SAN SEBASTIAN, September 22 (EFE).- Oscar winner for “A Fantastic Woman” (2017), Chile’s Sebastián Lelio has hired actress of the moment Florence Pugh for “The Wonder”, a period film which the director calls “fanaticism” in today’s society. against” see as a warning.
Based on a novel by Emma Donoghue, the film, presented this Thursday in competition in San Sebastián, confronts science and faith without denying any alternatives. In Lelio’s words, it is “yes to spiritual needs and yes to intellectual needs”, while preserving “the power of adaptability” and positioning itself “against bigotry and rigid positions”.
“It says something to today’s society,” said the filmmaker, who declared himself “disappointed” with the recent referendum rejection of a new Chilean constitution but “excited” about the process, which he likened to creating “a collective narrative.”
“Personally I would have liked to approve it, but the good news is that the formation process continues,” he noted while expressing his “respect” for the Chilean people.
“We have to listen, there is no way these processes are clean, they are full of the worst in themselves, but we must come up with a text that unites us and has the power to unite us,” he concluded.
The story of “The Wonder” takes place in 1862 in the Irish region of the Midlands. An English nurse (Pugh) is assigned to observe an 11-year-old girl who is alive despite not eating for months, and explains if there is. Joke or is it a true miracle, as they believe in the village.
“The nurse’s obsession with understanding the process of this miracle or farce becomes something that catches her,” Lelio explained. But what moves him is not the discovery of the process but the reason behind it and that it is “devastating”.
Lelio began to distinguish herself internationally with her fourth solo feature film “Gloria” (2013), which won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlinale (for Paulina García), and of which Chili himself directed an American version in 2018 starring Julian. Moore.
“A Fantastic Woman,” which revolves around a transsexual woman, won the award for best screenplay in Berlin and made history by becoming the first Chilean film to win the Oscar for best foreign language film.
Despite the obvious distance between that film and “The Wonder,” Lelio points out the parallels. “I connected a lot with the two main characters of “The Wonder”, I created an unusual and very interesting relationship between them, found mutual fascination, love and the need to save each other”.
“It’s not so different from ‘A Fantastic Woman,’ because they’re women’s organizations in conflict against different social forces, and the women take a different route to the social order, represented in this case by a group of notable men.”
He also commented that where the film begins and ends, he shows the shooting artist, what is behind it. “We wanted to show that film itself is part of the problem as a discourse, to reveal the processes of fiction”, he said because “everything is a story and ‘storytelling’ is not only entertainment, it is also politics”.
Florence Pugh did not go to San Sebastian to present the film, as she was shooting the second part of “Dune”.
The hero of Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Macbeth” (2016) and “Little Women” (2019) has been at the center of controversy in recent weeks due to his disagreements with director Olivia Wilde during the shooting and promotion of “Don’t.” Thought Dear”, presented at the last Venice festival.
“The Wonder” will hit theaters Nov. 16 before showing up on Netflix.