Anora Review


The most recent film of the American director, Sean Baker, about sex trade has been well received at Cannes Film Festival thus, it could be his first commercial success after a series of good opinion towards his past works.

Some filmmakers are known for heroic movies while others are known for cowboy films but Sean is known for films on commercial sex workers. They are always realistic and funny leading to Tangerine (2015), The Florida Project (2017) and Red Rocket (2021) that have won big critical acclaim as well as cult following despite not making much money in cinemas. Anora, which is the latest film by Baker, is earthier than ever before hence may not change this record but it’s an R-rated screwball comedy that could easily appeal to a larger audience than what its title suggests and maybe get an award during today’s closing ceremony of Cannes where it premiered two days ago.

If nothing else does, this will surely catapult Mikey Madison who recently starred in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) and the rebooted Scream (2022), into fame – proving her capabilities here. Her character as Ani is epitome of a twenty-something brooklyn stripper who speaks with thick mustard-based accent and has so much charisma that her customers deem her witty remarks more alluring than her sexual services. Of course, given a chance Sean would establish such a club; dingy, dirty with explicit services being offered instead of cleaner more glamorous yet prudish clubs common on TV shows. However unlike crime thriller dives these ones aren’t scary at all as everyone involved just seems happy doing their job.

That being said though they wouldn’t mind pocketing some extra cash on the side. So one night at work when Vanya comes in with his friends company boss wants Ani to become close to him because she can speak Russian which she does herself . As he gets treated like a king, Vanya asks to pay her so she can have sex with him at his house and that does not really sound like such a bad idea since he is a lively friendly goofball resembling the skinny younger brother of Timothée Chalamet

Actually, Vanya happens to be an heir of oligarchs whose parents are out of country in US and their son is spending all their money here. Unlike Richard Gere’s character in Pretty Woman who is less believable version of him, this guy wants Ani to be his girlfriend for one week while she instead has fun as he hosts druggy parties and flies private jets filled with his pals, all the way down to Las Vegas. For some time now you might think Anora is a raunchy rom-com but trust me when I tell you that it’s better if you know none about what follows except for the fact that Roman tries to send his henchmen from Russia.

Whoever has high blood pressure should not watch Anora, even though it brims with vitality and great moments of hilarity. It is a mad farce in which everybody is stressed, and not just one person. The misadventures carried on for about 20 minutes too long for Baker. Towards the end of the film’s two-and-a-quarter hours, you get the creeping sense that maybe he did not know how to wrap up the story, so he continued including scenes hoping it would work.

What saves Anora from turning into an ordeal is a little bit of unexpected tenderness and Ani’s dynamite character who remains relentlessly upbeat, fearless and aggressive all through it. At what point do three tough Russians keeping her away from Vanya make you pity them? Its closeness to reality is also sustained in this movie whether it be providing us with a pictorial guide of Coney Island or reminding viewers about how ridiculous levels of entitlement come with being super-rich: What makes Baker’s comedy saddest always turns out to be its truth in that there are certain people who by virtue of privilege are incapable of caring for others. However, if Vanya’s family does not want anything to do with Ani anymore then that is their loss.” Bring on the sequel”.

Watch Anora For Free On Gomovies.

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