Cannes (AP) – If you go beyond the jubilation at the end of the film, the winner of the Palme d’Or is already certain: “Titane”, only the second feature film by Julia Ducournau.

After all, the Frenchwoman presents a savage tour de force, challenges her audience in a number of ways, and speaks of a self-confident young killer – there is actually good reason to award “Titane” the highest prize at the 74th. International Film Festival Saturday evening. . In addition, Ducournau could then make history, since the Palme d’Or has only been awarded once to the work of a director.

The center of interest of “Titane” is Alexia. If a man becomes too arrogant for her, she sticks her sharp hairpin in his ear and in his head. Others who get in his way are also killed. After sleeping with (exactly: with!) A car, she becomes pregnant, and to escape the police, she poses as the son of a long-missing fire chief. The feminist horror film “Titanium” provokes and shocks with its story and its images, which is precisely why it stands out in this year’s competition.

In the palm tree contest with 24 entries, however, there are also other favorites for the main prizes. Interestingly, however, it wasn’t established filmmakers like Paul Verhoeven, Nanni Moretti, François Ozon, and Leos Carax that generated the most enthusiasm. Instead, “The Divide” was also recalled: another directorial film. Frenchwoman Catherine Corsini responds to protests from yellow vests for more social justice and sends remarkable Valeria Bruni Tedeschi into the chaos of a hospital emergency room in the lead role. “The Divide” is full of anger and energy, full of empathy and humor – an exciting mix.

Several other films were also highly rated by critics. The Moroccan contribution “Casablanca Beats” by Nabil Ayouch succeeds in showing the grievances against which young people must fight through a musical project. American Wes Anderson, meanwhile, praises his attention to detail and star-studded journalistic tribute “The French Dispatch”, while Iranian Asghar Farhadi’s “A Hero” asks questions about morality and guilt. . With “Petrov’s Flu”, on the other hand, Kirill Serebrennikow presents a feverish and associative frenzy of images of post-Soviet Russia.

More touching, however, are two other films that delve into the world of the younger generation and aptly capture their attitude towards life. In “Paris 13th arrondissement”, Jacques Audiard, who has already won a palme d’or for the refugee drama “Demons and miracles”, focuses on young people from a wide variety of backgrounds in crisp black and white images. In a Parisian district they meet, fall in love and separate, rearrange.

Norwegian Joachim Trier got involved with his protagonist in an even more coherent way. With great sensitivity, he recounts in several chapters Julie, 30 years old, who is looking for her place in life. Work, partner, parents, these are all subjects that concern them and with which many viewers can identify. Will it also please the international jury around the American director Spike Lee? In any case, this award ceremony will be a novelty: Lee is the first black president of the Cannes jury to award a palme d’or.