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Apr 18 2019

Cannes Competition Lineup

by Nathaniel R

This year's poster features Agnes Varda climbing on an assistant for a shot.The lineup for the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival has been unveiled.19 films will compete for the Palme d'Or and 16 films will compete in the secondary lineup Un Certain Regard (we'll get to those in a bit) though those numbers might expand should they add a couple more entries to either program.They usually do that after the official unveiling.Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman) and Lebanon's Nadine Labaki (Capernaum) will preside over the Competition and Un Certain Regard juries,respectively.


These films are the ones gunning for the Palme d'Or.There are four female directors in the competition lineup and two black directors both of which are way more than usual at Cannes...

Pain and Glory,Pedro Almodovar (Spain)
A film director reflects on his life and choices.Lots of returning Almodóvar alum including Antonio Banderas,Penelope Cruz,Cecilia Roth,Raúl Arévalo,and Julieta Serrano as well as newbies like the gorgeous Leonardo Sbaraglia (fromWild TalesandBurnt Money).Almodóvar has won for Screenplay (Volver) and Direction (All About My Mother) at Cannes but he's never taken the Palme d'Or.

The Traitor,Marco Bellocchio (Italy)
A biopic of the 1980s mafia informant Tommaso Buscetta.Pierfrancesco Favino stars.Bellochio has had several films in competition over the years but he has yet so win a major prize.Closes he came was "Special Mention"forMy Mother's Smile(2002)

Wild Goose Lake,Yinan Diao (China)
A crime drama from the director ofBlack Coal,Thin Ice.This is his first time in competition though he's been in Un Certain Regard before.

Parasite,Bong Joon-ho (South Korea)
The popular Korean director (Okja,Snowpiercer) is back with the story of an unemployed family who become caught up in an unexpected incident.

Young Ahmed,The Dardenne Brothers (Belgium)
Luc and Jean-Pierre nearly always win something at Cannes.They're back with a story about a teenager embracing an extremist interpretation of the Quran and plotting to kill his teacher.It's the shortest film in competition at just 84 minutes.

Oh Mercy!,Arnaud Desplechin (France)
His last Cannes titleIshmael's Ghostsdidn't go over so well.When will he give us something as brilliant asKings and QueenorA Christmas Taleagain?The new film is about a police investigation into the murder of an old woman.

Atlantique,Mati Diop (France/Senegal)
This is a debut feature from the French/Sengalese actress/director,so it'll be in competition for the Camera d'Or as well.She's the first black female filmmaker ever selected for the competition.

Matthias and Maxime,Xavier Dolan (Canada)
Can you believe Dolan has made 8 features already?The French Canadian directorjustturned 30 years old.His last couple of films were...(let us forget all about them!) so we're hoping he bounces back with something great likeMommyorTom at the Farmagain.Dolan calls this one a "film on friendship,made with and amongst friends"

Little JoeJessica Hausner (Austria / Germany / UK)
The Austrian filmmaker's latest is English language and a sci-fi picture about a genetically engineered plant causing uncanny changes in other living creatures.Lots of familiar British actors in this one including Ben Whishaw,Lindsay Duncan,Emily Beecham,and Kerry Fox.

Sorry We Missed You,Ken Loach (UK)
About a working class family struggling in modern-day England.The 82 year old filmmaker has won the Palme d'Or twice already withThe Wind That Shakes the Barley(2006) andI,Daniel Blake(2016).

Les Miserables,Ladj Ly (France)
This is a debut feature from a Black French director so it's also eligible for the Camera d'Or.It's not a costume drama like most films with this title,heheh.We assume it's an expansion ofthis short film of the same name,about a young man in an anti-crime brigade.

A Hidden Life,Terrence Malick (US/Germany)
This was the film formerly known asRadegundand it's the longest film in the competition (3 hours).It stars August Diehl as Franz Jägerstätter,a conscientous objector who refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II.Other famous European stars in the film include Matthias Schoenaerts,Jürgen Prochnow,Bruno Ganz,Alexander Fehling,and Michael Nyqvist.We really hope this is a great opportunity for Diehl who always delivers but is best known stateside as one of the Nazis inInglorious Basterds.

Nighthawk,Kleber Mendonca Filho,Juliano Dornelles (Brazil)
Another sci-fi picture (who'da thunk we'd get two in the Cannes lineup?),this one from the terrific director and the production designer (who is now the co-director) behindAquarius(2016) which we all loved so much.Sonia Braga returns and Udo Kier is also in the cast.

The Whistlers,Corneliu Porumboiu (Romania)
Another film from the reknowned director ofPolice Adjective,12:08 East of Bucharestand more.Vlad Ivanov,who was so memorably sinister in4 Months,3 Weeks and 2 Daysstars.Supposedly this one is a comedy.

Frankie,Ira Sachs (US)
Sachs has been on such a roll (Love is Strange,Little Men) so we have high hopes for his latest,a drama about a single day on vacation in Portugal.The cast is amazing: Isabelle Huppert,Marisa Tomei,Brendan Gleeson,Jérémie Renier,Pascal Greggory,and Greg Kinnear.

The Dead Don't Die,Jim Jarmusch [OPENING NIGHT FILM]
A zombie comedy with returning Jarmusch thespians Tilda Swinton,Adam Driver,and Bill Murray as well as Selena Gomez,Danny Glover,and Chloe Sevigny.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire,Céline Sciamma
Her last film,Girlhood,was sensational and she also wrote that beautiful animated filmMy Life as a Zucchini.Her new film is a historical drama about a woman painting another woman's wedding portrait at the end of the 18th century.Valeria Golina,Adèle Haenel,and Noémie Merlant star.

It Must Be Heaven,Elia Suleiman (France/Canada)
The Palestinian filmmaker travels to different cities,so he's also the star?It's a comedy apparently.

Sybil,Justine Triet (France)
A jaded psychotherapist returns to her first passion,writing.The film stars Virginie Efira,Adèle Exarchopoulus,and Gaspard Ulliel.This is Triet's first time in competition at Cannes but she's received three César nominations to date,for her two earlier features.


Rocketman,Dexter Fletcher (UK)
The Elton John biopic will definitely have a glitzy premiere on the Croisette.

The Best Years of Life,Claude Lelouch (France)
Monica Bellucci,Anouk Aimée,and Jean-Louis Trintignant star.

Maradona,Asif Kapadia (UK)
A documentary about the 1980s soccer player Diego Maradona.

La Belle Epoque,Nicolas Bedos (France)
Daniel Auteuil,Fanny Ardant,and Guillaume Canet star in this dramedy.

Too Old to Die Young,Nicolas Winding Refn (TV series)
They're showing two episodes of this 10 episode series.Since it's Refn you know it'll be moody,stylish,and completely nuts.This one has something to do with killers becoming samurais in Los Angeles (say what now?).Among the cast members are Jena Malone (who really went for it last time she worked with Refn inTheNeon Demon),Billy Baldwin,John Hawkes,and Miles Teller.

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Reader Comments (16)

-Really hoping that Malick is back on form after his unwatchable trilogy (To The Wonder,Knight Of Cups,Song To Song).
August Diehl is always great - he was the MVP in Inglourious Basterds - much better than the overrated Waltz.

-Despised Neon Demon and Only God Forgives but I have to admit that the trailer for Too Old to Die Young looks pretty phenomenal.

-The Dead Don't Die looks really silly and shitty.
Jarmusch's take on vampires was brilliant - but this,his take on zombies,looks cheap and terrible.

-Céline Sciamma's Girlhood was good untill the melodramtic and unrealistic and unearned turn where the main girl starts hooking and dealing drugs.
Tomboy is her best film.

April 18,2019 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

Spectacular lineup.Last year turned out to be great too with less "popular"names.

April 18,2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

-Haven't seen The Death and Life of John F.Donovan - but I've heard many bad things!
I actually really liked It's Only the End of the World
even though it's very talky and theatrical.

-Jessica Hausner is a great filmmaker - Lourdes was so good.

- What a cool poster for Parasite - makes me think of Dogtooth.
If only Parasite is half as good as Lanthimos' movie,it'll be great.

April 18,2019 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

Really excited for this year's festival as the ones I want to see are the new films from Malick (I likedTo the WonderandKnight of Cups),Almodovar,Jarmusch,Bong Joon-Ho,NWR,the Dardenne Brothers,and everything else.Cannes is always my favorite film festival.

April 18,2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Wow.Gimme now

April 18,2019 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

What?Now Christoph Walts is overrated in Inglorious Basterds?That was one of the best performances of all time!

April 18,2019 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

^I like him a lot more in Django Unchained...

April 18,2019 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

I love me some Malick but a three hour movie of his has the potential to the very good or very bad so we'll see (although if I had to guess I would say this is a rough cut and according to the response he'll go back to the editing room to cut it to something a little more tolerable).

April 18,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Love the Varda tribute poster!

This is a very predictable lineup in terms of acclaimed directors (Almodovar,Dolan,the Dardennes,Malick,Bong Joon-ho,Bellocchio,Desplechin,Jarmusch) which is always frustrating with Cannes.Don't get me wrong,I'm super excited about some of these titles,but the parallel selections are so much more daring and interesting!

Can't wait for the Sachs/Huppert collaboration and Sybil's cast is pure gold (and Adèle Exarchopoulos needs to appear in a good film,her career since "Blue..."has been so disappointing!).

April 19,2019 | Unregistered CommenterFrenchToast

I‘m assuming that's not Bruno Ganz‘s last performance („The Hidden Life"was filmed a while ago,wasn‘t it?),but do any of you know if he completed any other films before his death that haven‘t been released yet?

April 19,2019 | Unregistered Commenteranna

Several things I'm quite curious about on the competition list - Parasite,Frankie,Nighthawk,The Dead Don't Die - but may be more into the non-competition list.Looks fun.

April 19,2019 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

Parasite is my most anticipated film this year,assuming it actually gets released in the United States this year.The teaser (which fortunately doesn't spoil anything) looked fantastic and I'm ready for Bong to do another Korean-language film.I appreciated Snowpiercer and Okja but I felt like something was lost in translation.Netflix allowed him to paint on a wider canvass but many of the characters seemed diluted and the stories lacked the intimacy and specificity of Memories of Murder or Mother or Barking Dogs Never Bite.

April 19,2019 | Unregistered CommenterW.J.

Great lineup!!!Regarding Desplechin,it's true that Ishmael's Ghosts was a bit disappointing,but I loved "Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse",it was one of my favorite films from 2015!!!

April 19,2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoel (from Chile)

"nighthawk"is actually called "bacurau".

from kleber mendonça filho on his facebook:
"Folks in the int'l press,quick note as we gradually roll out more info on BACURAU.The International title is actually BACURAU."Nighthawk"is doing the rounds,but this was written into IMDB by a fan some 2 yrs ago.So,"Nighthawk"is a no no,ok?Sound mix in Paris almost done!"

April 20,2019 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

MARCELO -- that's crazy.Even the press release about the lineup called it Nighthawk.Filho's gotta talk to some higher ups about this.

April 20,2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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