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The Top 30 Cannes films we're most looking forward to

  • TroisCouleurs
  • 2024-05-10

Spoiled for choice? Here is our pick of eagerly awaited watches in the 77th Cannes Film Festival, with American actress and director Greta Gerwig chairing the Official Competition jury this year. Follow our daily coverage from May 14 to 25 on and on our social networks.

The Other Way Around by JonásTrueba (Directors’ Fortnight)

For several years now, the Spanish director (of the sunny tale The August Virgin, 2020; the vertiginous docu-drama Who's Stopping Us?, 2022) has established himself as the heir to the Nouvelle Vague. His minimalist films fascinate by capturing the inner turmoil of his characters, and bringing to the surface flowing reflections on love, friendship, our modes of communication and our desire to rebel. In The Other Way Around, he follows "a couple [...] in the middle of breaking up". The cast includes two of the filmmaker's regulars: the ever-perfect Itsaso Arana (actress, director and, incidentally, his partner) and Vito Sanz. - J. L.

Queens of Drama by Alexis Langlois Critics’ Week (Special Screening)

In 2019 Alexis Langlois was celebrated on the cover of TROISCOULEURS for the distinctively outrageous, devastating queer edge of his short films. Now we look forward to Queens of Drama, his first feature, which tells the story of Steevyshady (Bilal Hassani), a 65-year-old YouTuber and fan of 2000s teenage idol, singer Mimi Madamour (Louiza Aura). In a video he confesses to having dragged Mimi through the mud because he couldn’t accept her past romance with singer Billie Kohler (Gio Ventura), and wants to make up for it by telling their story. Also cast in this exuberant love story: Asia Argento and Alma Jodorowsky. - Q. G.

Ghost Trail by Jonathan Millet Critics’ Week Special Screening Opening film)

After a number of enlightening short political films – notably And Still We Walk On (Et toujours nous marchons, 2017), which follows the complicated journey of Simon, an undocumented immigrant in Paris – the French filmmaker continues his exploration of marginal life and contemporary geopolitical issues with his first feature-length work of fiction, Ghost Trail.  Deserting the streets of Paris, he sets his story in Strasbourg, and takes on the obsessions of his hero, Hamid, a member of the Yaqazaunit (a secret organization that pursues war criminals in Europe), who sets out to track down his former tormentor. A haunting, intriguing tale. - J. C.

Eat the Night by Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel (Directors’ Fortnight)

Presented by Julien Rejl, Artistic Director of the Directors' Fortnight, as their "Ready Player One", the new feature from enfants terribles Jonathan Vinel and Caroline Poggi (Jessica Forever, Best Secret Place) takes us to a digital no-man's-land: Darknoon, a heroic fantasy video game soon to be wiped off the map. We follow both the encounter between Pablo, a small-time drug dealer from the provinces, and Night, a young man with a singular demeanor, and the story of Apolline, Pablo's little sister, who is dealing with the termination of the game. The digital visions are as extraordinary as they are melancholy. - Q. G.

Bird by Andrea Arnold (Official Selection – Competition)

In 2016 she electrified the Cannes Film Festival with American Honey (Jury Prize). After a stint in documentary film making with the heartbreaking Cow (2022), she returns to fiction in English climes with Bird, starring Barry Keoghan and Franz Rogowski. The film is set in a squat in North Kent, where a young father is raising his two children single-handedly. One of them, approaching puberty, seeks attention and adventure elsewhere. A story in the coming-of-age tradition, which the director excels in. - T. Z.

All We Imagine as Light by Payal Kapadia (Official Selection – Competition)

The young Indian makes a sensational debut at Cannes with her first feature film, in which she tells the story of a nurse caught up in an arranged marriage, who discovers a mystical rainforest where her dreams come true. Far from being a stranger to Cannes, the filmmaker received The Golden Eye Documentary Award at the 2021 Cannes Festival for her first documentary, A Night of Knowing Nothing, a stunning film essay in which she evoked her years as a student. Formal audacity and a fierce desire for utopia: this is what is promised by her presence in the Competition. - L. A.-S.

Apprendre by Claire Simon (Official Selection – Special Screening)

Her talents as a documentary filmmaker are beyond question: Notre corps (Our Body), a breathtaking plunge into the heart of a public hospital's gynecological department, blew us away in 2023. Naturally, we can't wait to discover Apprendre, presented at Cannes in a Special Screening. With its evocative title (“Learning”), this documentary focuses on the teaching profession, continuing the powerful and meticulous study of the school environment that Simon began in 1998 with Récréations (The title of which means “Playtime,” and which is centered on kindergarten children), then resumed in 2018 with Young Solitude (revealing the secrets of high school students). - C. B.

The Balconettes by NoémieMerlant (Official Selection – Midnight Screening)

Ever since Mi iubita, mon amour (2022), a small directorial miracle telling the story of the whirlwind love affair between a bride-to-be and a young man from the Roma community, we have known that NoémieMerlant is a director of genius. She intends to prove it once again with The Balconettes, co-written with Céline Sciamma. This horrific comedy tells the story of three women locked in an apartment in the middle of a Marseille heatwave, before finding themselves at the heart of a terrifying affair. Farewell to the Éric Rohmer-style light-hearted summer movie, roll on genre movies and female roommates. - L. A.-S.

Being Maria by Jessica Palud (Official Selection – Cannes Première)

In her previous projects, the director of Revenir (2020) focused on hypersensitive, tormented souls.  For her first official selection, she again tells the story of a broken trajectory: that of Maria Schneider (the brilliant Anamaria Vartolomei), known for her role in the scandalous Last Tango in Paris (1972) by Bernardo Bertolucci – whose assistant Jessica Palud was on The Dreamers (2003). It was on this toxic set that the brilliant actress, who died in 2011, endured a traumatic experience, which thrust her unwittingly into the heart of a scandal that scarred her for life. This film is intended to rehabilitate her invaluable point of view. - J. L.

The Shrouds by David Cronenberg (Official Selection – Competition)

Rumor has it that this will be the Canadian director's most personal film to date. After Crimes of the Future (in Competition at Cannes in 2022, but that was left without a prize), the master of body horror tells the "story of a prominent businessman [...] inconsolable after the death of his wife", who develops "a revolutionary, controversial system [...] that allows the living to connect with their loved ones in their shrouds". Mourning and death inform the latest works of this filmmaker of genius, who appears to be using fantasy to exorcize memories of the painful death of his wife in 2017. - J. L.

Ernest Cole by Raoul Peck (Official Selection – Special Screening)

"A portrait of Ernest Cole (1940-1990), South Africa's first black freelance photographer during the apartheid era.” This synopsis has the merit of being short, simple and effective, thus very much in keeping with Raoul Peck's precision and intelligence (Lumumba, presented at the Directors' Fortnight in 2000; I Am Not Your Negro, 2017; and more recently the bold miniseries Exterminate All the Brutes, broadcast on Arte in 2022). Passionate about history, particularly that of persecution, the Haitian filmmaker brings to light forgotten destinies– and always reveals the political charge underlying this collective amnesia. We look forward keenly to seeing how he applies this powerful method in this new documentary. - J. L.

Grand Tour by Miguel Gomes (Official Selection – Competition)

The Portuguese filmmaker is taking part in the Official Selection for the first time, following stints in the Directors' Fortnight for his ambitious Thousand and One Nights trilogy (2015) and a lock-down film (The Tsugana Diaries, co-written with Maureen Fazendeiro, in 2021). In this Grand Tour, shot in the four corners of Asia (the Philippines, Singapore, China, Japan...), the peerless storyteller returns to the beautiful black and white of his sublime Taboo (2012) to tell the story of a woman who sets out in search of her fiancé – a British Empire official who fled on their wedding day in 1917. - J. L.

Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point by Tyler Taormina (Directors’ Fortnight)

We first discovered Tyler Taormina with the sensitive Ham on Rye (2021), an impressionistic teen movie abounding in ethereal short stories about coming of age. We hope to find that highly distinctive style again in this new feature, which has all the makings of an acerbic Christmas tale: "The four generations of the Balsano family are reunited in the family home for what could be their last Christmas Eve together", reads the synopsis. The cast includes Francesca Scorsese (whose TikToks with her filmmaker father we adore) and, as seen in the first visuals, Michael Cera sporting a beard – that's already good enough for us. - Q. G.

Oh, Canada by Paul Schrader (Official Selection – Competition)

Richard Gere plays Leonard Fife, a documentary filmmaker who fled to Canada in the late 1960s to escape the Vietnam War. On the verge of death, now an acclaimed filmmaker and a prominent left-wing figure, he grants an interview to one of his disciples, Malcolm MacLeod (Jacob Elordi). Paul Schrader has announced that the film will be a scattered, fragmented mental puzzle, like his thriller Mishima (1985), thus piquing our curiosity. - L. A.-S.

Anora by Sean Baker (Official Selection – Competition)

After the high-octane Red Rocket, about a has-been porn actor obliged to return to their native Texas, the American director (Tangerine, The Florida Project) returns with this rom-com starring Mikey Madison, which follows the trajectory of a sex worker between New York and Las Vegas. A great lover of outsider characters and endearing anti-heroes who embody the lackluster side of capitalist America, Sean Baker promises to take us on a journey through a disenchanted, neon-strewn cityscape – the film was shot in 35 mm, to better recreate the aesthetics of the seventies. - L. A.-S.

Caught by the Tides by Jia Zhang-ke (Official Selection – Competition)

The great Chinese filmmaker, who hasn't been to Cannes since 2018's Ash is Purest White, returns with a new grand fresco that spans twenty-five years, starting in the 2000s. QiaoQiao (Zhao Tao, actress in all his films, and his wife) and Guao Bin are in love, but their story isn't so smooth. When Guao Bin decides to leave for another province, QiaoQiao sets out to find him. For this project, announced as very ambitious, the director started from rushes amassed during the creation of his previous films, as a means of revisiting his filmography, as much as the history of a changing China. - Q. G.

Misericordia by Alain Guiraudie (Official Selection – Cannes Premiere)

After a detour via Clermont-Ferrand for Nobody’s Hero, a sweeping film about the paranoia of our times, the French director of Stranger by the Lake turned his camera on his native Aveyron, to shoot this metaphysical thriller about a man in his thirties who returns to his village to attend the funeral of an old friend. He is confronted by rumors and suspicion, until he commits an irrevocable act and finds himself at the heart of a police investigation. Cast: Catherine Frot, Felix Kysyl, Jean-Baptiste Durand, Jacques Develay and David Ayala. Bonus: Claire Mathon's brilliant camerawork- L. A.-S.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga by George Miller (Official Selection – Out of Competition)

Nine years after the tornado of Mad Max: Fury Road, a spectacular sci-fi account of environmental collapse, will George Miller's prequel rock the Croisette? There is every reason to believe so. Anya Taylor-Joy plays Furiosa in her youth, trying to escape an armed band of bikers led by Warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth). Warrior vengeance, very dusty car chases and a political subtext about female emancipation are what is expected from this post-apocalyptic blockbuster. - L. A.-S.

Visiting Hours by Patricia Mazuy (Directors’ Fortnight)

After the explosion of Bowling Saturne in 2022, her brutal, desperate thriller that examined toxic masculinity head-on, Patricia Mazuy (Saint-Cyr, Sport de filles) changes registers with what looks, according to the synopsis, like an unexpected buddy movie. Alma, who lives alone in a big city house, and Mina, who lives far away in the suburbs, meet in the visiting room of a prison where their respective husbands are being held. We already know that with Isabelle Huppert and Hafsia Herzi in the lead roles, sparks are bound to fly. A new Thelma et Louise? - Q. G.

Spectateurs! by Arnaud Desplechin (Official Selection – Special Screening)

The director returns to the early years of his alter ego Paul Dédalus, a recurring character in his work since My Sex Life... or How I Got into an Argument (1996), who, with each new film, undergoes an existential crisis befitting his age. This new autofictional opus tells the story of his hero's initiation into cinema, first as a spectator, then as a film buff, and finally as a filmmaker. Mathieu Amalric plays Paul Dédalus as an adult, while his younger version is played by Milo Machado-Graner (the revelation of Anatomy of a Fall, see p. 48). This all promises to be an exciting meta treasure hunt. - L. A.-

In His Own Image by Thierry de Peretti (Directors’ Fortnight)

Born in Ajaccio, Corsica, Thierry de Peretti continues to probe the island's collective memory in his sweeping, tragic films Les Apaches, Une vie violente... In this new work, loosely based on Jérôme Ferrari's novel of the same title, he tells the story of 38-year-old photographer Antonia, who has just died in a car accident on a Corsican road in the middle of summer. In fragments, the filmmaker tells us about her friends, her love affairs and her activism, interwoven with the major events in the island's political history. A vast generational fresco. - L. A.-S.

To Live, To Die, To Live Again by Gaël Morel (Official Selection – Cannes Premiere)

With its fiery red poster reminiscent of the one advertising Cyril Collard's Savage Nights, the latest film by Gaël Morel (3 Dancing Slaves, Après lui), whose sensitivity and sense of romance we have always loved, takes us back to the 1990s and the peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Victor Belmondo, ThéoChristine and Lou Lampros portray a ménage à trois affected by the virus. The question posed by the synopsis ("When you're told you're going to die, and medicine ends up saving you, how do you welcome the new life?") suggests that the film will address the arrival of multitherapies. - Q. G.

The Substance by Coralie Fargeat (Official Selection – Competition)

In 2018 we adored her first feature film, Revenge, for its excess and visual audacity, its ultra-badass heroine, and above all, its astounding final scene – a claustrophobic, ten-minute chase in a bloody corridor, which clearly demonstrated the immense talent of the French filmmaker. Six years on, we are looking forward, to say the least, to seeing her back in competition with The Substance, a film shot in the US with Demi Moore, about which little is known at present, other than that it's a bloody body horror movie. - J. R.

Megalopolis by Francis Ford Coppola (Official Selection – Competition)

Francis Ford Coppola's return to the Official Competition at Cannes has been eagerly awaited ever since it was announced. Carried by a five-star cast (Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Zendaya, Cate Blanchett...), this immense film follows an idealistic architect, who attempts to rebuild a megalopolis – bearing a close resemblance to New York – after a disaster. His noble project is rejected by the mayor, who opts for a classic reconstruction strategy, full of concrete and corruption. Will this post-apocalyptic odyssey against an ecological backdrop win the American filmmaker a third Palme d'Or? - E. A.

On Becoming a Guinea Fowl By Rungano Nyoni (Official Selection – Un Certain Regard)

We first spotted her in 2017 with a powerful debut feature, I Am Not a Witch, about an almost mute little girl accused of witchcraft by members of her village in Zambia, selected for the Directors' Fortnight. The Zambian director (who emigrated to Wales at the age of 9) returns to the official selection, in the Un Certain Regard category, with On Becoming a Guinea Fowl, about which nothing is known for the time being, other than the astonishing title. We have no doubt the bird will be given memorable status. - T. Z.

Image : © Atelier de Production, Agat Films - Ex nihilo

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