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Cannes 2024: we have seen the Pretty Woman of the new generation and it is divided

Anora: the Pretty Woman of Cannes 2024

As the 77th Cannes Film Festival enters its second week of competition and winners will be revealed on Saturday, May 25, we found out Anora by the American director Sean Baker (Red Rocket), in the running for the Palme d’Or.

The film opens with a sequence in a New York strip club. This is where Anora, known as “Ani” (played by Mikey Madison), a young woman who makes a living by selling her body to men, works. One evening she meets Ivan, son of a rich Russian industrialist, who decides to offer Ani’s services for an entire week. The young girl then discovers a world she knows nothing about, that of the ultra-rich, and she begins to dream of a life of luxury.

Sean Baker revisits the cult romantic comedy Pretty Woman with presumed references (the weekly price scene is almost a copy/paste of the original film) but goes much further, showing numerous sex scenes on the screen. Ivan, a young heir, doesn’t have much of a Richard Gere, other than a well-filled wallet that allows him to do everything he can do, including proposing to Anora in Las Vegaswhich will drag the film into another dimension, when the young man’s parents learn the news and do everything to cancel the wedding.

In the role of Vivian (Julia Roberts). Pretty Woman, Ani doesn’t kiss on the mouth and uses sex as a way to keep others at a distance. We don’t know if she really feels something for Ivan, or if he represents for her only the means to emancipate herself and gain freedom.

While the initial premise may evoke classic romantic comedies, Sean Baker transcends cliché to offer a darker, more authentic vision. Contrary to Pretty Woman, Anora rejects any sugarcoating of reality. Baker, true to his style, describes the daily lives of sex workers with uncompromising honesty, further recalling the intensity Uncut gems of the Safdie brothers compared to the lightness of traditional romantic comedies.

Shared opinions

During its official presentation at the Palais des Festivals, Anora received a long standing ovation from the spectators present at the Grand Théâtre Lumière. However, the film divided audiences. While some willingly award him the Palme d’Or, others struggle to understand Sean Baker’s gesture. However, one thing is certain: the young actress Mikey Madison has left no one indifferent. Will the film enter the charts?

Source: Cine Serie

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