Titane is a 2021 film written and directed by Julia Ducournau. Agathe Rousselle makes her feature film debut in the French-Belgian co-production as Alexia, a lady who, following a childhood vehicle accident, has a titanium plate implanted in her head. Also starring are Vincent Lindon, Garance Marillier, and Las Salameh.
On 13 July 2021, the film had its international debut at the Cannes Film Festival, where Ducournau became the second female director to win the Palme d’Or, the festival’s top prize, and the first woman to win the award by herself. It was selected as the French submission for Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards, but did not make the cut.
It was nominated for four honours at the 47th Césars, including Best Director for Ducournau and Most Promising Actress for Rousselle. Best Director at the 75th British Academy Film Awards was nominated for Ducournau. Titane received five nominations and two prizes at the eleventh Magritte Awards, including Best Foreign Film.
Cast of Titane
Agathe Rousselle in the role of Alexia/Adrien. Vincent Lindon portraying Vincent. Garance Marillier portraying Justine Laïs Salameh as Rayane. MyriemAkheddiou is the mother of Adrien. Bertrand Bonello is the father of Alexia. Dominique Frot portrays an elderly woman. Adèle Guigue as young Alexia. Céline Carrère as Alexia’s mother. Thibault Cathalifaud is an admirer of Alexia.
Plot of Titane
As with Ducournau’s debut feature film, “Raw,” “Titane” is interested by the body’s weaknesses and cravings, its insatiable processes, and how the collective “we” attempt to cope with all of this, either by stuffing ourselves or, alternatively, by sublimating the need into other things.
Both processes are undesirable and/or socially unacceptable. You can’t control the inherently uncontrollable. “Titane,” this year’s Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, is a brutal, ruthless, and hilarious film, but it is also “very” thought-provoking due to the room it allows for both sensitivity and reflection.
Whatever is “wrong” with Alexia, and there is a plenty wrong, existed before the accident that fractured her skull. She is first seen, a dead-eyed “bad seed”-type child , glowering at her father as she makes engine-revving noises in concert with the moving vehicle. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that she wants the car to crash, or at least wills it to occur.
She puts her arms around the car and kisses the window as she exits the hospital with a stapled-together scar circling her half-shaved head. A euphoric reunion. Several years later: Alexia, with her head only partially shaved, earns her money by stripping at auto shows. She is a solitary and intimidating figure, made much more so when she murders a fanboy who aggressively followed her to her car.
Later that night, she climbs into a flame-decorated, gas-guzzling Cadillac for a second ecstatic reunion, but this time it’s sexual. The automobile sex results in Alexia becoming pregnant, and she watches in horror as her breasts drip motor oil and black oil spills out of her vagina in the shower. Her body is currently on a journey without her.
Meanwhile, however, bodies are piling up. Alexia is a relentless murderess. These killings are quite nasty. After abandoning a witness during a murder spree, she is forced to flee. Alexia has a fantastic idea after seeing a computer-generated image of what a famous lost child named Adrien would look like today.
Without hesitation, she fractures her own nose, binds her breasts and pregnant tummy, and presents herself as the long-lost Adrien at a police station. This absurd and hilarious storyline twist heralds the second half of the film, which is completely different from the first.
Vincent, Adrien’s father (an amazing Vincent Lindon) is a hulking fire chief who weeps when he sees his son. He injects himself with anabolic steroids by himself at night, jabbing the needle into his scarred buttocks, his physique a veiny, tormented façade of failing impenetrability.
Production of Titane
In September 2019, it was revealed that Vincent Lindon and Agathe Rousselle have joined the cast of the film, which will be directed by Julia Ducournau based on a screenplay she penned. The film will be distributed in the United States by Neon.
Originally scheduled to commence in April 2020, production has been delayed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eventually, principal photography began in September 2020.
Release of Titane
Titane had its global premiere on 13 July 2021 at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest honour. Additionally, the film was shown in New York, London, and Toronto.
In June 2021, prior to the film’s Cannes premiere, Altitude Film Distribution and Film4 jointly purchased distribution rights for the film in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was released in France on 14 July 2021 by Diaphana Distribution, in Belgium on 28 July 2021 by O’Brother Distribution, and in the United States on 1 October 2021 by Neon.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 89 percent approval rating based on 239 reviews with an average rating of 7.8/10. Titane maintains writer-director Julia Ducournau’s deliciously frightening vision, according to the website’s consensus of reviews. The film’s Metacritic score of 74 out of 100, based on the opinions of 43 respected critics, indicates “generally good reviews.”
The film received four out of five stars from BBC‘s Nicholas Barber, who termed it “the most disturbing film of 2021.” In his Variety review, Peter Debruge described the picture as “a mix between David Cronenberg’s Crash and Takashi Miike’s uterine horrors” and applauded Ducournau’s treatment of the film’s themes.
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