Sundance 2018: The Queen of Fear

Valeria Bertuccelli appears in The Queen of Fear by Valeria Bertucelli and Fabiana Tiscornia, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

An official Sundance selection, The Queen of Fear features a stellar acting performance from actress Valeria Bertuccelli.

Bertuccelli, who also wrote the film, co-directs the absurd comedy with Fabiana Tiscornia.  For a film that comes off as an absurd comedy, The Queen of Fear is surprisingly so dark in terms of lighting–whether that’s due to cinematographer Matías Mesa or the co-directors, I don’t know.  As with any foreign film, to truly be able to understand what’s going on, one has to pay attention to the subtitles outside of the brief scene with spoken English.

Bertuccelli, who proves to be a triple-threat as a writer-director-actress, stars as an Argentinian actress, Robertina, with just a month left as she is set to debut her one-woman play.  While Robertina would be better off rehearsing for her performance, her days are spent full of anxiety as the actress does her best to find ways to put off what she needs to do.  No actress would do this much to distract themselves if they are wanting to deliver the performance of a life time.  What is she thinking?

Instead of focusing on her play, she’s proactively avoiding it, so much to the point that she fully believes that she’s being stalked.  Even as she avoids focus on herself, Robertina isn’t afraid of heading over to Denmark to take care of a friend in which their relationship is estranged.  It’s nice to see that she still cares about others even when their relationship appears broken.  In avoiding to deal with herself until the final days before the play’s premiere, the film becomes a character study in that regard.

Bertuccelli displays so much through her performance of a character in such an emotional and senseless state in The Queen of Fear that it’s no wonder that she got a Special Jury Award for Acting.  Her performance, as is the film, is aided in a complementary way by Vicentico’s musical contribution to the soundtrack.

Diego Velázquez, Sary López, Gabriel Goity, and Darío Grandinetti also star in the film.

While The Queen of Fear probably is not a film that will be for everyone, especially those of which who are not fans of foreign films in general, it’s fun to watch a triple-threat like Bertuccelli get lost in performance that does so much.

An official selection of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, The Queen of Fear premiered in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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