Titane ★★★★★

I wanted my last film of 2021 to be something that either took place on New Year's Eve or was a movie that came out this past year that I really wanted to watch, but never got the chance to. As you can see, I went with the latter option, since my pick for the former category, Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days, wasn't available on any of my streaming services. I did like Julia Ducournau's Raw back when I saw it last year, despite the fact that it was easily the most Karsten Runquist-y movie I've ever seen, but I was a lot more excited about seeing Titane after it won the Palme D'or. Even with all of that excitement, Titane blew me away in ways that I never could have expected. It's a weird, stomach churning, disturbing, beautiful, and even occasionally heartfelt movie that goes in a lot of wild and unpredictable directions without ever feeling forced or inorganic. It mixes body horror, family drama, and a touch of dark comedy to create one of the best and most complete experiences of 2021 (I'm only saying “one of” because I have a lot to catch up on with this past year's releases and I don't want to make such a big claim this early on).

Ducournau's direction in Raw was passable, as its handheld-heavy cinematography and music choices felt fairly standard for a 2010s independent film, but she really stepped up her game here in Titane. Pretty much every shot of this film is stunning with the interesting compositions and the metallic, yet vibrant color palette, and all of the film's music choices were honestly incredible. Agathe Rousselle and Vincent Lindon both gave incredible performances, and their chemistry made certain moments all the more moving. Again, I still need to catch up on 2021 releases, as many of my most anticipated movies still haven't arrived in Bahrain yet (although I never really expected them to), but Titane was phenomenal and it beat my previous pick for movie of the year, Sion Sono's Prisoners of the Ghostland, by a mile and a half.

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