Director: Julia Ducournau
Year Released: 2021
As a little kid, Alexia (Adèle Guigue) goofs around in the backseat of her father's car which leads to him getting into an accident, her cracking open the right side of her head and having a nice, shiny titanium plate surgically inserted; as an adult (Agathe Rousselle), she works as an exotic dancer, gets impregnated by a car, runs away from her poor parents, and pretends to be the lost child of Vincent (Vincent Lindon), a firefighter. Ducournau's fascination with body horror does make an easy connection to David Cronenberg (specifically Crash), but I think Claire Denis is a clear influence as well (the firemen smoking cigarettes and dancing in slow motion to Future Islands is a reference to Beau Travail). While it's very light on psychology for its "killer heroine" (Alexia barely speaks, so it's not clear what she's thinking at any given time), her examination of Vincent's weakening masculinity (he injects himself with steroids, he looks away with shame when he sees his "son" dancing on a fire truck) is considerably more poignant. It's very much a product of its time - gender and identity get thrown out the proverbial window, everything is fluid - and I'm not sure how it'll age, but as an experiment in audacity ... congratulations.