The race for the Palme d’Or continues on this eighth day of competition with Asghar Farhadi’s Ghahreman (A Hero) and Julia Ducourneau’s Titane.
After a disappointing Todos Lo Saben, a family drama filmed as a whodunit in 2019 to open the 71st edition of the Festival de Cannes, director Asghar Farhadi returns to the competition with a psychological thriller: A Hero. Five years after Grave, Julia Ducourneau is vying for the Palme d’Or for the first time with her shock film Titane (Titanium) and seeks to hustle the Croisette. Valérie Lemercier‘s Aline, a fake biopic about Céline Dion, was presented out of competition in Cannes.
Sweeping aside the taboos?
A headbutt in an airport sink, and boom, broken-nose Alexia, a psychopathic killer (Agathe Rousselle) with a hole in her temple and a titanium plate in her place, discovers the family spirit. She replaces Adrien – a child who has been missing for ten years – in the heart of her father, Vincent (Vincent Lindon), an ageing fireman who tries to revive himself by piercing his right buttock with who- knows-what injectable product. The subterfuge allows Alexia to disappear from the police radar and Vincent to fill his emotional void – filled with red wine until now – with the blessing of the prodigal son’s mother. Alexia, who has had sex with a flashy car, consequently undergoes a painful pregnancy before her “father” gives birth to a baby with a beautiful bodywork. A nervous staging, real cinema, an original script, the film brings something new to cinema. Garance Marillier, after her superb performance in Grave, completes the cast.
A leader in fantasy and horror films
Julia Ducournau is a member of the Collectif 50/50, which promotes gender equality and diversity in the film and audiovisual industries. The young French director made her mark with her first feature film Grave, shot in Belgium and presented in 2016 at the Festival de Cannes. In 2017, she received the Grand Prize at the 24th Gérardmer International Fantastic Film Festival and Grave was nominated in 6 categories at the 2018 César Awards. Representative of a new wave of directors, Julia Ducournau is announcing herself as the leader of the fantasy and horror film.
A protagonist becomes a hero
The filmmaker-writer’s “hero” is Rahim (Amir Jadidi) incarcerated because of a debt he was unable to pay. While on leave for two days, he tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint in exchange for the payment of part of the sum. The woman he loves and believes in him wants him to return a bag of money she found. This decision is going to cause some twists and turns, as things never go as planned and he is turned into a hero.
Shiraz, ancient capital of Persia
After Le Passé (2013), which won the Best Actress Award for Bérénice Bejo, Forushande (The Client, 2016), which won the Screenplay and Best Actor Awards, and Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben), starring Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Ricardo Darín, Asghar Farhadi presents his fourth film in the Competition. The film is shot in Shiraz, the ancient capital of Persia in southern Iran and one of the country’s cultural and artistic capitals, and stars Mohsen Tanabandeh, Fereshteh Sadre Orafaei and Sarina Farhadi, the director’s daughter.
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The Red Carpet of Aline
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