An adrenaline junkie crosses tracks with a motorbike stunt ring, and the rest is a bloodied history.
Director Lola Quivoron’s feature debut “Rodeo” centers on a gearhead (Julie Ledru) who gets deeper with a con artist crew of motorcyclists. The film, produced by Charles Gillibert (“Bergman Island,” “Annette,” “Personal Shopper”), debuted at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Coup de Cœur du Jury special prize.
Per the film’s official synopsis, “hot-tempered and fiercely independent, Julia (Ledru) is a gearhead who thrives in hostile environments and turns every situation to her advantage. She has a talent for scamming condescending men who think it’s cute that she shows interest in their used motorbikes and can’t fathom her riding away with gleeful abandon. Her obsession with the high-octane world of urban Rodeos, illicit gatherings where riders show off their bikes and latest daring stunts, sparks a chance meeting with a volatile clique. Julia strives to prove herself to the ultra-masculine gang by performing cons and running errands for their incarcerated ring leader, Dom. She finds a surprising connection with Dom’s wife, Ophélie (Antonia Buresi), and son, a risky move that puts a target on her back. Julia is unsure who she can trust as the ultimate heist comes down the pike.”
IndieWire’s Kate Erbland reviewed “Rodeo” out of Cannes last year, likening the fast-paced drama to “Titane,” “Fast and Furious,” and “Girlhood” in its raw passion and push for freedom. “Despite all her bristle and bluster, there’s a tenderness in Julia — first-time actor Ledru mines a staggering range of emotions and motivations to play her — that reveals itself at the most inopportune times,” Erbland wrote. “Layered beneath the grittiness of both ‘Rodeo’ and Julia, the kind of gal who literally spit-shines her own hair, an intriguing mystical current flows. Is death all that awaits someone with such patent disregard for her own life?”
Finally, per the review, “While Quivoron avoids overplaying the criminal underside of the story, there’s a growing sense that no one is getting out of this alive. But does that matter?”
Distributed by Music Box, the French-language film “Rodeo” will play as part of the New York City’s Museum of Moving Image’s First Look Festival in March before its theatrical rollout. The film premieres Friday, March 17 in New York and Friday, March 24 in Los Angeles.
Check out the trailer, an IndieWire exclusive, below.
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