From the bitter quest of the Queen of Longtrellis, to two mysterious sisters who provoke the passion of a king, to the King of Highhills obsessed with a giant Flea, these tales are inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile.
The film serves as Garrone's English-language debut and will interweave three separate story strands bookended by brief bits in which Italians Alba Rohrwacher and Massimo Ceccherini will play a street circus family. In one tale Salma Hayek will play a jealous queen who forfeits her husband's life. In another, Vincent Cassel plays a king whose passion is stoked by two mysterious sisters.Written by
Warning; I am going to gush heavily about this movie because, yes, it is one of the most impressive films I have seen in my entire life.
I saw this movie being advertised on a West Village theater marquee and I thought, why not, having no idea what the film was about. The poster was provocative, and piqued my interest as someone that enjoys horror, blood and gore. Yes, there are some horrific elements, some segments that might be considered "gory" (but even those that are sensitive shouldn't have much trouble getting through it), and it is certainly bloody in some spots. None of it is excessive, and all of it is integral to the story. Essentially, everything about it was so expertly crafted as to be a modern masterpiece.
The cinematography, the costuming, the acting, the writing, the music, the manner in which the tales interweave to create a wholly unique form of anthology film. I mean, not since The Fall (or more recently, Crimson Peak) have I fallen so head over heals in love with the way a film is presented. I marveled, literally mouth agape, at how utterly beautiful everything in this movie transpired. The costumes looked like they were borrowed from a museum, and the special effects blended seamlessly into the live action (to the point where you wonder if CG was even necessary if they were able to accomplish what they did using practical effects). There are animatronics, there are full-body old age make-up, there are full-blown set pieces created for this movie; I mean, it's a film buff's dream! You will be hard pressed to find a more visually stunning film made this decade. The budget for this movie could easily been in the millions, and it shows in every facet of its production.
Honestly, I could not recommend this movie more. It is quite literally the equivalent of the Sistine Chapel in film form. Don't read anything about it, don't see the trailer and just watch the film. Nothing will prepare you for the sheer spectacle that this 2 hour film will provide. It is, quite literally, a moving Renaissance painting crafted by the most talented of artists. It is nothing short of a work of the highest caliber and deserves as much exposure as it can possible obtain.
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