Dhaka,  Saturday
15 June 2024

Trump biopic hits Cannes Film Festival

Messenger Online

Published: 15:36, 20 May 2024

Trump biopic hits Cannes Film Festival

Photo: Collected

A Donald Trump biopic and the latest dark creation by David Cronenberg premiere in Cannes on Monday (20 May) as the world- famous film festival reaches its midway point.

"Emilia Perez", a musical about a narco boss having a sex change, is the audacious frontrunner so far, after 11 of the 22 entries for the top prize Palme d'Or have been seen.

The festival considered the film industry's foremost get-together concludes with its award ceremony on Saturday, with "Barbie" director Greta Gerwig heading the jury.

But two more buzzy entries arrive on Monday. "The Apprentice" is a biopic of Trump's formative years from Iranian-born director Ali Abbasi bound to stir up controversy in an election year for the United States.

It stars Sebastian Stan, best-known for playing the Winter Soldier in Marvel films, though he also won best actor at this year's Berlin Film Festival and widespread acclaim for his part as rocker Tommy Lee in series "Pam and Tommy".

Later, Cronenberg director of many body-horror classics like "The Fly", "Crash" and "Videodrome" returns to the Cote d'Azur festival with "The Shrouds".

Billed as his most personal film yet, it tells the story of a widowed businessman (Vincent Cassell) who invents a machine to monitor the dead in their graves.

It was partly inspired by the death in 2017 of Cronenberg's wife of 43 years. "I don't really think of art as therapy," the Canadian director told Variety.

"Grief is forever, as far as I'm concerned. It doesn't go away. You can have some distance from it, but I didn't experience any catharsis making the movie."

Among entries to score well with critics during the first week was "Bird", a gritty but sweet and fantastical tale about a young girl in working-class England from director Andrea Arnold.

"Kinds of Kindness", the latest bizarro team-up between Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos, featured some ultra-dark comedy moments, including a thumb-and- cauliflower dinner.

"Megalopolis", the decades-in-the-making epic from Francis Ford Coppola, has perhaps been the most divisive entry, with some reviewers finding it a profound end-of-life work of philosophy, and others a barely comprehensible mess.

But the one to beat so far is "Emilia Perez", which has won a lot of acclaim for stars Zoe Saldana, Selena Gomez and trans actor Karla Sofia Gascon in the title role, as well as its risk-taking French director, Jacques Audiard, who already has a Palme d'Or under his belt.

- Sagas -

The festival has also seen glitzy out-of-competition launches for two Hollywood blockbusters that fancy themselves as "sagas".

The action-packed "Furiosa: a Mad Max Saga" received largely strong reviews, while Kevin Costner returned to his favourite Western genre with the three- hour "Horizon: An American Saga", just the first of four mooted chapters.

Like Coppola, Costner put millions of his own fortune into the decades-long passion project.

"At a certain moment I just said OK, I'm going to do this myself. And so I mortgaged property, I raised the money," he said at the festival.

The early reviews were decidedly mixed, with The Hollywood Reporter deriding it as a "clumsy slog".

But Costner says he is unconcerned about losing his money. "If they take it away from me, I still have my movie. I still have my integrity. I still listened to my heart," he said.