Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis in Official Competition at Cannes 2024: Our verdict

Published by Manon de Sortiraparis · Published on May 17th, 2024 at 07:06 p.m.
Francis Ford Coppola has unveiled Megalopolis, the work of a lifetime, in world premiere and official competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2024. Check out our review and the trailer!

Megalopolis, Francis Ford Coppola's new film in Official Competition, was probably the most eagerly awaited of the Cannes 2024 Festival. It has to be said that the project has been the talk of the town. The American filmmaker had been working on it since the 1970s, and the film - surely the last of his career - also cost a staggering $120 million from Coppola's personal fortune.

In the city of New Rome, Adam Driver plays Cesar Catalina, a genius - if disparaged - architect who dreams of being the urban planner of a utopian city created using a material of his own invention, with unique and unprecedented properties: megalon. The city's mayor, Franklyn Cicero(Giancarlo Esposito, unforgettable Gus Fring in Breaking Bad), remains committed to a regressive - at best, stagnant - and individualistic policy.

In this futuristic Roman fable, narrated in voice-over by Laurence Fishburne, one of the last monsters of Hollywood cinema paints a vitriolic portrait ofcontemporary America. While the wealthy of this decadent city revel in scenes of enjoyment and substance abuse brimming withself-indulgence, they are soon caught up in their own enmity, baseness and megalomania.

While Coppola certainly seems to have enjoyed himself - although it is said that the shooting was a nightmare for many - and in many respects the film demonstrates an undeniable modernity, many of thespecial effects sequences (not all, thank goodness) appear, on the contrary, terribly dated, and this is where the problem lies for the man who was one of the precursors of the New Hollywood.

In the end, Megalopolis is a strangely amiable mess, which has fun with images, editing and time, as long as you can get into it and let yourself be carried away. Supported by a parade of stars (Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, but it's above all the vampiric Aubrey Plaza and the sweet Nathalie Emmanuel who really hit the mark, each in their own register), Megalopolis bludgeonsTrumpist America - crystallized in Shia LaBeouf 's heavy-handed, populist character - and takes advantage of the opportunity to come to the rescue of a more ecological future.

A hard-to-identify film that will leave no one unmoved, for better or worse, but that will leave many on the sidelines, that's for sure.

Official trailer for Megalopolis (2024) :

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