When we meet Julia (Julie Ledru), this feral loner demonstrates her predatory nature by conning a hapless seller out of his motorcycle. But when she crashes a local “rodeo”—a high-octane, higher testosterone underground motocross circuit where brash bikers one-up one another—it’s apparent that she’ll need to raise her game all the more. After employing her guile to tenuously insinuate herself in this cut-throat clique, she must deliver something showstopping if she’s to stick around. As it so happens, she has an idea for an audacious heist.
Ledru brings a gunslinger’s bearing to Lola Quivoron’s adrenaline-charged film, which is shot in Western-indebted CinemaScope by Raphaël Vandenbussche. Drawing from childhood memories of illicit motocross competitions in her Paris suburb, Quivoron captures both the exhilaration and peril associated with these machines when their full power is unleashed. And while Rodeo boasts tour-de-force stuntwork, its character dynamics are equally transfixing: Julia has entered a world in which every encounter is as perilous as hairpin turn.
Award: “Coup de coeur” Prize, Cannes 2022 (Un Certain Regard)
Tickets for all Vancouver International Film Festival screenings at the Rio Theatre are managed through VIFF, and can be made in advance via their ticketing service at www.viff.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the box office; or any VIFF venues subject to availability.
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