The already controversial Donald Trump origin story hits Cannes - and the Trump campaign has vowed to sue. What – or who – turned young real-estate executive Donald Trump into the tangerine menace who just refuses to go away? This is the question that drives Ali Abbasi’s English-language debut – a conventional but compelling biopic scripted by journalist Gabriel Sherman, which focuses on the formative years of the man who would one day worm himself into the White House. We meet The Donald (Sebastian Stan) in a Manhattan club, where he attempts to impress his date by listing some of the guests there.

He’s awkward, out-of-his-depth, and crippled with daddy issues, struggling to make a name for himself in the world of real estate. In other words, he’s in dire need of guidance. That comes when he is summoned to the table of Roy Cohn (Jeremy Strong), a ruthless lawyer and cutthroat fixer who is amused by Trump.

“I like this kid – I feel sorry for him.” Cohn takes him under this wing, fostering a disciple and mentor dynamic, and imparts the three golden rules to live by – because “everybody wants to suck a winner’s cock.” Rule 1: Attack, attack, attack.

Rule 2: Admit nothing, deny everything. Rule 3 (the most important rule): Claim victory and never admit defeat. All sound a bit too familiar for comfort? Thus begins an odd couple chronicle that lays the foundations of an empire built on lies and deception.

Cohn helps Trump and his heartless real estate bar.

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