After last year’s scaled-down affair amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 74th Cannes Film Festival is finally starting after being postponed from May to July. This year, 24 films will be in the running for the Palme d’Or, which will be decided by a jury chaired by Spike Lee, the first black person to hold this position. Here is the list of the 24 films in competition.
“Annette” by Leos Carax, France: Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard play a glamorous celebrity couple whose lives are turned upside down by the arrival of their first child.
The first film in a decade by author Carax is also the first in English by the eccentric French spirit behind arthouse favorites “Holy Motors” and “The Lovers on the Bridge”.
“The French Dispatch” by Wes Anderson, United States: Cinephiles can never get enough of Anderson, and his latest original trinket can be counted on for more obsessive sets and plans, 20th century nostalgia, family disharmony and Bill Murray.
Plus, it offers more megastars in Anderson’s Menagerie in the form of Timothée Chalamet and Benicio Del Toro, and a setup featuring foreign correspondents in France that’s likely to play well with critics at Cannes.
“Benedetta” by Paul Verhoeven, The Netherlands: From “Robocop” to “Basic Instinct” and “Starship Troopers”, Dutch director Verhoeven has always distinguished between the garish schlock and the cinematic genius. Her last tale tells a love story in a 17th century convent, with Virginie Efira and Charlotte Rampling.
‘Flag Day’ by Sean Penn, USA: Star actor Penn goes behind the camera again for a film about a con artist whose daughter struggles to come to terms with her choice of profession. Penn stars alongside his own daughter Dylan, as well as Josh Brolin.
“A Hero” by Asghar Farhadi, Iran: Iranian director Farhadi has worked in several languages but is returning to his homeland for his latest, details of which are scarce. He’s won awards everywhere, including Oscars for “A Separation” and “The Seller,” which also won Best Screenplay at Cannes.
“Tout s’Bien Passe” (“Everything went well”) by François Ozon, France: with French stars Sophie Marceau and Charlotte Rampling, prolific and eclectic French director François Ozon tells the story of a woman whom his father asked to help him die.
“Tre Piani” (“Three floors”) by Nanni Moretti, Italy: Exactly 20 years after winning the Palme d’Or with “La Chambre du Fils” and nine years after chairing the main jury in Cannes, Moretti is back with its first- ever adaptation of a novel, which looks at three families who live on three different floors, in three chapters.
“Titane” by Julia Ducournau, France: starring veteran French actor Vincent Lindon, “Titane” is the second feature film after “Grave” by horror film specialist Ducournau, which she would have written in six weeks between two COVID-19 blockades.
“Red Rocket” by Sean Baker, USA: Independent filmmaker Baker’s comedy-drama features Simon Rex as a pornstar who returns to his hometown of Texas, where he is unwelcome and hopes to build on success of “The Florida Project”.
“Petrov’s Flu” by Kirill Serebrennikov, Russia: An alcoholic stroll of a cartoonist and his friend in post-Soviet Russia brings back childhood memories that merge with the present. Serebrennikov is unable to attend Cannes due to a criminal conviction, widely seen as punishment for his political views.
“France” by Bruno Dumont, France: the daring director adapts a novel by Charles Péguy, killed in World War I, updating it to retrace the disgrace of a great television reporter in contemporary France.
“Nitram” by Justin Kurzel, Australia: After a successful adaptation of “Macbeth” with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and a less successful adaptation of the video game “Assassin’s Creed”, the Australian director takes a look at the events leading up to mass from Port Arthur. shootout in Tasmania that led to gun control reforms.
“Memoria” by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand: Tilda Swinton stars in the director’s slow-burning directorial debut in English. It comes 11 years after winning the Palme d’Or for the dreamlike film “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives”. Shot in Colombia, “Memoria” follows a Scottish horticulturalist as she tries to understand strange sounds at night.
“Lingui” by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad: Located in the suburb of N’Djamena, “Lingui” tells the story of a teenage girl whose unwanted pregnancy puts her in conflict with the traditions and the law of her country. Haroun lives in France, but most of his films were produced in his homeland of Chad, which he left during the unrest of the 1980s.
“Paris 13th arrondissement” by Jacques Audiard, France: Audiard won the Palme in 2015 for “Dheepan”, but is best known abroad for “Le Prophète” and “De la rouille et des bones”. His latest is based on three graphic novels by American author Adrian Tomine and takes place in a mixed neighborhood of Paris. It features four young people who are sometimes friends, sometimes lovers, sometimes both.
“The Restless” by Joachim Lafosse, Belgium: with Leila Bekhti and Damien Bonnard, the film tells the story of a couple stressed by the character of Bonnard suffering from bipolar disorder, and who do their best to protect their child.
“The Divide” by Catherine Corsini, France: two decades after the entry of her film “Replay” in Cannes competition, Corsini returns with a drama about a couple trapped in a besieged hospital during a violent Parisian demonstration inspired by the movement of Yellow vests.
“The Worst Person in the World” by Joachim Trier, Norway: A film about love and its complications, the latest from Trier concludes an accidental trilogy of Oslo-based films exploring exclusion and isolation. It tells the story of Julie, who is 30 years old and looking for answers in a new relationship, but who is disappointed with reality.
“Hytti No 6” (“Compartment No 6”) by Juho Kuosmanen, Finland: Two foreigners – a Finnish woman and a gloomy Russian – share a train compartment that winds up to the Arctic Circle in a road movie set against the backdrop of the Soviet Union of the 1980s. Kuosmanen hopes to follow the success of his charming and low-key boxing film, “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki”.
“Casablanca Beats” by Nabil Ayouch, France-Morocco: Ayouch shakes the suburbs of Casablanca with a film about young people seeking an outlet through hip-hop in a disadvantaged neighborhood made infamous in 2003 after a group of local young people radicalized carried out suicide bombings in the city.
“Ha’Berech” (“Ahed’s Knee”) by Nadav Lapid, Israel: After winning awards in Locarno, Cannes and Berlin for his first three films, Lapid explores two battles led by an Israeli director, one against death of freedom and the other against the death of a mother, both doomed to failure.
“Drive My Car” by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Japan: An aging, widowed actor looking for a driver ends up hiring a 20-year-old woman. Things go wrong between them at first, but then a special relationship emerges.
“Bergman Island” by Mia Hansen-Love, France: A couple of American directors spend a summer in Faro, the windswept Baltic island that inspired Ingmar Bergman. Reality and fiction start to fade over the weeks.
“A Felesegem Tortenete” (“The Story of My Wife”) by Ildiko Enyedi, Hungary: starring Frenchwoman Léa Seydoux, who appears in three of the films in competition this year, Enyedi’s film starts with the bet of a captain I will marry the first woman who enters. This follows Enyedi’s Golden Bear victory in Berlin in 2017 for “On Body and Soul”.