Titane

A woman with a metal plate in her head from a childhood car accident embarks on a bizarre journey, bringing her into contact with a firefighter who's reunited with his missing son after 10 years.

  • Released: 2021-07-14
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, Horror, Thrillers
  • Stars: Vincent Lindon, Agathe Rousselle, Garance Marillier, Laïs Salameh, Mara Cissé, Marin Judas, Diong-Kéba Tacu, Myriem Akheddiou, Bertrand Bonello, Céline Carrère, Adèle Guigue, Thibault Cathalifaud, Dominique Frot, Lamine Cissokho, Florence Janas, Frédéric Jardin, Olivia Venner, Thibault Villette, Nathalie Boyer, Mehdi Rahim-Silvioli, Théo Hellermann, Anaïs Fabre
  • Director: Julia Ducournau
 Comments
  • CDiablo - 6 January 2023
    Don't ask questions just enjoy the sights and sounds....
    Titane is a movie that makes no sense whatsoever. No effort is made to explain anything, some things happen then the movie ends(due to something that is kind of explained) while abandoning other things you wished were answered.

    The beginning of the movie kind of starts building up something, justifies the second act and then the second and third act mostly ignore the first act with an otherwise middling drama focused plot.

    I watched this because it is supposed to be horror, and it's occasionally body horror but more drama than anything.

    The movie is beautifully shot, has great lighting and a fantastic score. For me that is the main event of the film and I can often appreciate a film on that being the backbone of it.

    4 Stars because the movie is pretty boring in the latter 2 acts which make up 80% or so percent of the movie. I think it might land better with the artistic crowd but I don't know if I would recommend this to anyone. If you do watch it fire up your favorite search engines because you will be confused by the time the film ends.
  • juliemmca - 4 January 2023
    French surrealist induced fever dream
    How many times can one repeat the question "What the heck am I watching?" before it becomes redundant?

    In this strange piece of French surrealism, Ducournau first pushes the boundaries of art house cinema and thereafter shatters them over one knee, leaving her viewer in awe and feeling slightly nauseous.

    Despite it being pretty much shock over substance, it remained deeply enthralling in a "I can't seem to look away" way. The beauty and the folly of the created characters is that they were pretty much unlikable. On another note, we do get a giggle-worthy close-up of Vincent Lindon's clenched butt cheeks.

    I know I will probably grow fond of this movie, given time. For now, however, I definitely need to go play with my dog or something to shake off some uneasiness.
  • maudehempermann - 17 December 2022
    Weird, wonderful and non-conformist
    This film is European, and does not stick to the standard Hollywood rules of having a plot unfold in one direction.

    The story starts out with so many little things left unexplained and messy, just like life itself, and then has a number of abrupt turns that feel unconnected, like real life, although here the turns are fantastical and weird, unlike boring real life, and so the film is completely compelling to watch. You don't know what is going to happen next and how the messed up main character is going to react.

    Watch this film if you like weird horror films, and you will not be disappointed.
  • feedbackup - 19 November 2022
    Just non!
    This movie is not confusing. This movie does not have deep philosophical meanings.

    Hello fellow film explorer, I'm not an ordinary/casual movie watcher, I watch all kind of genres to witness beauty of the human intelligence and aesthetics of the cinema and this is definetly not the first time of me seeing an experimental movie. I'm writing this scribble to make you avoid this Cannes bait. I'm not a quitter and finish every single movie to the end no matter what. In this one casual people will close the movie after 10 mins anyway, but for the ones insist to keep going should know that rest of the movie will also not include anything smart,creative,sarcastic, provocative or whatever, so you can just quit. "Titane" is a straight up garbage.

    Great acting by lead actress is the only positive thing I can say about this wannabe "deep" unintelligent movie. Make yourself a favor and skip this one. Shame on you Cannes...
  • etfrhw - 13 November 2022
    Moral incoherence
    This movie can be seen as a modern look at the story of Mary, God and Christ. This movie, on the one hand, has a moral and Christian basis, and on the other hand, it criticizes the dysfunctional family in today's society. In this sense, it is a coherent and strong film.

    But there is a moral incoherence in the film. What was the guilt of the victims? The death of the film's protagonist does not answer this moral question. This is a bit incoherent for the viewer with little conventional moral conscience. One who suffers from a bad father is a victim. But other victims are forgotten. I think this is the main drawback of the film.
  • bertrandma - 7 November 2022
    Shock Therapy
    This is a powerful character study masquerading as an art-house 'genre' film. If you've watched Raw, you will be at home with Julia's twin obsessions of extremity (a French tradition) and acerbic psychological observation. I feel the film is not all it could have been, but remains definitely worth a watch.

    First of all, the acting and the casting are flawless: Lindon manages to breath life and pathos in a character that could easily have turned grotesque. Rousselle is assigned the ever-difficult task of acting a character who is acting, and deliver two fascinating persona: the broken mask of the near-autistic Adrien, and the existential free-fall of Alexia. Against the background of Vincent's thorough unravelling, it is hard not to fault her for lacking emotional depth, yet this is just what the character demands. The writing is excellent, though I fear it might not translate all that well. The production design (hail to the make-up team) is impressive, great sets and subdued costume. The soundtrack is mostly unobtrusive except for a few well chosen show-pieces (i.e. The recurring Zombies cover).

    In short this has all the ingredients of an outstanding movie. And yet I feel it fails to reach its full potential, I think because of a rupture in the middle, which leaves us with the sense of having watched two short films rather than one feature. The first half at first made me think 'What if Ballard wrote the next Fast & Furious?'. It is curious and attention-grabbing, but a tad showy and disparate: peppered with thwarted sex-scenes, murders and mechanoid copulation, it feels like a semi-comical appendage hanging flacidly from the second half.

    That second half is filled with brilliant and mostly mute domestic scenes, and an orgy of fantasized homosociality (that Gabber kermess and its culmination will stay with me). Its group dynamics are finely observed and the range of secondary characters is engrossing. The 'surreal element', which is really the only plot tie between both halves, often feels a bit unnecessary, though I am perhaps not the best public (having no car, and no license!)

    I notice that most of the disappointed reviews either complain about violence and nudity, or about the Cannes festival. To the former, I recommend reading the blurb before watching a movie. To the later, I recommend developing a taste of their own.
  • EdgarST - 6 November 2022
    The Titanium Generation
    There is something suggestive and revealing in the fact that in 2021 the jury of the Cannes festival (presided by Spike Lee) awarded this film the Palme d'Or, a movie that can repel us or make us think that it is a useless exercise. After a year of quarantine, death, fear and confusion, the jury of the most important film festival in the world was brave and daring to award this metaphor of current times, in which youth struggle to generate a new world, and new social relations.

    I cannot give this story a reading of basic psychology: a girl suffers an accident, and a titanium plate is implanted in her head. Growing up, she becomes an emotionally fragile dancer, who reacts so violently and brutally when men or women invade her "territory" that she becomes a serial killer. The girl has also been the victim of a rape that introduces the film to the realm of horror. With all that burden on her back, she must escape from the law, she assumes the appearance of a boy and finds protection in a sixty-year-old firefighter who, with unconditional love and a bit of madness, takes care of her until she gives birth.

    However, do not imagine a domestic, romantic or police melodrama. Not one iota. It is a science fiction fable as cold and hard as a titanium plate. In its strength and daring, the film evokes Cronenberg's «Crash», Kubrick's «2001» and Noé's «Irreversible», when it evolves, at least for me, into a metaphor of the literal intrusion of technology in our lives and bodies, through an ambiguous young woman from the virtual age and the pandemic, who is helped by a man from another generation, with vices of his own, to engender some type of "new man."

    The plot is more complex, it contains more incidents, and, for me, this is where the film becomes too long, when it could well have lasted 90 minutes. However, I highly recommend it.
  • hoogmeulen-08540 - 29 October 2022
    Hard to think of spoilers
    We rented this movie in a art house site, but never saw the end. The cruelties were a bit too much. Could not dis over a story line. Over the top and boring. Vincent Lyndon is brave to act like hé has to do, like a parodie on an aging rockstar. If it were not a French art house movie, great that they raised the money to make it, it would have been a scandal. Now we know, ah.... the French....yarn. And probably because the critics never had a clue what it was about, neither did we, it won a prize. If you do want to finish it, please note that it is quite depressing. Maybe you could whatch A Clockwork Orange instead.
  • neohouse - 16 October 2022
    Sexual identity problems explained through metaphors
    First of all, film looks excellent from cinematographic and technical POV. Alexia is character who has questions 'bout her sexual orientation. After tryin' mans and womens, she finds her own sexuality in titanium, it means in cars. Then Vincent is an old firefighter and looks pretty exhausted but constantly takes steroid supplements to keep from appearin' weak in order. While he's more masculine when he takes steroids, he looks very hilarious and playful when he doesn't use steroids. Literally film tells us story 'bout how a woman who has problems with her sexuality struggles to survive in the world of mans and, if necessary, changes her appearance and looks like a man. Of course, there are some metaphors in this film, such as having sex with cars and trucks too.
  • ElMaruecan82 - 15 October 2022
    New-Age Mythology or a Riddle for Ages?
    It's hard to figure out whether "Titane" is a genuine act of iconoclast filmmaking or if its aesthetic subversiveness is only a flashy hideout for the kind of transgression that became as predictable as it is trendy.

    Anyway, I did not enjoy "Titane" but that doesn't mean I did not like it. Maybe I'm more easily drawn into traditional storytelling or a story that follows a specific direction or maybe I wasn't in the right mood... but I wonder what kind of visceral angst one must feel in order to "enjoy" Julia Ducournau's film. It's not that I wish I could enjoy it but I wish I'll never be able to be turned on by films like these. That said, there's one thing I should credit Ducournau, it's her daringness. Her "Titane" is indeed strange and groundbreaking even by the standards of the day (which say a lot).

    The film opens with Alexia, a girl in the back seat of a car driven by her irritated father (Bertrand Bonello), she keeps titillating him with constant humming and movements to the point that when he turns his head, it's one time too many, the car swerves off the road and a spectacular crash ensues. The girl gets titane-made implants in the head, which naturally should set any viewer for a sci-fi film. However, the film doesn't take that direction (or does it?) just as if Ducournau was echoing the first scene, being both the angry driver and the annoying passenger, once it seems she's taking a specific road, she derails herself from the trajectory... with a death-wish in form of a cinematic crash of creativity.

    Back to the film. When adult Alexia (Agathe Roussel) is revealed to be some sort of striptease dancer in a sort of dystopian cyberpunk present and we see her having some awkward but not devoid of eroticism interactions with another dancer (Garance Mariller) in a shower, I was getting ready for some queer romance. But then came the first act of violence: a man approaches Alexia, claiming he's a big fan, they kiss and then she kills him... and it's not exactly the killing that shocks but the modus operandi and the disturbing sight of a weird foam emerging from his mouth.

    Now, I don't know the purpose of such gruesome details but allow me a confession: I've watched X rated clips in my youth, that was the rise of the Internet and the director is from my generation. I don't think it's a coincidence that the horror reaches a pornographic level very quickly and if you look closely at the way men are killed, the indirect references to porn movies doesn't seem fortuitous. It's just as if roles were reversed and Ducournau made her Alexia a sort of supra-woman inflicting men the symbolic punishment they always kept for women. I would have 100% supported that theory but for some reason she also killed women, starting with her lover.

    I gather that Alexia is beyond genders. And that is both the strength and the weakness of the film. I'm not sure I would have totally embraced a feminist pamphlet, however if it had the merit of consistency and that stylish horror, I might have appreciated the journey despite the destination. But obviously, Ducournau wanted to make her girl not gender-neutral but supra-gender. By the way, it's interesting that the word meaning 'gender' in French is the same as 'genre'. Ducournau oscillates between slasher, horror, sci-fi, romance, drama and countless references to other directors, making her own creation as hard to get as her character. Even harder when Alexia becomes Adrien, a young man,, identified as his son by fireman Vincent (Vincent Lindon). And from the depraved expression of feminity, we get to stereotypical-masculinity embodied by the macho type, the savior and dudes with homophobic humor. Roussel looks quite authentic as a man. Talk about a blessed casting for Ducournau.

    Still, the fireman sequence is where the film started to lose me... I knew violence wouldn't be the same but it's just as if it was aware of its own climax and how spectacular it would be, Ducournau injected some filler scenes like Vincent with his own steroids during his morning rituals. Soft-porn lightning, luscious dances, playful ambiguity, the codes are distorted like a metal under a high temperature and it's so dizzying we wonder if "Titane" was about the metal indeed or some New-Age mythology. Or is it that Ducournau's inspiration peak so very soon with the early scenes that the whole middle-act could only strike as felt like that moment when you start driving in autopilot mode, not totally aware that you are in command. I gave up shortly before the explosive climax.

    I saw Ducournau in an interview, she struck me as a spontaneous, young woman, with more ease with a camera than words, she didn't have much vocabulary, and she's certainly in her element when she films... I'm sure she could materialize the idea she had but it would be one she couldn't verbalize. "Titane" is a film that gives you an idea of her intentions, maybe her aim, but I defy anyone to bring some definite answers. Maybe that's the secret of its Golden Palm, maybe it felt transgressive enough but in such an original way that it wouldn't even be accused of being 'woke' cinema. I mean, she also killed the girl, and somehow the film can be regarded both as abortionist or pro-life and it's as much about motherhood as patriarchy. The duality is present and left enough food for thought.

    But at times, the film reminded me of that ad clip in "Boomerang" with Grace Jones literally defecating a glass of perfume, it was absurd and pretentious but like.... "it stinks so good". "Titane" is no stinker, it's quite unpleasant but there's an aesthetic for unpleasantness that Ducournau admitted and I wholeheartedly agree with her about ugliness being hypnotic, maybe I did enjoy some bits after all.
  • jadavix - 7 October 2022
    Unpleasant and uninteresting
    "Raw" was a good, challenging movie that I've never forgotten, but I doubt I'll remember "Titane", the director's follow-up. This one is weirder than "Raw", but less interesting. It feels like two movies: there's a jarring change of topic at the half-way point, and the point of view we're following even seems to change. The developments are so bizarre and ridiculous that I lost interest.

    Why did this win the Palme d'Or? I take it that political correctness may have played a role. It's a movie about a woman directed by a woman, and features totally unerotic, graphic female nudity, and makes pregnancy look totally repulsive. If a man had made it, he'd be called sexist and misogynist. A woman made it, so it's called feminist.

    The only scene in the whole movie that seems to happen in anything like reality features the part-metal psychopath protagonist on a bus where she and another woman are harassed by young men. This scene sticks out so much that you wonder why they included it. Perhaps for feminist cred?

    I guess that's what won this bizarre, unpleasant and uninteresting movie the Palme d'Or.
  • Coventry - 1 October 2022
    The Palme d'Or has lost its value and significance
    What does "Titane" have in common with films like "Parasite", "Amour", "Elephant", "The Pianist", "Pulp Fiction", and "Barton Fink". You guessed right; they're all winners of the Palme d'Or head price at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. What else does "Titane" in common with the other films? Well, absolutely nothing, because all the others are genuine cinematic masterpieces that deserved to win a great price, whereas this film is nothing but a confusing, chaotic, and pretentious mess.

    I honestly can't figure out why the Cannes' jury decided to let "Titane" win. Maybe because it's a French film at a French festival? Maybe because the director is a woman? Maybe because it's hip to pretend liking so-called elevated horror movies? Or maybe - and this is the likeliest option - those jury members saw a true masterpiece and I'm missing the point entirely once again.

    "Titane" feels like David Cronenberg meets Takashi Miike, but then times infinity. It's body horror to the extreme, with the lead girl - Alexia - having a severe fetish for dancing sensually on rooftop of vehicles, and actually having sex WITH cars. We can only assume her weird fetish originates from a terribly car accident she was involved in as a child, which also caused for her to go through life with a metal plate in her skull. She's also a relentless serial killer, and to remain at large she takes the identity of a boy that went missing a decade ago. She moves in with her new father in his fire department station and must desperately conceal she's pregnant from a rusty old car.

    In case this summary already makes you go WTF, just wait until you witness the full film. There's plenty of more senseless and incoherent nonsense where this came from. Admittedly, there are a handful of very powerful and genuinely shocking moments in "Titane", as well as good performances and a thoroughly uncanny atmosphere. Still, the good moments cannot compensate for the overload of pompous guff. I can't stand movies in which none of the characters can act or reactive rationally or even half-normal, nor wannabe art-house flicks that don't properly finish storylines or provide any sort of explanations.

    In all fairness, the Palme d'Or should have gone to Paul Verhoeven's "Benedetta".
  • SSJAWSUM - 19 September 2022
    Pointless weird and gross
    Don't believe the hype. This movie is terrible. There is no underlying secret plot, or some redeeming post-watch explanation. It's just a good old fashioned dumpster fire of a movie. Nothing made sense, from scene to scene I held out hope for something to piece it altogether.

    Before anyone says "you just don't understand the filmmakers vision" or something about foreign films. You're right, but I know what I enjoy and this is not that. This movie hurt me, and made me angry for investing time to watch it.

    The star has a grotesque appearance that left me very grossed out, and I'm not even talking about the parts she was supposed to be unattractive. Each shot of the main character or support characters made me want to shower.

    Last point.... Why does everyone smoke in this movie, it's really gross.
  • nathanandersonw - 12 September 2022
    Nudity. Murder. And brutality. But boring
    The first five minutes of the movie is either a woman dancing provocatively with the camera focused on her crotch or a shower scene followed by a murder followed by another shower scene. And after all that cleaning up , she has sex with a car. Seriously. Can we please stop trying to depict this in movies? It's been tried before and is never convincing or realistic. Just silly. I love nudity. I love cars. I love murder. I love women. But not this way. There is nothing sexy about this. Not interesting or memorable. And the murder was strictly amateur. It's competently made and acted . And I guess it's going for different or shocking. But the level of sophistication is like a 90s movie. It could have been more over the top. Or darker and depressing. But it just sort of Lays there.