This film by a French director shocked the Cannes Film Festival, but received very good reviews from the press. What to win a Palme d’Or?

Every year there is one. A film that shocks the Croisette. A film before which the spectators of the Grand Théâtre Lumière faint, feel unwell or leave the room. After Titanium, another horror film made headlines after its screening at the Cannes Film Festival. But the effect was surprising enough and the reviews good enough to establish it as one of the favorites to win the Palme d’Or this year.

The Substance is a horror film directed by Frenchwoman Coralie Fargeat which denounces ageism and the cult of beauty. In detail, the synopsis is based on the principle that a substance allowing the creation of a younger, more beautiful, more perfect version of women is put on the market and can be used, on condition of sharing your time with her every other week. .  In the cast, The Substance brings together Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley, daughter of actress Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral).

Contrary to what its plot may suggest, The Substance is a film which plays the gore and hemoglobin card to the fullest to offer surprising scenes to the spectators. Coralie Fargeat’s film certainly divides between the conquered and the disappointed who discovered it on the night of Sunday to Monday. But at this stage of the competition, few feature films have aroused such enthusiasm from festival-goers.

For franceinfo, this “shock film which delights the public” ended in triumph: “the whole room applauded the film heartily at the end of the screening”. Le Point Pop assures that “Demi Moore is making a resounding comeback”, when Première praises a “enjoyable” film which “dynamites everything in its path”. Conversely, Le Monde denounces a “film bloated with effects, with ultra-slick shots and shouted dialogue”. For the moment in any case, it is one of the rare films to do well, with Emilia Perez by Jacques Audiard, Bird by Andrea Arnold and Caught by the tides by Jia Zhangke, even if the latter two did not provoke such expressive reactions.

We must now wait to find out whether or not the jury chaired by Greta Gerwig was seduced by the gore and horror of The Substance. It is on Saturday May 25 that the complete prize list of the Cannes Film Festival and the winner of the Palme d’Or will be revealed. The French public will be able to discover Coralie Fargeat’s film soon, no release date having yet been announced.