Please try to process today’s Emilia Perez buzz about how mindblowing it is and what a wild and wonderful genre ghoulash it is and so on…regard all that gush-gush blather with a grain of salt because the huge raves are coming from your Cannes Film Festival cultists, which is to say a secular critical mob composed of two co-existing social-focus groups — the woke whoo-whoo gay brigade along with straight critics who are terrified of not sounding like honorary members of said organization.

Emilia Perez is certainly a nervy big-swing movie, and I’m certainly giving it points for this…it’s not an altogether fascinating film but is certainly one that fascinates from time to time…it’s up to something fairly novel in a wackazoid sort of way, and in my book there aren’t enough films of this sort so I’m definitely giving portions a solid pass.

To make things extra clear this is not a pan but a “yes, a good and sometimes applause-worthy film but y’all need to calm down” review.

I was turned on and rather lit up during the first…oh, 35 or 40 minutes, which is when you’re initially realizing that Jacques Audiard‘s film is a few things mashed together…(a) an “all hail the emotional glory of becoming trans and forsaking coarse male attitudes and behavior” soap opera, (b) a tasty Pedro Almodovar-styled musical by way of Dancer in the Dark, (c) a Mexican cartel crime drama (but not a “crime comedy”) that actually only glances at the world of the cartels and particularly the cartel psychology, and (d) one of those crazy stories that’s impossible to believe in but you’re stuck there and watching it so what the hell…go with it.

But after Audiard decides to jettison that feeling that all grade-A films impart, that feeling that says what you’re watching is reflecting a primal, no-bullshit understanding of human behavior that most of us have picked up along the way…once Emilia Perez detaches itself from the world that many of us know and understand, it becomes more and more off-the-planet, which is to say unhinged and wackazoid. But in a way that fleetingly reminds you at times of the mood of ’80s and ’90s Pedro films.

The musical aspects are quite delightful at first…confident, well-choreographed and snazzily delivered until it all goes around the bend at the 40-minute mark, give or take.

Zoe Saldaña, now in her mid 40s, is frustrated and despairing Mexico City attorney Rita Moro Castro. She’s hired by a major cartel monster called Manitas Del Monte (played by transitioned biomale Karla Sofia Gascon) to help him facilitate a final transition into womanhood.

Which right away feels like bullshit. No Mexican drug lord would think “yeah, I need to become a woman and commune with my gentler, more tender and nurturing side”…no way in hell. The macho crust on those psychos is permanent and corroded and damn near terminal. The concept is just absurd.

So it was actually early when I stopped feeling delighted and started to become Don Logan in an emotional or mental-capacity sense….”all right, what’s this?…oh, here come the honorary gay brigade by way of a cooler-than-shit French director with an idea that will inspire druglord fantasies of shooting up mutiplexes when Emilia Perez opens commercially…the idea of a richer-than-Cresus druglord who figures that hiring an Israeli surgeon to chop his dick off and give him bouncy boobs is a viable plan when it comes to scenarios about disappearing from the Mexican drug scene….yeah, that works!”

It’s really crazy, Audiard’s film…”instantly divisive”, as Variety‘s Peter Debruge has admitted…long and nutso and all over the map in an emotionally supportive, left-progressive, let’s-put-an-end-to-coarse-Mexican-machismo fashion.

The good part is that it renounces and condemns ugly male machismo, but it also rejoices in the rebirth of a drug lord after he transitions to female realm…c’mon! It’s feisty and flourishy at first but once the transition occurs it stops being a believable story and you’re left saying “good heavens, bruh…this is turning wacko and I’m pulling back for safety’s sake because I don’t trust this shit.”

But the Salle Debussy crowd whooped and cheered when it ended. It’s right up the trans woke pro-women, anti-brutalist alley….let’s all link arms, girls, and get rid of these toxic ayeholes! An idea, by the way, that HE completely supports in a gay-brigade-meets-Don Logan sort of way.

From David Rooney’s Hollywood Reporter review: “It’s highly probable that some will find the film too changeable to feel cohesive.”

HE to Rooney while channeling Steve Martin‘s “Neal Page” in Trains, Planes and Automobiles: “Do ya think so???

By the way: Selena Gomez plays Jessi, wife of Del Monte and mother of their two kids. She’s devastated when the news media falsely reports that he’s been killed, but we’ve also been informed early on that Juan has been undergoing standard pre-transition hormone therapy for two years. Are you telling me Gomez hasn’t noticed any changes in her husband over the last 24 months? Hard to believe.

Debruge explains;