Q2 2021

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42 C I N E M O N T A G E F E A T U R E By Peter Tonguette P i c t u r e e d i t o r M i c h e l l e T e s o - ro, ACE, wasn't a chess expert when she began working on "The Queen's Gambit." And she still isn't. "I understand how the pieces move, just on a very rudimentary basis," said Tesoro, the editor of the much-praised limited series that premiered last fall on Netflix. Writer-director Scott Frank's adaptation of Walter Tevis's novel of the same title chronicles the triumphs and trials of young Beth Harmon (played in adulthood by Anya Taylor-Joy), who, orphaned while still a child, is dispatched to an orphanage where she develops a gift for chess. Schooled in the game by the orphanage's custodian, Mr. Shaibel (Bill Camp), and, in time, adopted by a woman named Alma Wheatley (Marielle Heller), Beth's talent results in fortune and glory but also a new set of challenges, including an ongoing issue with addiction. While cutting the series, Tesoro began to recognize certain parallels between chess and filmmaking. "In a lot of ways, it's kind of like editing, where your open- ing will affect your endgame and how you transition from opening to middlegame," she said. "It's really about thinking ahead and setting up, and I loved that idea of it." But the game itself? Not so much. "I bought a couple of chess books and quickly fell asleep every time," Tesoro said. "I was not good at it." No matter: Tesoro was plenty good THE RIGHT MOVES PICTURE AND SOUND IN 'THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT'

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