Bird by Andrea Arnold, in Official Competition at Cannes 2024: Our verdict

Published by Manon de Sortiraparis · Published on May 18th, 2024 at 01:53 p.m.
Andrea Arnold is back in Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2024 with Bird, our first favorite of this 77th edition.

Our first Cannes 2024 favorite is Bird, the new film by Andrea Arnold. The British filmmaker is a regular here, having been a member of the jury in 2012, president of the Critics' Week jury in 2014, president of the Un Certain Regard jury in 2021, and winner of the festival's Prix du Jury on three occasions, with Red Road, Fish Tank and American Honey.

Andrea Arnold, one of the masters of British social cinema, brings her trademark accuracy and radicalism to her new film, set in the English suburbs. Here live the tomboy-like Bailey(Nykiya Adams, her first film role), her brother Hunter(Jason Buda), whose 16-year-old girlfriend has just become pregnant, and their father Bug(Barry Keoghan, seen in Dunkirk, Killing the Sacred Deer, Saltburn), aptly cast as the tattooed, stubbornly infantile father-child, far more interested in planning his wedding to his latest girlfriend, whom he met only 6 months ago, than in raising his offspring. But if he's badly delivered, the love is there all the same.

All three live in a dilapidated squat in Kent County, southeast of London, but Andrea Arnold films their pathetic daily lives without condescension, against a backdrop of trafficking, teenage pregnancy and educational neglect. The young Bailey, approaching puberty, dreams of something better, when she meets Bird(Franz Rogowski, seen in Haneke and Malick) in a field - and in an intriguingly beautiful scene. Bird is a strange character who will help her take flight and try to escape the social fatality to which her birth has destined her.

With a handheldcamera and her trademark naturalistic style, Andrea Arnold delivers a shocking, raw portrait of this class of underdogs, where the one who shouts or hits the loudest becomes, by force, the kingpin of this microcosm rotten to the core. While undeniably a social drama, Bird has the intelligence to open up to other horizons - comic, first of all, as in the sequence on Coldplay's syrupy 'Yellow' sung by Bug and his debauched pals to make a toad ooze a hallucinogenic drug; upsetting, too, the unheard-of violence seen through Bailey's eyes and endured by her mother and little sisters under the yoke of a new, low-life companion.

And suddenly, the fantastic appears where you least expect it, offering Bird (and by Bird) real moments of poetry, well hidden beneath the thick layer of graffiti and grime.

Festival de Cannes 2023 : découvrez les dernières infos sur la 76e éditionFestival de Cannes 2023 : découvrez les dernières infos sur la 76e éditionFestival de Cannes 2023 : découvrez les dernières infos sur la 76e éditionFestival de Cannes 2023 : découvrez les dernières infos sur la 76e édition Cannes Festival 2024: The latest news and information about the 77th edition
The Cannes Film Festival returns to the Croisette for its 77th edition from May 14 to 25, 2024. Click here for all the latest news and information! [Read more]

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Dates and Opening Time
Starts January 1st, 2025

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