First ‘Megalopolis’ Reactions Call Francis Ford Coppola Epic ‘Discombobulated,’ ‘Chaotic’ and ‘The Craziest Thing I’ve Ever Seen’

The years-in-the-making, self-produced passion project had its world premiere at Cannes on Thursday

Megalopolis
Adam Driver in "Megalopolis" (Credit: American Zoetrope)

“Megalopolis,” the partly self-funded magnum opus from Francis Ford Coppola that just had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, was met with first reactions calling the film “chatoic,” “discombobulated” and “the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.”

The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman wrote: “It’s kinda Batman, kinda Gladiator, kinda “Tomorrowland” rolled up in a smorgasbord of ideas and images and the Cannes audience didn’t know what to do with it.”

“I am lost for words with Megalopolis. If Coppola is happy with it then I guess that’s something? 🤨🤷🏼‍♂️I left it feeling totally discombobulated and bewildered by it. How does a 120M movie look this cheap?” said a viewer on social media.

“Francis Ford Coppola’s MEGALOPOLIS is a chaotic, psychedelic fever dream that makes the stories from set undoubtable. I love seeing directors run with an idea but the result in this instance is a film so beyond comprehension that it cannot even begin to be unpacked,” added another.

“MEGALOPOLIS is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” added Blie Ebiri.

“MEGALOPOLIS: first hour was a disaster, an endearing disaster but still poor. Then the second hour hit; I totally bought in. Much doesn’t work in Francis Ford Coppola’s passion project, but its visual language is sharp. And there’s one scene involving a mix that hits,” added Robert Daniels.

The film marks Coppola’s return to the Croisette, where the filmmaker has previously premiered 1974’s “The Conversation” and 1979’s “Apocalypse Now.” Both films ended up winning the prestigious Palme d’Or.

Coppola along with the film’s stars walked the red carpet at the Grand Théâtre Lumière. They included Adam Driver, Shia LaBeouf, Aubrey Plaza, Laurence Fishburne, Grace Van der Waal, Chloe Fineman and Giancarlo Esposito.

The sci-fi movie has been a decades-long dream for Coppola, who put $120 million of his own money into the movie in 2022, utilizing funds from sources including his highly successful winery.

“Megalopolis” tells the story of The City of New Rome, where the need for change causes conflict between Cesar Catilina (Adam Driver), “a genius artist who seeks to leap into a utopian, idealistic future,” and the city’s mayor, Franklyn Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito), who is, per the official logline, “committed to a regressive status quo, perpetuating greed, special interests and partisan warfare. Torn between them is socialite Julia Cicero (Nathalie Emmanuel), the mayor’s daughter, whose love for Cesar has divided her loyalties, forcing her to discover what she truly believes humanity deserves.”

Written, directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, the film was produced by Fred Roos, Barry Hirsch and Michael Bederman, and executive produced by Anahid Nazarian, Barrie Osborne and Darren Demetre. 

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