MADRID – Media Luna has acquired world sales rights to Russian Vera Glagoleva’s costume drama “Two Women,” with Ralph Fiennes (“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Harry Potter,” “The English Patient”) and Sylvie Testud (“La vie en rose,” “Lourdes”).
Based on Ivan Turgenev’s stage play “A Month in the Country,” “Two Women” was originally represented in international sales by Rezo Films.
A drama of manners, “Two Women” stars Natalya (Anna Astrakhantseva), married to a stolid Russian landowner Arkadi and worried about her fading charms, who competes for the affections of Alexei (Nikita Volkov), her son’s young tutor, with none less than her adopted daughter Vera (Anna Levanova). Fiennes limns a family friend, Mikail, with whom Natalya dallies, but nothing more, Testud a governess who rejects her suitor – and with that her hope of marriage. As Alexei and Vera draw closer, Natalya struggles with her feelings for Alexi and Mikhail with his for Natalya, and as Arkadi begins to suspect his wife’s distance, the ménage turns into a complex web of unrequited love, guilt, jealousy and lust.
Fiennes spent eight hours day studying Russian so that he could speak the words Mikhail is heard talking in the film’s language, then subsequently be dubbed.
“[Mikhail] Rakitin is a sophisticated man, I believe, carrying many of the qualities of Turgenev himself. He is perceptive, he is sensitive, and inside he carries deep emotions.” said Fiennes, a Russian literature buff. “There are many writers who are important to me. Turgenev in his play ‘A Month in the Country,’ anticipates Chekhov’s naturalistic theatre. He writes with very subtle nuances and profound understanding of interior lives of his characters,” Fiennes added.
Lead produced by Russia’s Horosho Production House, and co-produced by France’s Rezo, “Two Women” was made with the support of the Cinema Fund of Russia, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and Eurimages, the European co-production fund.