The 21 films in competition at Cannes
Cannes: The 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which concludes on Saturday, has 21 films in competition, including movies from four past winners of the Palme d’Or top prize.
– ‘Crimes of the Future’ –
The dark genius behind “The Fly” and “Crash”, David Cronenberg returns to his body horror roots with a tale starring Viggo Mortensen, Lea Seydoux and Kristen Stewart about people indulging in revolting surgical alterations for artistic and sexual pleasure.
– ‘Triangle of Sadness’ –
The king of cringe, Sweden’s Ruben Ostlund, took a scalpel to modern bourgeois niceties with his Palme d’Or-winning “The Square” in 2017. In a similar and hilarious vein, his latest film places models and the ultra-rich on a cruise ship, only to find their status suddenly undermined by unexpected events.
– ‘Tchaikovsky’s Wife’ –
The enfant terrible of Russian film and theatre, Kirill Serebrennikov, presents the life of the woman who married the legendary composer despite his homosexuality, and paid a powerful psychological price.
– ‘Armageddon Time’ –
James Gray has made big sweeping dramas, from space odyssey “Ad Astra” with Brad Pitt to Amazon adventure “The Lost City of Z”. His new film is smaller in scale, recounting his adolescence in 1980s New York and difficult race relations around a school governed by Donald Trump’s father, starring Anne Hathaway and Anthony Hopkins.
– ‘Broker’ –
Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme d’Or in 2018 for his touching family tale “Shoplifters”. Featuring the star of “Parasite” Song Kang-ho and K-pop megastar Lee Ji-eun, “Broker” is a similarly touching story of alternative families, based around a woman dropping off an unwanted child in a “baby box” for adoption.
– ‘Decision to Leave’ –
Park Chan-wook had an international hit with nightmarish thriller “Oldboy” that won him the runner-up Grand Prix in 2004. This time, the South Korean brings his unique stylings to the familiar trope of a detective falling for the prime suspect in a murder investigation.
– ‘Showing Up’ –
Kelly Reichardt has gradually built up a cult following with her mini-masterpieces about life on the edges of American society, including recent sleeper hit “First Cow”. She reunites with her favourite muse Michelle Williams for a self-reflective look at a small-town artist trying to overcome distractions.
– ‘Tori and Lokita’ –
Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne make simple but devastating slice-of-life stories and are among a handful to have won the Palme d’Or twice. Their latest follows two African teenagers trying to pass as brother and sister so she can join him in gaining refugee status in Belgium.
– ‘Stars at Noon’ –
One of France’s most lauded auteurs, Claire Denis, is having a busy year, having already won the directing prize at this year’s Berlinale. Her Cannes entry is a love story set against political tensions in Central America.
– ‘R.M.N.’ –
Romania’s Cristian Mungiu won the Palme d’Or in 2007 for his bleak but vital abortion film, “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”. This one explores ethnic and political tensions in a remote Transylvanian village following the arrival of new migrant workers from Sri Lanka.
– ‘Close’ –
Belgium’s Lukas Dhont won the Camera d’Or newcomer award in 2018 for his debut “Girl” about an adolescent trans ballet dancer. His second film is a tender portrait of two young boys learning to grapple with their budding sexuality.
– ‘Boy from Heaven’ –
A daring film about power struggles in the leading centre of Sunni Islam, the Al-Azhar University in Egypt, from Swedish director Tarik Saleh.
– ‘Holy Spider’ –
Having won the Un Certain Regard section in 2018 with “Border”, Danish-Iranian Ali Abbasi heads for the Iranian religious city of Mashhad where a serial killer seeks to rid the streets of prostitutes and becomes a folk hero for religious conservatives.
– ‘Forever Young’ –
A tale of love, life and tragedy in a Paris theatre troupe in the 1980s recounts the real-life recollections of French-Italian director Valeria Bruni Tedeschi.
– ‘Nostalgia’ –
Italian director Mario Martone pays homage to his hometown of Naples with a story of a man mysteriously returning to the southern city after several decades in Cairo.
– ‘Brother and Sister’ –
Marion Cotillard stars in a French drama about feuding siblings brought back together by the death of their parents, directed by Cannes veteran Arnaud Desplechin.
– ‘Leila’s Brothers’ –
Iran’s Saeed Roustaee made a splash last year with his punchy cop thriller “Just 6.5”. His new film examines the economic struggles of a family in a country hit by international sanctions.
– ‘EO’ –
Following a donkey from the circus to the slaughterhouse, this treatise against animal cruelty is from 84-year-old Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski, who was first in competition at Cannes in 1972.
– ‘Pacifiction’ –
Spanish director Albert Serra heads for Tahiti to explore the diplomatic tensions around French nuclear testing.
– ‘Mother and Son’ –
Leonor Serraille follows a Senegalese mother from the 1980s to the present day as she and her two boys try to establish a life in France.
– ‘The Eight Mountains’ –
A story of a lifelong friendship between boys and who meet in a rural village from Belgian husband-and-wife team Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch.