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Cannes, Day 6: Punk Rock Aliens Party at Grand Palais; Sean Baker’s ‘Florida Project’ Shines

Nicole Kidman and company go wild on the red carpet, ”Tangerine“ director packs a powerful follow-up

Didn’t you miss John Cameron Mitchell?

The loud and proud auteur has been dabbling here and there with short films, producing, script and story polishing — but the “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” filmmaker hasn’t given us a significant feature since 2010’s stark “Rabbit Hole.”

He’s back with an army of ambiguous millennials, and a much more joyous reteam with Nicole Kidman. More good news? Sean Baker has successfully captured the joy and abject poverty of Florida as he did for the trans sex workers of East Hollywood, to meaningful effect.

Let’s do this, Lundi.

How to Disrupt Cannes? Party.

Mitchell’s festival entry “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” premiered to mixed reviews, and A24 will have a lot of runway to build up fanfare for the still-undated U.S. release.

The film didn’t make a major splash for its reception or the performances of stars Kidman and Elle Fanning — it did for giddily stomping the Croisette in getups that represented not only the unconventional story Mithcell tells, but his career-long aesthetic of genderqueer rock n’ roll.

Latex, genital cutouts, boys in dresses and naughty schoolchildren chic abounded Sunday as Mithcell, Kidman, Fanning and company attended their premiere. In tow was the architect of the film’s costumes, Oscar winner Sandy Powell. “How to Talk” is about a clique of Suburban punk rockets in 1970s England who stumble upon a visiting group of Aliens, and madness ensues.

We see (and dramatically approve) of the same trouble this bunch kicked up in Cannes:




Baker’s Back

Noted iPhone user Sean Baker does not have the splashiest Cannes title, but many saw his follow up to the breakout “Tangerine” as a prime acquisition target and an opportunity for his leading man Willem Dafoe.

Where “Tangerine” explored the lives and desires of Los Angeles trans sex workers — and found profundity in rampant addiction, danger and fleeting romance — Baker’s “The Florida Project” takes a similar lens on the American family.

Baker and Dafoe follow both the magical summer of children and the sweltering hell of the adults who raise them in a Floridian motel.


We’re half way to Palme d’Or glory — keep checking back with TheWrap for daily Cannes recaps.