‘Megalopolis’: The 5 Most WTF Moments From Francis Ford Coppola’s Sci-Fi Epic

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers for Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis,” which premiered at Cannes Film Festival on May 16.

The wait is over: Francis Ford Coppola’s sci-fi drama “Megalopolis” has finally premiered at Cannes Film Festival, shocking and dividing critics.

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The film, a $120 million epic starring Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza, Giancarlo Esposito and Shia LaBeouf, was financed by Coppola himself — and has yet to secure a distributor in the United States. Regardless, the movie earned a 7-minute standing ovation from Cannes, as Coppola hugged Driver and Esposito and delivered an emotional speech dedicating the film to hope and family.

Variety chief film critic Peter Debruge wrote in his review that the film “is positively awe-inspiring in some places and an absolute eyesore in others, until you pull back and try to take it all in.” Though reactions have been mixed, the film was undoubtedly jam-packed with scenes that ranged from visionary to just plain puzzling.

Below, read about the five craziest moments in “Megalopolis.”

MAGA LaBeouf

In “Megalopolis,” LaBeouf plays the enfant terrible of a banking dynasty — one who sleeps who sleeps with his relatives, galvanizes the 99% with fear and takes pride in his superficiality. Imagine young Connor Roy with a rattail and Kendall’s love of drugs. In the end, the rebellious poor population of Coppola’s fictional city expose him for the false god he is. Literally strung up by his toes in his final moments on screen, an angry mob pelts him with anything they can find. The last object hits him in the gut. It’s a red baseball cap which reads “Make America Great Again.”

City of Sisterly Love

For some reason, the children of bank overlord Hamilton Crassus III (Jon Voight) have a penchant for incest. Clodio (LaBeouf), and his sisters, one of which is played by Chloe Fineman, allude to having sexual relations with each other and even demonstrate some of this during their father’s wild circus-themed wedding to Wow Platinum (Aubrey Plaza). How this serves the plot remains unclear.

Sexy Auntie Wow

After Wow married into the Crassus fortune, she makes it her goal to take over the bank and give it to her true love, Driver’s Cesar. But in order to do that, she seduces LaBeouf’s Clodio, insisting he call her “Auntie Wow” as they do the deed. This leads into a several minute scene in which Clodio performs cunnilingus as she cuts off his rattail. Romantic!

Virgin Suicide

Coppola grounds his mind-numbing plot with something any American relate to — a monolithic pop girlie. Viral “America’s Got Talent” winner Grace VanderWaal, who won that competition with sweet ukulele songs at age 12, plays Vesta Sweetwater. A culture-dominating singer who also plucks a small string instrument, this character is all grown up and has an insidious gimmick: she’s a virgin saving herself for marriage, and the nation gets behind her purity. Funny, because that’s the name of the hit single she performs at the “Megalopolis” version of ancient Rome’s Colosseum. The rich donate hundreds of millions on the spot to “help support her pledge.” Except after her performance of “Purity,” LaBeouf’s character arranges the broadcast of a deepfake sex tape starring VanderWaal and Driver’s character. She is shamed and ripped off stage as Driver’s character is arrested for statutory rape. Not the best era in her career.

Hard Times for Jon Voight

Variety previously reported that one of the most jaw-dropping moments at an early buyers screening was a scene involving Voight, Plaza, LaBeouf and a hospital bed erection. We can confidently report the same was true for the Cannes premiere. Clad in a leopard blanket, Voight indeed shows off what looks to be an unseemly “boner,” in his own words. It’s revealed to be a miniature bow and arrow, which has fatal consequences for one of his scene partners. The other gets an arrow in each ass cheek: Beware the side effects of Viagra in the Coppola Cinematic Universe.

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