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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
New life can come from difficult situations. Grief can be long-lasting and lead to self-destructive behavior when unexplored. Violent acts without consequences. Attraction can take many forms, but some are not accepted by society.
Positive Role Models
Alexia experiences trauma as a child, retreats from intimacy with her parents, and shows a complex relationship with sexuality. She has strong survival instincts, but displays violence and murderous behavior without remorse. She manipulates other characters, disguising herself as a missing person and taking advantage of a family's grief. Other characters -- particularly parental figures -- are shown to portray a confusing mix of threatening and nurturing behavior.
The film explores sexuality and gender. The lead female character shows sexual attraction to men, women, and cars, and all are presented without judgment. She disguises herself as male, binding her breasts and pregnant stomach, to pass as a man's missing son, but there is also some indication of discomfort with her pregnant body. Stereotypically masculine firemen are shown to be uncomfortable with non-conforming gender representations, when the main character dances erotically while presenting as male. It is a mostly White cast, with only supporting actors of different ethnic origins. Sexist and racist men on a bus say, "Black, Arab, whatever, a hole is a hole," and go on to verbally harass a Black woman.
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Violence & Scariness
Car accident. Explosion. Close-up of surgery on child's head and scar in the aftermath. Characters stabbed through ear, cheek, and body with a hair pin; have legs of a stool forced through the mouth; are locked in a room with a house on fire; and fall unconscious before being resuscitated. Dead bodies are shown. There is physical fighting, strangling, and pulling on piercings. A character smashes their face against a sink to break their nose and disguise their looks. A fire simulation portrays the burning body of child. Body horror includes a pregnant woman punching her own stomach repeatedly and inserting a hair pin into her vagina in an attempt at abortion; scratching until a hole forms in her stomach and pushing her finger inside; oil produced from nipples and vagina in the place of blood/milk; and skin splitting on the stomach revealing metal during labor. A man touches a woman sexually without permission, another makes forceful sexual advances through a car window.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A character hugs and kisses a car, lies naked in the back seat with wrists bound, rocking the vehicle for sexual pleasure. Characters dance erotically on cars in underwear. There is kissing, touching, and licking of bodies. Full frontal female nudity and male nudity from behind. Characters who have acted as father and son kiss, though they are not actually related.
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Occasional use of "f---ing," "f--k," "s--t," "ass," and "a--hole," as well as "hell," and "goddammit." Offensive terms are used, such as "retard," and sexist language includes "ho," "bitch," "slut," and "p---y."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes. Steroids injected into backside. Mention of sleeping pills, and character shown unconscious from an overdose. Characters drink alcohol and dance as though inebriated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Titane is an intense horror-drama with sci-fi elements that shows great originality but has scenes that some may find disturbing. It is a French film with English subtitles. There are moments of heightened violence, including stabbing characters through the ear and head with a hair pin, and an incident of a person purposely breaking their own nose to disguise their face. Body horror elements include the implication that a woman has become pregnant by a car, her blood and milk replaced by oil, and metallic elements emerging beneath her skin. Full frontal female nudity is shown in a sexual context, and sexual acts are portrayed between humans and with cars. Strong language includes "f--k" and "s--t." There is drinking and smoking, characters dance as though inebriated, and there is the implication of overdose. Adult themes about trauma, grief, and complex relationships with sexuality, paired with the moments of extreme violence, make this unsuitable for kids and younger teens. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A fittingly impactful follow-up to her debut festival hit, Raw, writer and director Julia Ducournau's sophomore feature deservedly won the Palm d'Or at Cannes. Titane's visceral portrayal of trauma, grief, love, and unruly physicality offers a welcome, if perplexing and unsettling, addition to an increasingly predictable filmic landscape. Simplistic it's not, and many may find it a lot to comprehend, both in its sudden onslaughts of violence and its complex themes. But for those open to a challenge, this is exciting filmmaking that cements Ducournau as one to watch.
At its ripped-open heart is Rousselle's chaotic, fragmented, desperate Alexia, storming from one perplexing situation to the next, always with an eye on survival, whatever the cost. It's a performance that both captivates and repels, particularly in her harrowing interaction with surrogate father figure Vincent -- an equally tortured and compelling Vincent Lindon. Not for the faint-hearted, but for those with a hardy disposition and an open mind, it's one not to be missed.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.