Netflix ‘poised to buy’ Cannes’ most divisive film

Netflix ‘poised to buy’ Cannes’ most divisive film

Netflix is reportedly poised to buy one of the most divisive films that premiered at Cannes.

The annual film festival is nearing its end after what has been a busy 10 days filled with world premieres of titles hoping to be future hits. Many of these films have proved divisive, generating word-of-mouth for the sheer fact critics have been split down the middle when sharing their verdicts.

Such films have included Francis Ford Coppola’s $130m experiment Megalopolis, controversial body horror The Substance and the first part of Kevin Costner’s Western franchise, Horizon, An American Saga.

While all three of those films have distribution in place, with releases set to arrive in the year, one such divisive title was yet to find acquisition – but it’s being reported Netflix will nab it for £12m.

The film in question is Emilia Pérez, a crime musical drama from French filmmaker Jacques Audiard starring Zoe Saldana, Selena Gomez and Karla Sofía Gascón.

The plot of the film needs to be seen to be believed – and for that reason, we’ll abstain from revealing details here. But the Mexico-set film follows a lawyer Rita who receives an unexpected offer from a fearsome cartel boss.

After its premiere in Cannes, the film received a rapturous nine-minute standing ovation – but the critics were not as certain about the end result as audience members were; Emilia Pérez has received both five-star reviews as well as one-star reviews.

Many critics agreed that, while the film’s audacious mash-up of genres should make it “a complete mess”, Audiard somehow pulls it off. However, some others, including The Film Stage, have branded it the “worst film” to premiere at Cannes.

Audiard’s previous films include Palme d’Or winner Dheepan, as well as A Prophet, Rust and Bone and Paris, 13th District.

Emilia Pérez premiered at Cannes on 18 May, and is in the running for the palme d’Or. Others films in contention include Sean Baker’s Anora, Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine as Light and The Seed Of The Sacred Fig, which was shot covertly in Iran by director Mohammad Rasoulof. The winner will be announced on Sunday (26 May).

Karla Sofía Gascón, Zoe Saldana and Selena Gomez promoting ‘Emilia Pérez’ at Cannes (Getty Images)
Karla Sofía Gascón, Zoe Saldana and Selena Gomez promoting ‘Emilia Pérez’ at Cannes (Getty Images)

Netflix has declined to comment on the possible acquisition of Emilia Pérez.