“La Substance” by Coralie Fargeat, a shock film in the competition, delights the public

Second film by French director Coralie Fargeat, “La Substance”, a fantastic film in every sense of the word, shook the Croisette.

France Télévisions – Culture Editorial


Reading time: 2 min

Demi Moore in "The substance" by Coralie Fargeat (2024).  (WORKING TITLE)

After revenge in 2018, a genre film well received in several festivals, Coralie Fargeat returns through the front door, presenting in competition The substance under the American banner, with Demi Moore, Margaret Qualley and Dennis Quaid, sorry.

Screenwriter and director, the filmmaker reveals an exceptional talent in the sense of story and image, which places her in a good place to appear in the prize list.

The Cannes Film Festival has become increasingly open to genre films since the arrival of Thierry Frémaux as general delegate. However, we did not expect The substance in competition, but rather in a “Midnight Session”. Gory and violent feature film, but also with a good dose of second degree, while remaining a completed fantastic film, The substance excited a won over audience. Very reactive to the crescendo of the dramaturgy, the whole room applauded the film heartily at the end of the session.

Elisabeth Sparkle (Demi Moore), presenter of a fitness show, whose age puts her in the hot seat, is invited to try a “substance” that would allow her to perfectly improve her physique. After being inoculated, a rejuvenated double of herself is born from her body, and she becomes the darling of the channel under a new identity, Sue. But not always respecting the very strict dosage of the product, and becoming dependent on it, Elisabeth’s life turns into a nightmare.

With The substance, Coralie Fargeat reveals herself to be the worthy heir of David Cronenberg, by placing at the center of her film the subject of the body which is at the heart of the Canadian director’s films. Written with a straight line with a narrative progression that leaves no respite, and going to the end of its subject and its form, with very bloody exponential gore, The substance is the shock film of this 77e editing.

With a remarkable Demi Moore, involved in a film where we didn’t expect her, replaced by the very convincing Margaret Qualley, herself assisted by a Denis Quaid who is a pleasure to see, The substance ticks all the right boxes.

Entirely shot in France in the studio, although the film is American, it feels like Hollywood from start to finish. With its superb sets, its remarkable interpretation, its photography and its high-class special effects, The substance brings together all the assets to figure prominently among the contenders for the Best Director Award.

Gender : Fantastic
Director: Coralie Fargeat
Actors: Demi Moore, Margaret Qualley, Dennis Quaid, Hugo Diego Garcia
Duration : 2h20
Exit : shortly


You should try this new product: The Substance. IT CHANGED MY LIFE. With The Substance, you can generate another version of yourself, younger, more beautiful, more perfect… Just share the time. One week for one, one week for the other. A perfect balance of seven days. Easy isn’t it? If you follow the instructions, what could go wrong?

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