Director: Julia Ducournau
The winner of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or, TITANE is a thrillingly confident vision from Julia Ducournau that deposits the viewer directly into its director’s headspace. Moving with the logic of a dream—and often the force of a nightmare—the film begins as a kind of horror movie, with a series of shocking events perpetrated by Alexia (Agathe Rouselle, in a dynamic and daring breakthrough), a dancer with a titanium plate in her skull following a childhood car accident. However, once Alexia goes into hiding from the police, and is taken in by a grief-stricken firefighter (Vincent Lindon), Ducournau reveals her deployment of genre tropes to be as fluid and destabilizing as her mercurial main character. A feverish, violent, and frequently jaw-dropping ride, TITANE nevertheless exposes the beating, fragile heart at its center as it questions our assumptions about gender, family, and love itself.