The 76th annual Cannes Film Festival is just one month and three days away. The world’s most famous film festival runs May 16th-27th this year. Here are the competition films. More to come of course but first the big ticket films that will hog the mainstream attention …or “mainstream” by way of a tony art festival that is… from the competition slot. And the other films that could prove high profile from the other most talked-about section (usually) “Un Certain Regard”….
OPENING NIGHT FILM (OUT OF COMPETITION)
Jeanne Du Barry (Maïwenn) France
Johnny Depp stars as King Louix XV but the titular character is played by Maïwenn (The Fifth Element) herself, Jeanne, a courtesan who scandalizes King Louis’ court. The supporting cast includes French cinema regulars like Melvil Poupaud, Pascal Greggory, Noémie Lvovsky, and Benjamin Lavernhe. This is Depp’s first French-speaking role though of course he’s had ties to France for many years via his former marrage and children with French star Vanessa Paradis…
19 films have been announced and usually a film or two is added after the initial announcement but for now, one of these films will go down in history as the next Palme d’Or winner. Sweden’s Ruben Östlund is the jury president this year. He has won the Palme D’Or twice with Triangle of Sadness (2022) and The Square (2017) which both went on to find Oscar favor.
Last year’s Official Competition had 21 films, 3 of which (Close, EO, Triangle of Sadness) went on Oscar nominations and 5 in total which were submitted to the Oscars for Best International Feature Film (Boy From Heaven, Close, Decision to Leave, EO, Holy Spider, Nostalgia), 1 which just hit US movie theaters nearly a year later (Showing Up) and 1 more that’s about to (The Eight Mountains)
About Dry Grasses (Nuri Bilge Ceylan) Turkey
Ceylan is back with another one of his three hour movies that Cannes juries almost always love. The new one is about a young teacher hoping to get a gig in Istanbul after mandatory duty in a small village.
Anatomy of a Fall (Justine Triet) France
Justine Triet (Sybil) is back with a drama about the prime suspect in a murder and her blind son, the sole “witness” to the murder
Asteroid City (Wes Anderson) US
We already discussed the trailer. Can’t wait!
Banel & Adama (Ramata-Toulaye Sy)
A drama about a young Senegalese couple and their disapproving village.
La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher) Italy
She should have won the Oscar for her short La Pupille earlier this year but she’s back in May in France with a new feature about a group of archaeologists and the black market for artifacts. The cast includes Josh O’Connor, Isabelle Rossellini, Alba Rohrwacher, and Luca Chikovani
Club Zero (Jessica Hausner) Austria
Mia Wasikowska stars in this thrller about a teacher at an elite school. From the director of Little Joe, Amour Fou, and Lourdes
Fallen Leaves (Aki Kaurismäki) Finland
Kaurismaki (Le Havre, The Man Without a Past) is back with his first movie in six years
Firebrand (Karim Ainouz) UK
One of Brazil’s best directors (Futuro Beach, Invisible Life) has an English language costume drama starring Jude Law and Alicia Vikander as Henry VIII and his wife Catherine Parr
Four Daughters (Kaouther Ben Hania) Tunisia
A follow up to her breakout picture (and Oscar nominee) The Man Who Sold His Skin
Last Summer (Catherine Breillat) France
The Parisian provocateur of Fat Girl and Anatomy of Hell fame is back with her first film in ten years. Last Summer stars Lea Drucker as a brilliant lawyer in a torrid affair with her stepson
May December (Todd Haynes) US
One of TFE’s all time fav auteur returns to his early muse! This one is about a woman (Julianne Moore) and her husband (Charles Melton) who scandalized the nation twenty years earlier given their age difference and the actress (Natalie Portman) who comes to visit who will be making a film about their past.
Monster (Hirokazu Kore-eda) Japan
We don’t know what this one’s about yet but we love to see the Shoplifters team reunited.
The Old Oak (Ken Loach) UK
A drama about a dying mining town and the last remaining pub there.
The Passion of Dodin Bouffant (Tran Anh Hung)
The auteur behind The Scent of Green Papaya directs French movie stars Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel in this story of a cook and a gourmet
Perfect Days (Wim Wenders)
Rapito (Marco Bellochio) Italy
A kidnapped Jewish boy is converted to Catholicism in the 19th century in the latest from Bellochio (The Traitor, Good Morning Night)
The Sun of the Future (Nanni Moretti) Italy
He won the Palme d’Or 22 years ago with The Son’s Room. Can he return to former glories?
Youth (Wang Bing) China
The Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer) UK/Poland/US
This one is about a Nazi office falling in love with someone in an Auschwitz concerntration camp. Glazer only makes about one movie a decade (Sexy Beast, Birth, Under the Skin) but they’ve all been incredible, so…
OUT OF COMPETITION
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (James Mangold) USA
Harrison Ford returns for one final outing as everyone’s favourite archaeologist/adventurer
Cobweb (Kim Jee-woon) South Korea
South Korea’s most ubiquitous movie star Song Kang-ho (Parasite, Broker, Snowpiercer, etcetera etcetera etcetera) headlines this dramedy that’s also a film within a film.
The Idol (Sam Levinson) US
The new TV series co-written and co-starring The Weeknd.
Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese) US
The legendary auteur is back with his current muse Leonardo DiCaprio for a crime drama set in the 1920s involving the FBI investigation around murders of the Osage Tribe. Robert DeNiro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, John Lithgow, and Brendan Fraser co-star.
UN CERTAIN REGARD
This program doesn’t get as much attention but it’s still high profile and year after year there are gems that people argue SHOULD have been in the main competition if Cannes weren’t so beholden to ‘paying your dues’ and the older “masters”.
The Breaking Ice (Anthony Chen)
The acclaimed Singaporean director behind Ilo Ilo, Wet Season is back with a 20something triangular drama
The Burito Flower (Joao Salaviz and Renee Nader Messora) Portugal
The Delinquents (Rodrigo Moreno) Argentina
Goodbye Julia (Mohamed Kordofani) Sudan
Hopeless (Kim Chang-hoon)
How to Have Sex (Molly Manning Walker) UK
If Only I Could Hibernate (Zoljargal Purevdash) Mongolia
A drama about a teenage boy who wants to win a scholarship and his illiterate mother
Les Meutes (Kamal Lazraq)
A father/son drama about a kidnapping gone wrong
The Mother of All Lies (Asmae El Moudir)
The New Boy (Warwick Thornton) Australia
A story about a 9 year old Aboriginal orphan and a renegade nun
Omen (Baloji Tshiani)
Rosalie (stephanie Di Giusto) France/Belgium
About a bearded lady attraction
The Settlers (Felipe Galvez) Argentina
A drama about a journalist after the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris
Simple Comme Sylvain (Monia Chokri) Canada
A comedy about the romance between a wealthy woman and a manual worker
Terrestrial Verses (Ali Asgari & Alireza Khatami) Iran/Canada
Acide (Just Philippot) France
A separated family has to escape an ominous cloud and acid rain. Guillaume Canet and Laeititia Dosch star
Kennedy (Anurag Kashyap) India
Omar La Fraise (Elias Belkeddar)
Bonnard, Pierre, and Marthe (Martin Provost) France
The love story between painter Pierre Bonnard and his wife Marthe
Closed Eyes (Victor Erice)
The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) auteur returns for his first film in many years about an actor who disappears after falling into the sea only to return years later with no memory of his previous life
Kubi (Takeshi Kitano) Japan
Time to Love (Katell Quillevéré) France
A hotel waitress and young mother (Anais Demoustier) has an affair with a rich student (Vincent Lacoste)
WHAT HAPPENED TO?
Some titles that don’t appear in the initial list that were rumored (perhaps they aren’t finished and we’ll see them at Venice/Toronto?) include The Beast (Bertrand Bonello), The Bikeriders (Jeff Nichols), The Holdovers (Alexander Payne), Ia Capitano (Matteo Garrone), Just the Two of Us (Valerie Donzelli) France, The Perfumed Hill (Abderrahmane Sissako) Mauritania, Poor Things (Yorgos Lanthimos) Greece, Red Island (Robin Campillo) France