Anora Review


Anora is the latest film from Sean Baker, which stole the show at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival as an almost unanimous crowd pleasure and winner of the coveted Palme D’or.

The film follows exotic dancer Ani, who meets Vanya, the son of a Russian oligarch and forms an unlikely connection and romance. Unfortunately, not everyone in Vanya’s life agrees with the pairings and things soon start to unravel with the looming threat of Vanya’s parents arriving in New York.

Mikey Madison is a tour de force in the lead role of Ani. Able to code-switch elegantly between seductress and vulnerable young woman, she carries the film with ease, demanding the cameras attention.

Anora Review

Surrounding her for the film are Mark Eydelshteyn as Vanya, and Yuri Borisov, Karren Karagulian and Vache Tovmasyan as the trio of men entrusted in dealing with the young couple’s whirlwind romance. The comedy stylings of Borisov, Karagulian and Tovmasyan launch the film in a completely different direction and the fight sequences that ensue between them and Ani within the film account for some of the best and most hilarious fight choreography of the year.

A witty and scathing script propels the film along, but it’s at its best when it knows to sit in the silence, and Baker’s direction particularly shines here with the framing of Igor (Borisov). Baker’s strong hand manages to consistently flip audience expectations and allegiances – we go from judgemental, cautious to caring, to cheering along and all the way back up and down again through the films 139 minutes, which flies by far quicker than many films half its length.

Matched with an invigorating soundtrack and dynamic editing, Anora is impossible to take your eyes off of and hard to forget. Baker has long been working within the stories of sex workers with films like The Florida Project and Red Rocket, both of which received wide acclaim, and Anora feels like the culmination of this work. If the audience and critic reaction out of Cannes this last fortnight is anything to go by, Anora has all the makings of a classic hit.

Where to Watch

Anora | May 21, 2024 (France) 7.7


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