HomeEntertainmentA close-up of the controversy surrounding the film after its Cannes premiere

A close-up of the controversy surrounding the film after its Cannes premiere

Biopic of Donald Trump The intern debuted Monday at the Cannes Film Festival to a packed house and reportedly received an eight-minute standing ovation — but not everyone is clapping.

The film, directed by Ali Abbasi with a screenplay by journalist Gabriel Sherman, chronicles the rise of Trump, played by Sebastian Stan (Pam & Tommy), as he navigates the cutthroat world of real estate in 1970s and 1980s New York City. His infamous mentor Roy Cohn, played by Jeremy Strong (Succession), and his first wife Ivana, played by Borat 2‘s breakout star Maria Bakalova are crucial figures in the film.

Critics are divided, with the Hollywood Reporter calling the film a “smart, sharp, and surprising origin story,” while Deadline praised Stan’s portrayal of Trump as “oddly charming.” Audiences and critics alike have also mentioned an “explosive” attack scene that has sparked debate about the film. Meanwhile, while the real Trump is in court over his ongoing hush-money lawsuit, his 2024 presidential campaign spokesman Steven Cheung went so far as to call the film “trash” and “pure fiction.”

The film was reportedly completed just days before its premiere and is already causing controversy. Here’s what you need to know.

The title is a reference to the reality competition show starring and produced by Trump himself, which aired on NBC from 2004 to 2017. The film tells the story of the former president as a real estate developer in New York, before his foray into politics. It shows Trump building his empire under the influence of Cohn, a feared lawyer who took him under his wing and who later died of AIDS-related complications in 1986, which is also highlighted in the film.

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Cohn teaches Trump how to be ruthless and ruthless in business, while the real estate mogul experiences a rocky marriage to Ivanaa pill addiction and a distant father Fred Trumpplayed by Martin Donovan.

As of Tuesday The intern had received a score of 52 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on nine reviews, and a score of 69% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 13 reviews.

Multiple media outlets called out several “explosive” scenes, including an alleged rape, erectile dysfunction and Trump receiving hair transplant surgery and liposuction. Rolling Stone described the film more as a love story between Trump and Cohn, and equated it to Frankensteinabout a mad scientist who “watches his creation turn into a monster.”

While the film is not particularly sympathetic to Trump, the New York Times said it is an attempt to “at least explain” how he became one of the most polarizing political figures in history.

In a written statement from Strong, read by Abbasi during a press conference in Cannes on Tuesday, the actor said the film offers insight into Trump’s psychology and his attacks on the media, which he said were shaped during Trump’s internship under Cohn in the eighties.

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Stan admitted that he had to “distance himself” from the current Trump to provide an authentic portrayal of his early years: “There’s a lot to see, watch and read from interviews he gave during that time,” he said .

Maria Bakalova stars as Ivana Trump.

Maria Bakalova stars as Ivana Trump, who the actress says she “fell in love” with during filming. The intern. (custom films)

Bakalova, who plays Trump’s first wife Ivana, who died in July 2022 at the age of 73, said she “fell in love with” the Czechoslovakian-born model and businesswoman, who she called “ahead of her time.”

“It’s inspiring to see someone pursuing their dreams and ambitions, driven by the idea of ​​simply making them a reality,” said the Bulgarian-born actress.

As for showing the film to the former president, Abbasi said he is more than willing to do so.

“I don’t necessarily think this is a movie he wouldn’t like,” the director said at the press conference. “I would offer to meet him wherever he wants and talk about the context of the film, have a screening and a chat afterwards – if that would be of interest to someone in the Trump campaign.”

A scene in the film shows Trump telling Ivana that he is no longer attracted to her before throwing her to the ground and sexually assaulting her in their New York apartment. The scene caused controversy at Cannes, according to Variety, with one female audience member calling it “gross.”

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In the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump, it was reported that during her divorce deposition in the early 1990s, Ivana revealed that Trump had raped her in 1989. She denied those claims in 2015, insisting the story is “completely baseless.”

Billionaire Dan Snyder, former owner of the Washington Commanders and longtime donor to Trump’s political campaigns, invested in the film and believed it would be a flattering portrayal of Trump. After watching a clip of the film in February, Snyder became “enraged” over the rape scene and began sending cease-and-desist letters to Kinematics, which produced the film, according to Variety.

However, Kinematics president Emanuel Nuñez emphasizes that Snyder was never involved in the creative aspects of the film: “All creative and business decisions involving The intern are and will always be made exclusively by Kinematics,” he told Variety.

Cheung, Trump’s campaign spokesman, said in a statement that Trump’s team plans to file a lawsuit “to address the blatantly false claims made by these so-called filmmakers.”

“This garbage is pure fiction that sensationalizes lies that have long been debunked,” he added. “This is election interference by Hollywood elites, who know that President Trump will retake the White House and defeat the candidate of his choice because nothing they have done has worked.”

Meanwhile, Abbasi remains unfazed by the threats.

“Donald’s team should wait to watch the film before suing us,” the director said at the press conference in Cannes. “Everyone is talking about him suing a lot of people. However, they don’t talk about his success rate.”

From now, The intern does not have a U.S. distribution deal, according to the New York Times. However, the film was sold at Cannes to StudioCanal, which will release the film in the UK and Ireland later this year.

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