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Mikey Madison Is Getting Rave Reviews For Her ‘Unforgettable’ Movie Star Performance In Sean Baker’s ‘Anora’

mikey madison

Fans of FX’s Better Things have known for years that Mikey Madison was destined to become a star. Well, her movie star moment has arrived.

The actress, who also appeared in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 2022’s Scream, is receiving rave reviews for her performance in Neon’s Anora, the latest film from Red Rocket and The Florida Project director Sean Baker. Madison plays a Brooklyn-based sex worker who “gets her chance at a Cinderella story when she meets and impulsively marries the son of an oligarch. Once the news reaches Russia, her fairytale is threatened as the parents set out for New York to get the marriage annulled,” according to the official film synopsis.

Anora received a 10-minute ovation following its Cannes Film Festival premiere, with Madison’s performance seeming to “spark the most reaction from the afternoon crowd,” Deadline reported.

The reactions on social media confirm that suspicion. “Mikey Madison is phenomenal in ANORA. Equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious, she delivers a confident, razor sharp turn that slowly transforms into a complex, deeply layered performance, perfectly balancing her character’s turmoil with expert comedic timing. A star is born,” @thisisnotahmad wrote on X. @filmwithyas added, “A complete powerhouse display from Mikey Madison.”

Below, you can find reviews of Anora.

Wendy Ide for Screen Daily:

Mikey Madison is a revelation as Anora, a feisty exotic dancer and sometime escort who, after a whirlwind week of partying, finds herself married to Ivan (Mark Eydelshteyn), the son of a Russian oligarch.

David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter:

As a character, played by Mikey Madison with a sweetness that humanizes even the most transactional situations and a defensiveness that makes her dangerous when threatened, Anora, who goes by Ani, stands alongside the defiantly resilient protagonists of Baker’s last handful of films, from Starlet and Tangerine through The Florida Project and Red Rocket.

Peter Debruge for Variety:

With a wispy, little-girl voice like Dakota Johnson’s and the cat-fight intensity of Tura Satana (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!), 2022 Scream actor Madison surprises as Ani. Working where she does, her character has every reason to be cynical, and yet, Ani still believes in true love, even if Ivan hardly seems deserving of her faith. Beneath her sparkling hair tinsel and butterfly nails, she’s smart and resourceful, representing in this one unforgettable character the ambitions and obstacles of centuries of sex workers.

David Ehrlich for Indiewire:

Anchored by a Brooklyn accent big enough to hear from Queens, and protected behind the chainmail of a “fuck you, pay me” attitude brash enough to print on a t-shirt and sell to tourists, Madison’s performance fills in the broad strokes of its signifiers with a pointillistic degree of lived-in detail.

Mikey, your time is now.

Anora does not have a release date yet.