Titanium – Julia Ducournau – critic of the Palme d’Or

Abstract : After a series of unexplained crimes, a father finds his son who has been missing for ten years. Titanium: metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, giving very hard alloys.

Review: First observation: Titanium is a shock, inevitably. Its perfectly crafted plastic, its electrifying atmosphere, its aesthetic violence, but raw can only mark.

Ducournau’s primary quality is not only to mix genres, but to go so far as to go beyond them. Thus, we do not know precisely what category of film we are watching, and it’s a safe bet that its author would hate that we can fix one. Titanium is at least a dark comedy. And what a black comedy! Extremely funny, she sometimes produces irresistible effects, especially when she chooses to surprise. A series of atrocious murders, a cardiac arrest, an impossible communication between a father and his son, are as many astonishing frameworks to give birth to humor with a perfect rhythmic. It’s also a thriller, undoubtedly. Certain scenes of tension are unstoppable. It is for sure horror, alternating between the psychological and the pure gore, often with success. Finally, the talent of its director defines an identifiable style at first glance.

Copyright Carole Bethuel

Above all, nothing is definitely masculine or feminine. This binarity no longer seems to have much meaning. In the end, it does not matter to Vincent whether he calls his son, his daughter, by a gendered first name. In the same film, in the same scene, Alexia is alternately male and female. In addition, Ducournau allows the character to reappropriate attributes widely perceived as masculine. We will mention in particular the triggering element of the scenario. With this in mind, the director wishes to elevate the cinematographic “genre”, like the Americans do when they produce film.elevated horror, with Ari Aster or Jordan Peele.

If the synopsis seems to struggle to reveal all its secrets to us, we will notice Ducournau’s ease in filming the mutation, the deformation of bodies, the influence of Cronenberg being clearly felt.

However, some facilities can disappoint. Certainly, we fully understand the desire to deconstruct femininity exacerbated and controlled by men, showing it head-on from the start, but perhaps it should have been done in a more subtle way. In addition, the starting point of the plot lacks context, with a question that torments the viewer: even if we can admit that this part of the blur contributes to the atmosphere of the film, what explains Alexia’s behavior,?

So let’s be honest: the general feeling of (small) disappointment is explained by the inordinate expectation of Titanium. There is in any case one element on which it is impossible to be choosy: the technical mastery of Ducournau. As the director herself specifies, she was daring, like the sequence shot of one of the first scenes of the film, in the nightclub, particularly impressive and bewitching.

If the characters sometimes seem to lack depth, the choice of the cast is perfect. Agathe Rousselle is very convincing and we find with pleasure Garance Marillier, interpreter of Serious (2016). But it is above all Vincent Lindon who amazes, with an exceptional physical presence and a correctness in the emotion, as in the laughter, totally confusing.

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Copyright Carole Bethuel

Ultimately, Titanium is a very good feature film, which it would be hard to excuse to miss. For now, given the reputation that preceded it and the expectation it aroused, it is possible to say that the object in itself may disappoint. But it is not forbidden to think that by its themes and its radicality in its approach, Titanium, over time, becomes a benchmark of a new genre. The kind above the genre.

We wish to say thanks to the author of this post for this outstanding material

Titanium – Julia Ducournau – critic of the Palme d’Or

Hank Gilbert