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Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley receive a standing ovation at Cannes for their substance

“The Substance,” a breathtaking, nauseating, provocative and hilarious body horror thriller from French director Coralie Forgeat starring Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley, shook the Cannes Film Festival Sunday night with an 11-minute standing ovation .

It’s the story of a formerly great actress (Moore) whose old age has relegated her to a Jane Fonda-style fitness show. When she is fired, she is asked to test the medical treatment that gives its name to the film. This promises a younger, better version of itself through a process of cellular replication.

Moore takes a leap of faith and finds himself on the bathroom floor, spine split open like a Christmas ham, when this new version – played by Qualley – emerges from his back. Young, flexible and full of possibilities, the two characters are allowed to coexist with one important caveat: they must exchange a week of rest, a week of rest in each body.

The film is full of metaphors about women in Hollywood, the cruelty of age, and the repercussions of self-hatred. But Cannes audiences were happy to swallow it up – even some of the gritty, gritty, lurking-behind-your-hands horrors. Covered in blood, torn teeth, torn nails, and some of the most grotesque prosthetics in recent memory, the film is not for the faint of heart.

The audience danced and clapped in unison to the film’s dark, EDM-heavy score, recoiled in disgust at some of the more brutal scenes, and laughed when the appendages started dropping like flies. It was the liveliest Variety saw the Palace during this year’s festival. However, not all of the shocking elements were visible on screen. “The Substance” was scheduled to take place at 10:15 p.m. in Cannes, but started nearly half an hour late. Actors and filmmakers, who typically arrive at least 20 minutes before screenings begin, were nowhere to be found when the screening began. The film finally started around 10:45 p.m. (in France, bad manners can be as scary as genre films).

“It’s been an adventure,” Fargeat said once the audience finished its enthusiastic applause, breaking the record set by “Emilia Pérez” for nine minutes of ovation Saturday night.

Moore added: “This is my first time having a film premiere at Cannes. I’m so happy to be here. I’m a little exhausted – it was intense.

The cast of “The Substance” also includes Dennis Quaid, Hugo Diego Garcia, Phillip Schurer and Joseph Balderrama.

In an interview with Varietythe French director discussed the film’s feminist themes, saying that body horror is “the ideal vehicle to express the violence that all these women’s issues represent.”

With an undercurrent of #MeToo at this year’s festival as the movement grows in France, Fargeat hopes the film will shine even more light on the issue. “It’s a small stone in the huge wall that we still have to build on this issue, and to be honest, I hope that my film will also be one of the stones in this wall. That’s really what I intended to do with it.

The film marks Fargeat’s Cannes debut. His first feature film, “Revenge” (2017), premiered in Toronto and went on to play at festivals around the world to critical acclaim. Surprisingly, Moore also makes his first appearance in the festival’s official selection. For Qualley, “The Substance” is one of two films she’s starring in in competition — the 29-year-old actor also appears in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Kinds of Kindness,” which premiered Friday night in Cannes.

Gn entert
News Source : variety.com

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