At Cannes, “The Apprentice,” the film about the rise of Donald Trump, exceeded our expectations

At Cannes, “The Apprentice,” the film about the rise of Donald Trump, exceeded our expectations
At Cannes, “The Apprentice,” the film about the rise of Donald Trump, exceeded our expectations
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Scythia Films Jeremy Strong and Sebastian Stan in Ali Abbasi’s ‘The Apprentice’.

Scythia Films

Jeremy Strong and Sebastian Stan in Ali Abbasi’s ‘The Apprentice’.

CINEMA – Attack, never admit your mistakes, always claim victory… This credo is the three rules that Donald Trump has set for himself. Or at least, the Donald Trump of The Apprentice, a brilliant feature film by Ali Abbasi that he came to present in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, this Monday, May 20. We saw him on the Croisette and we confirm that the agitation he caused was well deserved.

Its history goes back well before the current campaign of the former President of the United States who will try, next November, to run for a new term. Well before his first stint at the White House or even the reality TV show of the same name, which he launched in 2004. It recounts with great humor and sarcasm the genesis of the character he became over the years. turn of the 1980s, in New York.

With his young, insecure look, Donald Trump (Sebastian Stan) sees the big picture: he dreams of becoming a real estate tycoon. Thanks to the very cynical Roy Cohn, played by Jérémy Strong, he will succeed. The lawyer and ex-advisor of Joseph McCarthy takes him by the hand and becomes his mentor, without ever asking him for anything in return except to be his friend.

The growing resemblance to Donald Trump

The man we consider today to be the Republican leader’s master of cynicism teaches him the basics of communication. “ The newspapers need to talk about you “, we hear him advise in one scene. In another, he adds: “ You have to be ready to do anything to win. »

Young Donald Trump quickly gained confidence, perhaps even a little too much. “ There are two types of people in life: killers and losers », he assures during a date with the one who will be his first wife, Ivana Trump. One-upmanship, boasting, greed, arrogance… The student described The Apprentice quickly overtakes the master, whom the media suspects of having AIDS and therefore of being homosexual.

Donald Trump gains weight, begins to lose his hair. The more time passes, the more his complexion turns orange. He decides to undergo liposuction, then hair surgery. And if the rise of the character – whose physical evolution we follow with mischief – is very funny to see, it is also astonishing. A scene, in which we see him rape his ex-wife, can attest to this. An attack that the person concerned, who disappeared in 2022, had herself revealed after her divorce, before retracting years later.

Donald Trump’s team reacts

This Monday, this sequence in particular, and the film in general, had the effect of a bomb after the screening in Cannes. Donald Trump’s chief campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, told the magazine Variety want to take legal action to respond to these claims “ obviously false “.

He declares : ” This shit is fiction. It reveals lies that have long been debunked. Like Biden’s illegal trials, this is interference by Hollywood elites in the upcoming election, because they know President Trump will return to the White House. »

Asked about the subject during a press conference, Ali Abbasi was not very worried. He also quipped: “ I would be very happy to meet him and talk to him about everything we did to work on this feature film. » At the time of writing, his film does not yet have a release date, but it is a safe bet that he will benefit from the final stretch of the elections – and in particular the last debate of the mid- September – to promote it.

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