TIFF Review: 'Titane' Is Just as Weird as You'd Expect of a Film About Having Sex with a Car Directed by Julia Ducournau
Starring Agathe Rousselle, Vincent Lindon, Laïs Salameh, Garance Marillier
Published Sep 13, 2021The one-liner about Titane out of Cannes Film Festival was, "Girl has sex with a car and becomes pregnant." And the movie is, for the most part, every bit as weird as that tagline.
Writer-director Julia Ducournau follows up the success of her 2016 film Raw with another body horror film. Unlike its predecessor though, Titane is a film of two parts: a wild, strange ride that becomes a story about the bond between parent and child. Agathe Rousselle leads the film as Alexia, a car show dancer who was in a terrible accident as a child resulting in her getting a titanium plate in her skull. After becoming impregnated by a car (yes, that really does happen), a series of events occur that introduces Alexia to Vincent (Vincent Lindon), the captain of a fire brigade who believes Alexia to be his long-lost son. We could go on, but as is true of most films, the less known, the better.
Here's what you should know about Titane: it's body horror so there are some graphic scenes.; the film has a very strange premise, but if you just go with it, you may find something in Titane; and lastly, it's oddly humorous. During scenes where you'd least expect comedy, Ducournau incorporates a delightfully dark European sensibility, creating some welcome levity.
Titane isn't for the faint of heart, but at the same time, if you're looking for the truly weird and bizarre, the back half of the film may not be strange enough. While it may have been an odd choice for the Palme d'Or, there couldn't be a more suitable TIFF Midnight Madness selection.
The 2021 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 9 to 18. Get info about in-person and online screenings at the festival website. (Elevation)