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HomeReview‘Wild Diamond’: Cannes Review

‘Wild Diamond’: Cannes Review

Dir/scr: Agathe Riedinger. France. 2024. 104mins.

Nineteen-year-old Liane (Malou Khebizi) is a fantasy. She has formed herself into her concept of the right girl – an exaggerated, caricatured model of hypersexualised invitation. She desires of movie star and success, the 2 inextricably linked in her thoughts. So when she is named in for an audition for a actuality tv present titled ’Miracle Island’, it appears that evidently her future has been ordained. However the angle, the aggressive artificiality and the obsession with being true to herself conceals the actual fact Liane is, in some ways, nonetheless very a lot an unwritten e book. The feisty restlessness of Agathe Riedinger’s spectacular function debut belies the profound unhappiness of its central theme – that for a lot of younger ladies, magnificence and ache are one and the identical.

Khebizi unpeels the pretend hair and lashes to disclose an emotional battleground

Riedinger first created the character of aspiring actuality present contestant Liane in her 2018 quick Ready For Jupiter (on this model she was performed by Sarah-Megan Allouch), and subsequently directed one other quick, Eve (2019), which additionally handled themes of feminine id. Wild Diamond has a kinship with final yr’s Cannes breakout title, Molly Manning Walker’s How To Have Intercourse: each cope with the performative pressures on younger ladies to behave out a sort of sexuality that’s far faraway from their true nature. And there are parallels additionally with Sweat, the earlier movie of fellow Cannes competitors beginner Magnus Van Horn, which traced the cracks within the glassy perfection of the lifetime of a health influencer. Audiences will seemingly be impressed by the movie’s refusal to look down on its central character, whereas additionally providing a brutally clear-eyed appraisal of the forces that form her.

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The older of two daughters of a struggling single mom within the backwater of Fréjus within the South of France, Liane feels that fame is the one viable possibility she has to raised her life. The route she has deliberate, following her actuality tv debut, will soak up product endorsements and a job as influencer, perhaps a little bit of performing. “Individuals will love me, they’ll wish to see me,” she causes.

However as the times and weeks cross, and Liane hears nothing from the TV manufacturing firm, her already quick fuse burns sooner and he or she lashes out at these round her. Rejection is private – hadn’t she supplied to indicate “the true me” to the cameras? “What for those who don’t get it?” asks Dino (Idir Azougli), her good friend from her years within the care system and the one important male character within the movie. “I’ll kill myself,” Liane says emphatically.

She is a confounding character: a lady who has created an X-rated grownup persona however who stays, emotionally, as unformed as a toddler – she is, we be taught, a virgin who has by no means had a boyfriend. Her look is hyper-feminine, all cartoon curves and teetering footwear manufactured from glitter and agony, however she has a pugnacious scrapper’s stance: shoulders ahead, brows knit. She craves the affirmation of the will that she arouses, and he or she is concurrently terrified and repelled by it. And who can blame her? There’s a violence within the lust that she provokes. On two separate events, males throw stuff at her to assert her consideration; feedback on her Instagram account are punctuated by threats of sexual annihilation and strategies that she ought to kill herself.

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Shot in a TV-frame side ratio and with colors that really feel barely heightened and brash, just like the daubs from Liane’s eye-shadow palette, Khebizi is terrific within the position. It’s tempting to imagine {that a} character this superficially showy will need to have little or no happening inside. However Khebizi unpeels the pretend hair and lashes to disclose an emotional battleground. There’s a terrific second, after an aborted try at intimacy with Dino, when she tentatively tries to the touch herself and feels nothing. Her expression – disappointment, concern, confusion – speaks volumes.

Liane doesn’t realise, or she received’t admit it, however the ache inside her just isn’t one thing that may be healed by a Brazilian butt implant or a brand new crotch-length costume. As her ft, bleeding and throbbing from the accrued punishment of her footwear, counsel, ache is simply one thing she goes to must dwell with.

Manufacturing firm: Silex Movies

Worldwide gross sales: Pyramide Worldwide amauruc@pyramidefilms.com

Producers: Priscilla Bertin, Judith Nora

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Cinematography: Noé Bach

Manufacturing Design: Astrid Tonellier

Enhancing: Lila Desiles

Music: Audrey Ismaël

Most important forged: Malou Khebizi, Idir Azougli, Andréa Bescond, Ashley Romano, Alexis Manenti, Kilia Fernane, Léa Gorla, Alexandra Noisier, Antonia Buresi

 

 

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