Cannes 2022: How Jessica Chastain Played Donald Trump’s Sister

There’s nothing like a big cameo in the second half of a movie to make a wilted festival audience sit back up in their seats. On Friday at the Cannes Film Festival, I watched “EO,” an art film about a Polish donkey that somehow, in its final act, makes room for a psychosexual cameo from a cutlery-tossing Isabelle Huppert. (When it comes to cinematic jolts, Huppert provided a most welcome espresso shot.)

Still, the cameo that turned the most heads on the Croisette came during the premiere on Thursday night of “Armageddon Time,” the new film from James Gray (“The Immigrant,” “Ad Astra”) about a troublemaking 11-year-old from Queens named Paul whose parents (Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Strong) decide to send him to private school. On his first day at the strict institution, Paul runs smack-dab into the Trump family: Donald’s father, Fred Trump (John Diehl), is there to introduce the students to Donald’s sister Maryanne, an assistant U.S. attorney who will be speaking at their assembly.

A murmur went through the Cannes crowd when the film revealed who’d be playing Maryanne: Yes, that was our newly crowned best actress Oscar winner Jessica Chastain, who donned stiff hair, big gold earrings and a purple pussy-bow blouse for her monologue lecturing the children of the private school on the evils of handouts and the merits of hard work.

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