fell flat.
He had kinder words for “A Royal Night Out”, although he does not get all that much screen time in this soon to be released film. Set on the evening of VE Day, when England celebrated the end of hostilities in Europe, we see the evening’s festivities through the eyes of a young Princess Elizabeth.
Sarah Gadon plays the future queen and is quite exquisite. From the opening scene, where the screen is treated to a study of the actress’s pensive stare, until the closing credits, the wide-eyed optimism of the princess invite us into a splendid retelling of a momentous historical event.
My praises of her performance should not detract from the other performances, though. Jack Reynor plays a deserting airman convincingly, and Everett and Emily Watson play the king and queen wonderfully. Nevertheless, Gadon steals the show with her exceptional screen presence. With both wonder and world-weariness on her face, we can imagine the young royal’s perspective.
Her comic foil is her sister Margaret, played dizzyingly by Bel Powley, who is up on the latest dance crazes and knows where the hippest nightclubs are. This despite the fact that the royal siblings have rarely been allowed to leave the castle. Somehow they convince their parents to let them experience the evening out among the common folk and little do any of them know what a wild ride awaits the young ladies.
During the event the other night in the Black Box, Everett made special note of a scene in “A a a Royal Night Out”. It was when the king & queen were on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after his speech to the nation. Young Princess Elizabeth is on the other side of the gates with her royal subjects, and she watches the crowd while she is amongst them. A touching scene, Everett wondered aloud if our contemporaries would have the same fortitude of these people who had just survived the war. He was less than optimistic.
Tonight is the last chance during Filmfest Munich that you have to see A Royal Night Out. Get your ticket soon, though. It might already be sold out.
Screening: Friday July 3 10:30 pm (Gasteig Carl Orff Saal)