Fresh off her historic Palme d’Or win, Julia Ducournau is here to traumatize Midnight Madness once again with Titane. With greater mainstream recognition this time around, you can rest assured that she hasn’t lost any transgressive power. She creates a perverse autoerotic body horror nightmare that would make David Cronenberg proud.
Obviously, Cronenberg’s Crash is a touchstone in this tale of a young woman, Alexia (ferociously brave newcomer Agathe Rousselle), whose deep connection with automobiles turns disturbingly physical one evening. Already left with a titanium plate in her head from a car accident as a child, she begins to experience grotesque physical and psychological changes that make the cannibal shenanigans in Raw look like a walk in the park. She eventually crosses paths with Vincent (Vincent Lindon), an older man who is still searching for his long-missing young son. And an unlikely relationship forms – one that will see them confront traumas and spiral into the unknown together.
Go in cold because this is a ride that you’ll want to experience in all its gnarly glory for yourself. I appreciate Ducournau’s confrontational mindset. But I wish the story she was telling surprised me as much as her shock tactics. Once you get a handle on what exactly Titane is (despite the fact that it keeps Alexia’s motivations frustratingly vague throughout, making it somewhat hard to sympathize with her), it becomes a bit of a ponderous waiting game, albeit a gruesome one, to get to the film’s somewhat expected final punchline.
- Rated: R
- Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
- Release Date: 9/10/2021
- Directed by: Julia Ducournau
- Starring: Agathe Rousselle, Bertrand Bonello, Dominique Frot, Garance Marillier, Myriem Akheddiou, Vincent Lindon
- Produced by: Jean-Christophe Reymond
- Written by: Julia Ducournau
- Studio: Elevation, NEON