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CANNES 2019

Cannes’ door starts to creak open

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- We present a report on the most persistent rumours one week away from the unveiling of the Official Selection of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival

Cannes’ door starts to creak open
Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach

Who will be clambering over the ropes to enter the competition of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival (14-25 May 2019), besides The Dead Don’t Die [+see also:
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 by US director Jim Jarmusch, whose presence as the opening movie was officially announced yesterday? Will this year see a crunch match between several filmmakers who already have at least one Palme d’Or in their possession, a clutch of hopefuls who have already set their sights on the most prestigious trophy in the global film industry, and a batch of ambitious newcomers to this dizzying level? Exactly one week away from the unveiling of the Official Selection by Thierry Frémaux on Thursday 18 April, the rumours are starting to fly all over the shop. They are occasionally contradictory, but certain trends have begun emerging. Nevertheless, there are some predictions that we should take stock of with a pinch of salt, as so far, only half of the titles in competition will receive an official invite, and many movies may still be awaiting the choices of the Official Selection in order to potentially position themselves as entries in the parallel sections on the Croisette, or even in favour of other major festivals set to unspool later in the year.

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Four flicks helmed by filmmakers who have previously been awarded at Cannes may well make it into the competition. Young Ahmed [+see also:
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 by Belgium’s Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Sorry We Missed You [+see also:
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Q&A: Ken Loach
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 by the UK’s Ken Loach might enable their respective directors to become the first ever to take home three Palme d’Or gongs in the history of the festival. That is, unless US filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, with Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, and his fellow countryman Terrence Malick, with A Hidden Life, join them in the private club of the nine directors previously doubly crowned with the top prize at Cannes. 

A few Cannes sure-fire hits are also being talked about in the best-informed betting circles, with Pain & Glory [+see also:
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 by Spaniard Pedro AlmodovarMatthias & Maxime by Canada’s Xavier DolanSaturday Fiction by China’s Lou Ye (provided the censorship authorities in his country give him the green light) and Parasite by South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho. These may well be joined by Oh Mercy! [+see also:
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 by France’s Arnaud DesplechinThe Traitor [+see also:
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 by Italy’s Marco BellocchioIt Must Be Heaven by Palestine’s Elia Suleiman (see the article) and a film still without a confirmed title by Filipino helmer Brillante Mendoza, for good measure.

Among the possible fresh faces to be featured in the Cannes competition are France’s Céline Sciamma with Portrait of a Lady on Fire [+see also:
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, her fellow countrywoman Justine Triet with Sibyl [+see also:
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, Austria’s Jessica Hausner with her English-language feature Little Joe [+see also:
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, young Russian prodigy Kantemir Balagov with The Beanpole [+see also:
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, and even Romania’s Corneliu Porumboiu with The Whistlers [+see also:
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 and the USA’s Ira Sachs with Frankie [+see also:
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. A huge buzz is also currently being generated around Atlantique [+see also:
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, the feature debut by Mati Diop.

Among the outsiders, we could cite such titles as Echo by Iceland’s Runar RunarssonMartin Eden by Italy’s Pietro Marcello, not to mention Bacurau [+see also:
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interview: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juli…
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 by Brazilian duo Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, plus As Long as the War Lasts by Spaniard Alejandro Amenábar. Another movie tipped for inclusion, Ema by Chile’s Pablo Larrain, may eventually end up not being able to take part owing to a very recent purchase by Netflix (although this information is not 100% verifiable – and is incidentally being denied by certain sources – given the level of confidentiality the platform demands of its partners), and the French film The Truth by Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda will allegedly not be ready. However, the biggest mystery surrounds how far Malmkrog by Romania’s Cristi Puiu has progressed through the post-production stage.

Other hopefuls for a spot in the Official Selection apparently still include La Llorona by Guatemala’s Jayro BustamenteUn monde plus grand by France’s Fabienne BerthaudAn Easy Girl by her fellow countrywoman Rebecca ZlotowskiOur Lady of the Nile by Afghanistan’s Atiq RahimiEden by Hungary’s Agnes Kocsis (see the article), Technoboss by Portugal’s João Nicolau and Reborn by Israel’s Yaron Shani. Neither should we underestimate the chances of the documentary The Cordillera of Dreams by Chile’s Patricio GuzmanGloria Mundi by France’s Robert Guédiguian (see the article) and the feature debut Les Misérables [+see also:
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by his fellow countryman Ladj Ly.

Also still up in the air with a possible final destination of Un Certain Regard are Port Authority by the USA’s Danielle LessovitzIl sindaco del rione Sanità by Italy’s Mario MartoneAgainst All Enemies by Australia’s Benedict AndrewsUn fils by Tunisia’s Mehdi M Barsaoui and Papicha [+see also:
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 by Algeria’s Mounia Meddour, while the batch of out-of-competition titles is being fed by the rumours hovering around Rocketman [+see also:
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 by the UK’s Dexter FletcherFair and Balanced by the USA’s Jay RoachThe Personal History of David Copperfield by Scotland’s Armando Iannucci (see the news), The Specials by French duo Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, and The Best Years of a Life [+see also:
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 by their fellow countryman Claude Lelouch. Also worth pointing out in the mob of contenders still in the running for the Official Selection are The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao by Brazil’s Karim AïnouzLa Femme de mon frère by Canada’s Monia Chokri, and the French efforts Fête de famille by Cédric Kahn (see the article), Cuties by Maïmouna Doucouré (see the article) and Camille by Boris Lojkine (see the article).

As for the Directors’ Fortnight, besides opening duties, which have already been entrusted to Deerskin [+see also:
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interview: Quentin Dupieux
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 by Quentin Dupieux (see the article), bandied about time and time again are the names of titles such as Alice and the Mayor [+see also:
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 by France’s Nicolas PariserJoan of Arc [+see also:
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 by his acclaimed fellow countryman Bruno Dumont and Song Without a Name [+see also:
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 by Peru’s Melina León. However, the list of hopefuls still awaiting a definitive response could apparently be even longer and is so dependent on the competition on the Croisette and domino theory that it is difficult to safely say any more about it with any degree of certainty. A few surprises may not be entirely out of the question either, with new talents such as Under the Concrete by Lebanon’s Roy Arida

Meanwhile, the Critics’ Week may welcome films such as The Unknown Saint [+see also:
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 by Morocco’s Alaa Eddine Aljem and I Lost My Body [+see also:
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 by France’s Jérémy Clapin, which would therefore be representing animated cinema on the Croisette, a genre that is also pinning its hopes on The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily by Italy’s Lorenzo Mattotti (see the news).

Now all that’s left to do is "place your bets" before the verdict arrives on 18 April during the Paris-based press conference that will see Thierry Frémaux unveil the identities of the chosen few in the Official Selection and the list of contenders for the 2019 Palme d’Or, which will be handed out by a jury chaired by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu (see the news).

(Translated from French)

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