Cannes Film Festival 2024: ‘The Apprentice’ to upset Trump supporters

EXCLUSIVE BY ALI TUFEKCI — The Cannes Film Festival 2024 was a bit of all. It showcased premieres and controversies, including acclaimed films like “The Apprentice” and “Horizon: An American Saga,” alongside raised concerns over harassment allegations and planned protests.

‘The Apprentice’ to upset Trump supporters

“The Apprentice”, focusing on the life of Donald Trump and starring Sebastian Stan, received an eight-minute standing ovation.

The movie is about Trump’s early years and stars Jeremy Strong (from Succession) as Cohn and Maria Bakalova (from Borat 2) as his first wife Ivana Trump.

Cannes Film Festival 2024: ‘The Apprentice’ to upset Trump supporters

Iranian-Danish director Ali Abbasi made the film from a script by journalist Gabriel Sherman.

The title is a reference to the NBC series that helped revitalize Trump’s career and public image after a series of business failures and bankruptcies.

Cannes Film Festival 2024: ‘The Apprentice’ to upset Trump supporters

According to the publication ‘Variety’s’ director, the movie certainly has the potential to be a box office hit. It portrays Trump as a drifter under Cohn’s influence, trying to deal with a racial discrimination lawsuit from the Justice Department over how his family’s real estate company treated black applicants for an apartment complex.

These episodes show things that will upset Trump and his supporters, a lot.

Although the film was deemed a success, it is the first time in Cannes history that a biopic of a controversial politician has won the Palme d’Or.

Audience leaves theater

Kevin Costner’s “Horizon: An American Saga” received a seven-minute standing ovation at Cannes on Sunday.

Chants of “Kevin!” during the applause moved the veteran actor. Costner thanked the audience and promised “three more installments” of the “Horizon” series, with a sequel to be filmed in August.

But the movie is one of the weakest links among the Palme d’Or nominees.

Although Costner received enthusiastic applause, a three-hour classic American story bored the audience, according to Variety’s comments. Many attendees returned, but some did not. In the movie, Costner shoots his way through the 19th-century Wild West.

Costner’s movie “Horizon: An American Saga” is a classic ‘Wild West’ story.

A blood-soaked movie that is a two-part look at the expansion of the American West. It is told from the point of view of the cowboys, ranchers and soldiers who built a future for themselves in the region, as well as the Indians who lived there.

The movie is Costner’s personal project. Over 100 million dollars, the actor mortgaged his ranch and put most of his fortune on the line to make the movie.

Nicolas Cage in the wind! ‘The Surfer’ gets full marks

Nicolas Cage, the lead of “The Surfer”, which was screened at the festival at night, received full marks from critics.

The new trippy psychological thriller received a standing ovation for six minutes at the Cannes Film Festival.

Cannes Film Festival 2024: ‘The Apprentice’ to upset Trump supporters

Directed by Vivarium director Lorcan Finnegan, Cage plays a man who “returns to the idyllic beach of his childhood to surf with his son, only to be humiliated by a group of powerful locals and drawn into a conflict that rises with the heat of summer and pushes him to the breaking point.”

The film also stars Julian McMahon, Nicholas Cassim, Miranda Tapsell, Alexander Bertrand, Justin Rosniak, Rahel Romahn, Finn Little, and Charlotte Maggi.

Oscar-winner Cage had previously participated in the Cannes Film Festival with David Lynch’s 1990 romantic crime drama “Wild at Heart”, co-starring Laura Dern.

The film won the Palme d’Or at the festival and was considered a controversial choice.

Coppola’s movie applauded for minutes

The premiere of Megalopolis, the latest film of Francis Ford Coppola, who won awards for many of his films, especially The Godfather, was held.

The audience applauded Coppola for minutes after the screening of the highly acclaimed movie.

Coppola said that the first inspiration for the science fiction drama with a budget of 120 million dollars was H.G. Wells’ 1936 “Things to Come” and that he was inspired by over 40 academics, novelists, artists, filmmakers and poets.

The film has a special significance as 85-year-old Coppola has not made a movie for a long time and it is his last film.

After the screening, it became one of the strongest contenders for the Palme d’Or. While critics gave full points to Adam Driver in the lead role, there are also references to former U.S. President Trump in the story.

Coppola’s special situation and the film’s criticism of dictatorship and various political messages make it a candidate in the Cannes spirit.  

Inspired by the political battles in Rome and bringing them to New York, Coppola presents them in a modern language. “Megalopolis” tells the story of an architect who wants to rebuild New York as a utopia after a devastating disaster and the corrupt mayor with whom he clashes.

Adam Driver plays the lead role of Caesar, the architect.

How will harassment allegations affect Palme d’Or?

The Guardian reports that Francis Ford Coppola tried to kiss extras on the set of the Palme d’Or-nominated Megalopolis, which premieres tonight.

The trailer for the film, which Godfather producer Coppola has been working on for a long time, was released yesterday.

Cannes Film Festival 2024: ‘The Apprentice’ to upset Trump supporters

It is also stated in the foreign press that the media coverage of these allegations before the screening at the Cannes Film Festival is for publicity.

This is because Megalopolis is a production that Coppola has prepared with her fortune and it is known that she has spent her fortune for it.

On the other hand, it was expected that the harassment and various revelations on the movie sets would be discussed at Cannes, which started with the #MeToo tension.

Meryl Streep’s emotional burst out after receiving honor award

World-famous actress Meryl Streep received the Palme d’Or from her colleague Juliette Binoche.

Meryl Streep, known for unforgettable films such as “Julie & Julia,” “Kramer vs Kramer,” and “Mamma Mia” won the “Best Actress” award at the festival in 1988 for “Evil Angels.”

Streep, who has three Oscar awards, received the Palme d’Or Honorary Award this year.

Cannes Film Festival 2024: ‘The Apprentice’ to upset Trump supporters

#MeToo and protest tension

The festival kicked off with rumors of revelations, expectations of strikes and tensions of protests. According to French media reports, sexual misconduct allegations are expected to be made against several male actors, directors and producers from the French film industry during the festival.

It is said that 10 filmmakers are among those who will be accused of allegations similar to #MeToo in Hollywood.

For this reason, some nominees may be withdrawn from the festival. It is also claimed that the festival committee has hired a crisis management team to deal with this situation.

Cannes Film Festival 2024: ‘The Apprentice’ to upset Trump supporters

In addition, as in many art events around the world, a series of protests are expected to take place during the festival to draw attention to the human drama in Gaza under Israeli bombardment.

Turkish cinema booth set up

Turkish cinema will be introduced with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the organization of the Bosphorus Culture and Art Foundation.

Cannes Film Festival 2024: ‘The Apprentice’ to upset Trump supporters

The richness of Turkish cinema will be presented to the visitors with the participation of the leading names of Turkish cinema.

A special event will also be organized at the festival to provide information about Türkiye’s film industry and filmmaking.

Strike call raises concern

The opening ceremony of the festival is taking place at the Grand Theater Lumiere in Cannes.

As preparations for the festival are being finalized, the “Poverty Behind the Screens” (Sous les Ecrans la Deche) movement has called for a strike of festival workers.

Cannes Film Festival 2024: ‘The Apprentice’ to upset Trump supporters

It has asked both festival staff and other cinema workers to stage a strike that could “disrupt activity.”

Golden Palme Nominees

  • Agathe Riedinger – Wild Diamond
  • Ali Abbasi – The Apprentice
  • Andrea Arnold – Bird
  • Christophe Honoré – Marcello Mio
  • Coralie Fargeat – The Substance
  • David Cronenberg – The Shrouds
  • Emanuel Parvu – Trois kilomètres jusqu’à la fin du monde
  • Francis Ford Coppola – Megalopolis
  • Gilles Lellouche – Beating Hearts
  • Jacques Audiard – Emilia Perez
  • Jia Zhang-Ke – Caught by the Tides
  • Karim Aïnouz – Motel Destino
  • Kirill Sinyor – Limonov: Kirill Serebrennikov’dan The Ballad
  • Magnus von Horn – The Girl With the Needle
  • Michel Hazanavicius – The Most Precious of Cargoes
  • Miguel Gomes – Grand Tour
  • Mohammad Rasoulof – The Seed of the Sacred Fig.
  • Paolo Sorrentino – Parthenope
  • Paul Schrader – Oh, Canada
  • Payal Kapadia – All We Imagine as Light
  • Sean Baker – Anora
  • Yorgos Lanthimos – Kinds of Kindness

The winner of the Palme d’Or will be announced on May 25 at the closing ceremony of the festival.


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