The latest film from Matteo Garrone, the director behind Gomorrah and Reality, is The Tale of Tales, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival last year and will finally land on U.S. shores next month. Compiling stories from a set of 17th-century fairytales, the strong ensemble feature Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, John C. Reilly, Toby Jones, and Stacy Martin.
We said in our review, “As Pasolini amply demonstrated with his Trilogy of Life, also based on classic fable anthologies (which preceded and influenced the Pentamerone), the grotesque style of such tales demands a healthy dose of irony to work on film. When Garrone allows for such irony, Tale of Tales shines. The shot of Hayek in an opulent and pristinely white dining room digging her face into a massive bloody heart is delightful, as is the sight of Jones lovingly feeding and embracing the Cronenbergian flea. Unfortunately, Garrone plays it straight too much of the time and by treating his subject matter with self-important seriousness, he undercuts his fantasy, which often devolves into a stultifying farce.”
Check out the trailer below.
In one yarn, the Queen of Longtrellis (a ferociously committed Salma Hayek) desperately yearns for a child, which she and her husband the King (John C. Reilly) are willing to go to dark extremes to conceive and protect. Meanwhile, the King of Highhills (Toby Jones) is so obsessed with raising a giant flea that he barely notices his own daughter (Bebe Cave), whom he mistakenly marries off to a brutish monster. And in Strongcliff, two impoverished old sisters mistakenly attract the attention of the womanizing king (Vincent Casell) who is drawn to their song but has not yet seen their faces. Flipping between these stories with nimble dexterity, Garrone weaves the beautiful with the grotesque, creating a stunning and unique work of gothic imagination.
Tale of Tales opens on April 22nd