One of the more widely discussed titles at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival has now been announced as the closing night film at Sydney – Coralie Fargeat’s body horror, “The Substance”! 

This is Fargeat’s second feature, following the independent awards success of 2017’s “Revenge.” It stars Demi Moore, who has received huge praise for her comeback performance. The film’s cast also includes Margaret Qualley, who is having a busy year between this project, “Drive-Away Dolls,” and the latest from Yorgos Lanthimos, “Kinds of Kindness,” also premiering at the festival. Dennis Quaid was added to the cast after the unfortunate passing of Ray Liotta.

Fargeat also wrote the screenplay for the film in addition to her director duties. The film follows a fading celebrity, played by Moore, who begins using a black-market drug that temporarily creates a younger and better version of herself. Fargeat’s influences, including David Lynch, John Carpenter, and David Cronenberg, all shine through in this body horror film, with the screenplay actually winning the award at Cannes.

Mubi has the worldwide rights to this title, picking it up at Cannes to add to their 2024 slate after the film received a lengthy standing ovation and scores of 83 on Metacritic and 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film will join other Cannes titles at Syndey such as the Grand Prix winning “All We Imagine as Light”, “Armand”, which secured Norweigian filmmaker Halfdan Ullmann Tondel the awad for first time director, and Miguel Gomes’ “Grand Tour” amongst a host of others.

An official clip from the film has been released to match the suitably ominous marketing tagline, asking, “Have you ever dreamt of a better version of yourself? You. Only better in every way”. The film is rated 18+, indicating strong horror elements, and will be screened at the Closing Night Gala after the festival’s awards ceremony.

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