A feminist horror film and a humorous social drama could be among the big winners at the awards ceremony in Cannes. Women directed both works – and could make history.
If you go after the jubilation at the end of the film, the winner of the Palme d’Or is already certain: “Titane”, only the second feature film by Julia Ducournau.
After all, the Frenchwoman presents a wild tour de force, challenges her audience in several ways and tells of a self-confident young killer – there are actually good reasons to award ‘Titane’ the highest price at the 74th International Film Festival on Saturday evening. In addition, Ducournau could then make history, as the Golden Palm has only been awarded once to the work of a female director.
The focus of «Titane» is Alexia. If a man becomes too pushy for her, she sticks her pointy hairpin through his ear and into the skull. Others who get in her way are also killed. After having sex with (exactly: with!) A car, she becomes pregnant, and in order to escape the police, she pretends to be the son of a fire chief who disappeared long ago. The feminist horror film ‘Titane’ provokes and shocks, with its story and its images, and it is precisely for this reason that it stands out from this year’s competition.
In the palm tree competition with 24 entries, however, there are also other favorites for the main prizes. Interestingly, however, it wasn’t the established filmmakers like Paul Verhoeven, Nanni Moretti, François Ozon and Leos Carax who got the most enthusiasm. Instead, “The Divide” was also remembered: another film by a director. The French Catherine Corsini addresses the protests of the yellow vests for more social justice and sends the outstanding Valeria Bruni Tedeschi into the chaos of a hospital emergency room in the lead role. “The Divide” is full of anger and energy, full of empathy and humor – an exciting mixture.
Several other films also landed high in the critics’ favor. The Moroccan contribution “Casablanca Beats” by Nabil Ayouch succeeds in showing the grievances that young people have to fight against by means of a music project. The American Wes Anderson, on the other hand, delights with his attention to detail and star-studded journalism homage ‘The French Dispatch’, while ‘A Hero’ by Iranian Asghar Farhadi asks questions about morality and guilt. With «Petrov’s Flu», on the other hand, Kirill Serebrennikow presents a feverish, associative-looking frenzy of images from post-Soviet Russia.
More moving, however, are two other films that immerse themselves in the world of the young generation and aptly capture their attitude towards life. In “Paris 13th District” Jacques Audiard, who has already won a golden palm for the refugee drama “Demons and Miracles”, focuses in clear black and white images on young people from a wide variety of backgrounds. In a Paris district they meet, fall in love and separate, rearrange themselves.
The Norwegian Joachim Trier got involved with his protagonist even more consistently. With great sensitivity, he tells in several chapters about the 30-year-old Julie who is looking for her place in life. Job, partner, parents, these are all topics that concern them and with which many viewers can identify. Will that also appeal to the international jury around US director Spike Lee? Either way, this award ceremony will be a novelty: Lee is the first black Cannes jury president to present a golden palm.