Mia Wasikowska's new movie Club Zero premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday
The world premiere of Mia Wasikowska's new movie left some audience members grossed out.
Wasikowska, 33, stars in the new movie Club Zero, which premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival Monday and features a sequence in which a teenager makes herself vomit her dinner back onto her plate then eats the regurgitated food in front of her parents.
A number of audience members at Monday's screening could be heard audibly reacting to the scene. One viewer was heard asking, "Is it over yet?" while others gasped and nervously laughed their way through the scene. Afterward, the movie received a five-minute standing ovation.
Club Zero featured a disclaimer at the screening's start that offered a trigger warning for disordered eating and featured a note in its end credits that said no actors lost weight to film the movie.
A dark satire, Club Zero stars Wasikowska as Miss Novak, who "joins the staff of an international boarding school to teach a conscious eating class" and "instructs that eating less is healthy," according to an official synopsis.
"The other teachers are slow to notice what is happening and by the time the distracted parents begin to realize, Club Zero has become a reality," the synopsis adds.
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In a director's note included within the film's press kit for the festival, Austrian director Jessica Hausner wrote that the film is meant to question how parents can stay up to date on what is happening at their children's schools when they "have neither the time nor the means to."
"We live in a meritocracy that makes us work increasingly more ... [the movie] is set in a boarding school to emphasize the dependency of parents on teacher," Hausner wrote in the director's note. "In our society, teaching is often badly paid and not valued enough, yet it should be a highly respected job and paid accordingly."
Hausner added that "the idea of eating very little was prevalent" among her peers when she attended an all-girls Catholic school in the 1980s.
"We would only chew on sugar-free gum and were disgusted by a girl who ate an egg sandwich during break," she wrote. "Secretly, we admired her because she didn't care about what we thought. It was an interesting dynamic."
Wasikowska, who made her U.S. onscreen debut in HBO's In Treatment in 2008 and went on to star in movies like Alice in Wonderland (2010), told IndieWire in March that she is "pretty content" following her departure from Hollywood for her native Australia after working in the industry since she was a teen.
"If I can have the best of both worlds, which is dip in and out of it occasionally, I'd be really happy, but I wouldn't ever be in that place where I was just on a treadmill," she told the outlet.
"I want to do more things in life other than be in a trailer," she added. "It's great, and there are lots of great things, [but] the perception of it is quite different from the reality, and it didn't suit me as a person. You can really lose perspective because you're treated quite strangely. When that's your only reality, it's quite strange."
The 2023 Cannes Film Festival runs through May 27 in Cannes, France.
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.
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