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Karim Aïnouz’s Motel Destino – 2024 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 9

Karim Aïnouz’s Motel Destino – 2024 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 9

One of the favorited Brazilian filmmakers of the Cannes film festival with Madame Satã (2002), O Céu de Suely (2006), and winner A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão having all premiered at the fest’s Un Certain Regard section. Adding Special Screening selected Mariner Of The Mountains (2021) and last year’s Firebrand, Karim Aïnouz makes a quick Croisette return with Motel Destino. Iago Xavier, Nataly Rocha and Fábio Assunção are in the lead roles here in this film noir.

Gist: The neon-hued Motel Destino, a roadside sex hotel steaming under the burning blue skies of the northeastern coast of Brazil, is run by hot-headed Elias and his restless younger wife Dayana. The unexpected arrival of 21-year-old Heraldo, on the run after a botched hit, disrupts the established order. As the tropical noir plays out, loyalties and desires intertwine to reveal that destiny has its own enigmatic design.

Current temperature: A genre item for the competition, this good news is this will have played better than last year’s Firebrand but it nonetheless didn’t win over the majority of our jury folks. With half of our critics weighing in we are looking at an average of 2.5 overall.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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