This week, the 75th Cannes Film Festival kicks off, and there’s a lot for cinephiles to be excited about. After a somewhat low-key 2021 installment and an outright cancellation of the festival in 2020, thanks to the pandemic, this year’s lineup sees the prestigious festival returning to full strength with a slate of films from some of cinema’s most significant filmmakers, as well as some under the radar gems by rising stars.
Along with new films from auteurs like David Cronenberg, Kelly Reichardt and Hirokazu Kore-eda, this year’s selections also feature some Hollywood heavy-hitters, like “Top Gun: Maverick” and Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” biopic. No matter your taste in film, this year’s festival has something for you. Here are the films we’re most looking forward to coming out of Cannes.
Crimes of the Future
It was clear from the first few frames of the Crimes of the Future trailer that Cronenberg returned to his body horror roots. As an undisputed innovator of the genre (with classics like Scanners, The Fly, and Videodrome to his name), Cronenberg’s newest effort imagines a future in which “as the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations.” Cronenberg already predicted audience walkouts within the first five minutes of his new film, so this might not be for the faint of heart.
Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby) returns to Cannes with his out-of-competition biopic starring Austin Butler as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. In Elvis, the story of Presley’s life is told from the perspective of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (a nearly unrecognizable Tom Hanks), and their complex, 20-year business partnership. A film almost 10 years in the making, Elvis will see a wide release following its Cannes premiere this June.
Master of understatement and alienation, Reichardt reunites with indie powerhouse A24 for her new feature, Showing Up. Teaming up for her fourth collaboration with muse Michelle Williams, who took center-stage in Reichardt’s previous films Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff and Certain Women, Showing Up follows “an artist on the verge of a career-changing exhibition” who finds inspiration in the chaos of life.
One of the more star-studded entries in this year’s festival (with a cast featuring Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Strong, among others), James Gray’s “Armageddon Time” is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of 1980s Queens. As a follow-up to his interstellar, sci-fi epic Ad Astra, Gray’s film, which marks his fifth trip to Cannes, looks to be a more down-to-earth (no pun intended) personal exploration of the “strength of family and the generational pursuit of the American Dream.”
On his last trip to Cannes, Japanese filmmaker Kore-eda’s Shoplifters walked away with the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or. This year, his South Korea-based drama Broker features characters revolving around baby boxes, which “allow infants to be dropped off anonymously to be cared for by others.“ Featuring Parasite’s Song Kang-ho and Kore-eda’s recent Air Doll collaborator Bea Doona, the early buzz indicates another Palme d’Or could be in the cards.
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Top Gun: Maverick
It wouldn’t be the Cannes Film Festival without a few Hollywood films that don’t seem to fit the prestigious screenings. The festival famously invites these big-budget films (EDtv, The Da Vinci Code, X-Men: The Last Stand) to screen out of the competition to drum up some buzz for the films, and, hey, having those A-list celebrities walk the red carpet doesn’t hurt the festival’s reputation either. The early reviews from critics have been surprisingly strong, with the AV Club calling it “a remarkable effort in an extraordinary film.” But are we the only ones who think the new Top Gun film actually looks… awesome?
Though we might not all currently be in the south of France ready for a movie marathon, keep your eye out for these exciting films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Whether you’re a lover of music biopics, Tom Cruise’s star-wattage, or subdued films studying artistic breakthroughs, this year’s celebration of cinema seems to have a selection for all film lovers.
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