Every year, the Cannes Film Festival hosts the best gathering of movie lovers in the world. After 71 editions, the Festival still has that cool and glamorous vibe that attracts everybody and even with many changes over the decades, Cannes remains one of the few A-list festivals to offer red carpet premieres for a range of international cinema. This year, the festival starts on May 14 and goes until May 25.
And we must say: the Official Competition is just part of the story. A few major directors will compete for the Palme d´Or but many other titles will end up generating buzz through the Official Selection, Director’s Fortnight and Critics’ Week. The Cannes signature is always a great reason to explore some of the potential films that can make a lot of noise in the months ahead and cause a sensation. And in that regard, 2019 has a lot of potential. As the Cannes Film Festival will announce its lineup in mid-April, we’ve prepared our wish list with films we bet will make some noise.
Matthias & Maxime
Director: Xavier Dolan
Cast: Xavier Dolan, Harris Dickinson, Anne Dorval, Micheline Bernard and Samuel Gauthier
The Canadian director took a break from the madness of Cannes for his last film – The Life and Death of John F. Donovan – but he just might be ready to return to the festival that has always embraced him and his bold works. Details on his newest film are reduced, but what has been released hints at Dolan going a touch more small-scale and focused on a group of Canadian friends.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie
Tarantino has been part of the Cannes club since he won the Palme d’Or for Pulp Fiction and this year he’s returning to the festival with a very expected work. For all his background at Cannes, we can assume there’s surprise that his latest stylish look back at a major cultural moment will score a high-profile premiere in the Palais des Festivals. DiCaprio stars as a struggling actor who hangs his stuntman played by Brad Pitt; as if that star power alone weren’t enough to make the film worthy of anticipation, the cast also includes Al Pacino as a Hollywood agent and Robbie as Sharon Tate. Sources say that Tarantino is insisting on launching the film during the second half of the festival, confident that it will bring more energy to the competition and create even more buzz. We can’t hardly wait!
Director: Terrence Malick
Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Bruno Ganz, August Diehl
We all know that Terrence Malick likes to take his time on projects – remember that twenty-year long stretch between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line? – but in recent years his production has reached a fever pitch. Radegund was announced in 2017 and it’s a World War II drama based on the life of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian objector who refused to fight for the Nazis. The filmmaker has promised a more structured narrative than his last features, including Tree of Life and Knight of Cups. We hope Malick doesn’t change his mind and decides to take another break from Cannes.
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Richard Madden
Dexter Fletcher’s name could be seen in the credits of smash hit Bohemian Rhapsody as an executive producer, even though everyone knows he stepped in to save the production as co-director when credited director Bryan Singer left the project. But let’s consider Rocketman as his real reward. An original musical about the life and work of Elton John (Taron Egerton), early looks at the biopic don’t shy away from the more creative, crazy and even magical elements of the story. Sequences that have been shown to member of the press indicate that the work has that kind of freedom lacked in Bohemian Rhapsody, for example. The director is still wrapping up the film, which has a late May release date. Let’s see if that final push is in hopes of getting it done in time for an out of competition slot.
Sorry We Missed You
Director: Ken Loach
Cast: Kris Hitchen, Debbie Honeywood, Rhys Stone
Legendary British director, Loach has premiered 13 films in Competition over the course of his long career. But, to the surprise and consternation of many critics, has managed to win only two Palmes d’Or (for The Wind that Shakes the Barley and I, Daniel Blake – both films that typify his signature form of working-class frustration). Shot in Newcastle, Sorry We Missed You is certain to bring Loach back to the festival at a time when audiences from around the world seem to be receptive to stories about financial struggles. Kris Hitchen stars as Ricky, a man whose family has been in trouble since the 2008 recession. Ricky’s fate seems to change when he comes into possession of a brand-new van and starts working as a delivery driver, but things with his wife start to fray when their work pulls them in separate directions. Will Loach be the first person to ever win a third Palme d’Or?
The Dead Don’t Die
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Chloe Sevigny, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray
Jarmusch has been one of the most creative American filmmakers of the past 30 years, who uses his distinctive brand of storytelling and funky attitude to a range of characters both real and imagined. The story of Dead Don’t Die suggests an expansion of the supernatural backdrop that made his comedy Only Lovers Left Alive such an appealing twist on a familiar trope. The zombie movie has been done so many times that it feels like old news, but Jarmusch is such a singular director that this one sounds like a film we will rush to watch.