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Sebastian Stan receives a standing ovation at Cannes as Trump in 'The Apprentice'

Sebastian Stan receives a standing ovation at Cannes as Trump in 'The Apprentice'


Even in Cannes, it's hard to avoid Donald Trump.

“The Apprentice,” the story of the 45th and possibly 47th president’s early years as a real estate developer, received an eight-minute standing ovation Monday. It's probably safe to assume that the film festival audience isn't MAGA-heavy, so it helps that “The Apprentice” paints a searing portrait, focusing on Trump's relationship with Roy Cohn, the McCarthy-ite lawyer and fixer who took an interest in the “Donald” before he was a household name.

Sebastian Stan (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”) plays Trump, Jeremy Strong (“Succession”) plays Cohn and Maria Bakalova (“Borat 2”) plays Ivana Trump, the thrice-married president's first wife. Ali Abbasi, the Iranian-Danish filmmaker behind “Border” and “Holy Spider,” is directing the film from a script by Gabriel Sherman, a journalist who has covered the Trump White House, as well as Fox News and its founder Roger Ailes. The title is a nod to the NBC series that helped revitalize Trump's career and public image after he endured a series of business setbacks and bankruptcies.

Abassi was so delighted with the response that his tuxedo shirt came loose from his pants as hers jumped up and down, saluting the rafters. “There is no nice metaphorical way to deal with fascism,” the director said. “It’s time to make movies relevant. It’s time to make cinema political again. »

The film is certainly explosive. It portrays Trump as a fighter, who falls under Cohn's influence as he struggles to deal with a Justice Department racial discrimination lawsuit over how his family real estate business treats black applicants for his complex. 'apartments. There is a lot here that should upset Trump and his supporters. He is depicted raping Ivana, abusing amphetamines to lose weight (and then having his stomach pulled out with a hair implant hunter), and making deals with underworld figures to make the Trump Tower can move forward as planned. He also fails to pay his bills and makes a bad bet at a Jersey City casino (so much the worse for “The Art of the Deal”). There's also a scene where Cohn grabs Trump's leg suggestively under the table, which might not play as well in the Mar-a-Lago screening room.

Stan, Bakalova and Abbasi walked the red carpet, but Strong was not present. He's currently appearing on Broadway in a Tony Award-nominated revival of “Enemy of the People” and couldn't leave the show to go to Cannes. However, he made an appearance via a shirtless photo on Abbasi's phone during the standing ovation.

“The Apprentice” premieres as Trump is running for president again, with polls showing him with a lead over President Biden in a majority of key states. The film is seeking a domestic distribution deal and is considered one of the most exciting projects available to buyers.




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