Anora: Sean Baker’s Sex Worker Dramedy Scores Big (Top Winner, Cannes Film Fest 2024)

Baker’s Sex Worker Dramedy ‘Anora’ Scores

(From L) US producer Sean Baker, Russian actor Mark Eydelshteyn and US actress Mikey Madison arrive for the screening of the film "Anora" at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 21, 2024. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP) (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
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Sean Baker’s Anora, a touching dramedy in which a sex worker falls in love with the son of a Russian oligarch, energized Cannes Fest with lengthy standing ovation.

As the crowd applauded, the indie maverick director said, “Thank you to the Cannes Film Festival for making dreams come true … And also thank you to all of you for coming out and seeing our film on the best screen in the world. Long live cinema!”

The audience erupted into cheers numerous times during the film, including in one wild scene in which the oligarch’s associates raid his son’s mansion.

Her luck changes when she meets Vanya (Mark Eydelshteyn), the son of a Russian oligarch, who takes her on a week-long bender in Vegas during which the two get married.
But when Vanya’s parents find out, the two find themselves being tracked down by Russian gangsters, who attempt to get them to annul the marriage.
Both Madison and Eydelshteyn deliver standout performances, balancing witty dialogue (in two languages) with plenty of sex scenes and awkward new-love feel, which makes their connection palpable.
Baker’s smart screwball comedy, which is set in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, offers commentary on issues of class, privilege and the wealth divide.
Baker at Cannes Fest
Baker is now the major chronicler of the often invisible American underclasses.
He has been a Cannes regular in recent years. The Florida Project, a look at a mother and her young daughter living on the economic margins, played in the 2017 edition of the festival.
He then returned in 2021 with Red Rocket, the story of a porn star who comes back (or at least tries) to his hometown in Texas.
The Florida Project was sold to A24 out of Cannes and went on to earn a Supp. Actor Oscar nomination for Willem Dafoe.
Red Rocket was also released by A24 and earned several critics prizes and nominations for Baker and star Simon Rex, recipient of the Best Actor kudo from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
This time, Neon, the indie studio behind the Oscar winners “Anatomy of a Fall” and “Parasite,” is handling distribution duties on Anora.

Baker walked the red carpet, as did members of the film’s ensemble, which includes Yuriy Borisov, Karren Karagulian and Vache Tovmasyan.

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