Cannes Sets Up Strong, Starry & Slimmed-Down 75th Edition

The 75th Cannes Film Festival, which runs May 17-28, was already due to be a starry affair with the likes of Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis screening out of competition. Today it got even hotter with a strong Official Selection that should make for glamorous red carpets, but one that will likewise treat serious subject matter.

While Cannes is a moment to celebrate film, it will also this year serve as a period of reflection and inquiry about the state of the art form, General Delegate Thierry Frémaux noted at this morning’s lineup reveal. The crisis in Ukraine will also be top of mind. The Cannes Market had already set a day dedicated to support the beleaguered film industry there, and the fest today included two titles from Ukrainian filmmakers: veteran auteur Sergei Loznitsa’s The Natural History Of Destruction in a special screening and first-timer Maksim Nakonechnyi’s Butterfly Vision in Un Certain Regard. Meanwhile, Russian filmmaker, Kirill Serebrennikov, who has left the country and denounced the war, is in competition with Tchaikovsky’s Wife.

Although the Official Selection is comprised of a slimmed-down 49 titles, versus 80 in 2021, there’s something for just about everyone — and from myriad corners of the globe, including a strong presence from Korea. There will also be more people on the ground, according to Frémaux, after last July’s somewhat muted mid-pandemic affair.

The competition features two U.S. directors this year. James Gray is returning with Armageddon Time from Focus. The coming-of-age story stars Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins and Succession’s Jeremy Strong. Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up (A24) features Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, André 3000 and Judd Hirsch.

Crimes Of The FutureNeon

Canadian auteur David Cronenberg has Crimes Of The Future, led by Kristen Stewart, Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen in the main section. France’s Claire Denis has also been selected to compete, for her English-language Nicaragua-set period thriller The Stars At Noon with Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn.

Another French helmer, Arnaud Desplechin is back on the Croisette after last year’s Deception with sibling drama Frère Et Soeur (Brother And Sister) starring Marion Cotillard.

Returning Palme d’Or winners include Ruben Ostlund with fashion world satire Triangle Of Sadness starring Woody Harrelson; two-time laureates Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne with drama Tori And Lokita; Romania’s Cristian Mungiu and his RMN; and Shoplifters’ Hirokazu Kore-eda with his first Korean movie, Broker.

CJ ENM

Broker is one of two films backed by Korean powerhouse CJ ENM and stars Crash Landing On You’s Lee Ji Eun who is generating a lot of social media heat today thanks to the selection. Also from CJ is Park Chan-wook’s crime drama Decision To Leave, making Park the Korean director with the most titles selected from the country.

Meanwhile, Hunt, the directorial debut of Squid Game star Lee Jung-Jae, has booked a slot in the Midnight Screenings section. Also in that group is Brett Morgen’s David Bowie tribute Moonage Daydream. Ethan Coen has his own music pic in the mix with Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble In Mind landing a special screening.

In other notable selections, Cedric Jiminez has an out of competition berth with Novembre, a thriller set in the wake of the devastating November 2013 Paris terrorist attacks. Jean Dujardin stars.

Elsewhere, Riley Keough (with Gina Gammell) marks her directorial debut with Beast in Un Certain Regard. Keough’s credits include George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Miller was also selected today with Idris Elba/Tilda Swinton-starrer Three Thousand Years Of Longing in an out of competition slot. Keough’s got another connection at the fest: she’s the granddaughter of Elvis Presley who is the focus of Baz Luhrmann’s out of competition screener Elvis.

That film, along with arguably the event of the fest, Top Gun: Maverick, had previously been announced. It’s expected that further films will be added to the roster in the coming weeks, while the juries should be defined in short order as well.

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