Monday, July 15, 2024

Ten Films From Major Directors We Could See At Cannes 2023

Although the 2022 film awards season wrapped up only about a month ago, plans are already underway for the beginning of the 2023 film festival season. The biggest of the international festivals, the Cannes Film Festival in France, will unveil its Official Selection lineup on April 13th. A small handful of films that will play at the festival have already been revealed, including Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City,” the latest Indiana Jones adventure, “The Dial of Destiny,” “Jeanne du Barry” from French filmmaker Maïwenn, and “Killers of the Flower Moon” from the legendary Martin Scorsese. Besides that, we can only speculate about which prominent directors might have their latest films premiere at the festival. So, let’s take a look at ten films we expect to hear Thierry Fremaux announce this Thursday…

“The Bikeriders”
Having taken a seven-year break since the release of his last film, the Academy Award-nominated “Loving,” director Jeff Nichols is back with “The Bikeriders.” This period piece comes from unique source material – it’s inspired by photographer Danny Lyon’s photobook, with which the film shares a title. That book documents motorcycle groups of the 1960s, one of which Lyons even joined in the process. Featuring an all-star cast that includes Tom Hardy, Austin Butler, Jodie Comer, and frequent collaborator Michael Shannon, perhaps this film can be Nichols’ third attempt at winning the Palme d’Or and a significant Oscar contender later this year.

Jeff Nichols’ previous films at Cannes:
Loving” (2016 In Competition)
“Mud” (2012 In Competition)
Take Shelter” (2011 International Critics’ Week)

“Coup de Chance”
Controversial director Woody Allen’s 50th film, “Coup de Chance,” may seem like an unlikely contender for such a major film festival given the director’s status as a Hollywood persona non grata. However, the film has already been picked up by the independent French distributor Metropolitan FilmExport, so at the very least, it will have a theatrical release in France. European film festivals have shown themselves to be welcoming to Allen, even this late into his career; his last film, “Rifkin’s Festival,” premiered at the 2020 San Sebastián Film Festival in Spain. “Coup de Chance” is a romantic thriller featuring a cast of French actors, with dialogue in their native tongue, and may possibly be Allen’s last film.

Woody Allen’s previous films at Cannes:
Café Society” (2016 Out of Competition)
“Irrational Man” (2015 Out of Competition)
“Midnight in Paris” (2011 Out of Competition)
“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” (2010 Out of Competition)
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008 Out of Competition)
“Match Point” (2005 Out of Competition)
“Hollywood Ending” (2002 Out of Competition)
“New York Stories” (1989 Out of Competition)
“Radio Days” (1987 Out of Competition)
“Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986 Out of Competition)
“The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985 Out of Competition)
“Broadway Danny Rose” (1984 Out of Competition)
“Manhattan” (1979 Out of Competition)

It’s been quite a while since Richard Linklater found himself at Cannes. In fact, he was only there once back in 2006, albeit for two films. Interestingly, Linklater’s latest movie, “Hitman,” features a screenplay by himself and actor Glen Powell, who first achieved notable film recognition in Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some!!” It marks Powell’s first feature writing credit, and he’s also playing the film’s main character. The movie follows an investigator working undercover as a hitman who finds himself embroiled in the plight of a desperate woman.

Richard Linklater’s previous films at Cannes:
“Fast Food Nation” (2006 In Competition)
“A Scanner Darkly” (2006 Un Certain Regard contender)

“May December”
It’s always a cherished event when Todd Haynes releases a new film. The director’s varied and acclaimed body of work nearly always draws the attention of critics, and with the pedigree attached to his latest film, “May December,” it’s likely that tradition will continue. It stars Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore and looks to probe into a frequent topic of debate: age gaps in couples.

Todd Haynes’ previous films at Cannes:
The Velvet Underground” (2021 Out of Competition)
Wonderstruck” (2017 In Competition)
Carol” (2015 In Competition)
“Velvet Goldmine” (1998 In Competition)
“Safe” (1995 Directors’ Fortnight)

Hirokazu Kore-eda is a Cannes favorite, and, barring any severe delays, it’s not unwise to speculate that his newest film, “Monster,” will find its way to this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Little is known about the film, which already has a teaser trailer and a Japanese release date of June 2nd – less than a week after the festival wraps up. Notably, the film is written by Yûji Sakamoto, meaning this is the first time that Kore-eda hasn’t had a hand in his film’s screenplay since “Maborosi” – his feature film debut in 1995.

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s previous films at Cannes:
Broker” (2022 In Competition)
Shoplifters” (2018 Palme d’Or winner)
“After the Storm” (2016 Un Certain Regard contender)
“Our Little Sister” (2015 In Competition)
“Like Father, Like Son” (2013 Jury Prize)
“Air Doll” (2009 Un Certain Regard contender)
“Nobody Knows” (2004 In Competition)
“Distance” (2001 In Competition)

“The Old Oak”
By far the most Cannes-friendly director on this list, the films of English director Ken Loach have made appearances at the festival an astonishing 19 times. His upcoming film, “The Old Oak,” looks to revisit familiar themes for the political director, as the plot features mine closures, refugees, and economic instability. The title is taken from the name of the last remaining pub in the English village where the film is set.

Ken Loach’s previous films at Cannes:
Sorry We Missed You” (2019 In Competition)
“I, Daniel Blake” (2016 Palme d’Or winner)
“Jimmy’s Hall” (2014 In Competition)
“The Angels’ Share” (2012 Jury Prize)
“Route Irish” (2010 In Competition)
“Looking for Eric” (2009 In Competition)
“The Wind That Shakes the Barley” (2006 Palme d’Or winner)
“Sweet Sixteen” (2002 In Competition)
“Bread and Roses” (2000 In Competition)
“My Name is Joe” (1998 In Competition)
“Land and Freedom” (1995 In Competition)
“Raining Stones” (1993 Jury Prize)
“Riff-Raff” (1991 Directors’ Fortnight)
“Hidden Agenda” (1990 Jury Prize)
“Looks and Smiles” (1981 In Competition)
“The Gamekeeper” (1980 Un Certain Regard contender)
“Black Jack” (1979 Directors’ Fortnight)
“Family Life” (1972 Directors’ Fortnight)
“Kes” (1970 International Critics’ Week)

“Poor Things”
Beloved Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos has reached a level in his career where he’s a familiar name to cinephiles, and there’s little of what’s known about his newest film, “Poor Things,” that seems to suggest that it will draw any less attention than his recent efforts. It stars Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo, and many other well-known names. The plot sounds wonderfully twisted in a typically Lanthimosian way: a young Victorian woman is brought back to life by a scientist. Perhaps this Frankenstein-esque story can mark his return to Cannes.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ previous films at Cannes:
The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (2017 Best Screenplay winner)
The Lobster” (2015 Jury Prize)
Dogtooth” (Un Certain Regard winner)

Sofia Coppola has made a career of telling stories about women working through the difficulties of fame and public exposure, from the ignored wife of a film director in “Lost in Translation” to the story of the spoiled yet doomed queen in “Marie Antoinette.” Her latest film follows Priscilla Presley, wife of the mononymous Elvis. It’ll be impossible not to compare the film to Baz Luhrmann’s recent “Elvis,” but Coppola’s distinct style and trademark empathetic camera will surely set it apart.

Sofia Coppola’s previous films at Cannes:
The Beguiled” (2017 Best Director winner)
“The Bling Ring” (2013 Un Certain Regard contender)
“Marie Antoinette” (2006 In Competition)
“The Virgin Suicides” (1999 Directors’ Fortnight)

Untitled Ethan Coen Film
After Joel Coen’s solo effort, “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” was released to positive notices in 2021, it was only a matter of time before his brother (and until recently, collaborator) Ethan also brought a story to the screen by himself. Nothing is known about his first solitary feature, not even the title. All we know is it stars Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Joey Slotnick, and Beanie Feldstein. Notably, his documentary “Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind” played at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, so he’s clearly on the festival’s radar.

Ethan Coen’s previous films at Cannes:
“Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind” (2022 Special Screening)
Inside Llewyn Davis” (2013 Grand Prix winner – with brother Joel)
“No Country for Old Men” (2007 In Competition – with brother Joel)
“The Ladykillers” (2004 In Competition – with brother Joel)
“The Man Who Wasn’t There” (2001 Best Director winner – awarded to brother Joel)
“O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000 In Competition – with brother Joel)
“Fargo” (1996 Best Director winner – awarded to brother Joel)
“The Hudsucker Proxy” (1994 In Competition – with brother Joel)
“Barton Fink” (1991 Palme d’Or winner – with brother Joel)
“Raising Arizona” (1987 Out of Competition – with brother Joel)

“The Zone Of Interest”
Jonathan Glazer works sporadically. He’s only released three feature films total, spanning the entirety of the century so far: “Sexy Beast” (2000), “Birth” (2004), and “Under the Skin” (2013). All three have garnered acclaim, particularly for their performances, so all signs would point to his upcoming film, “The Zone of Interest,” receiving similar attention. Based on Martin Amis’ novel, it tells the story of a Nazi officer who falls in love with the wife of the camp commander at Auschwitz and stars Sandra Hüller, Christian Friedel, Ralph Herforth, and Max Beck. Notably, he is the only director on this list who has yet to play Cannes; perhaps this film can mark his festival debut.

Jonathan Glazer’s previous films at Cannes:

What do you think will be announced this week for the 2023 Cannes Film Festival lineup? What are you most looking forward to? Please let us know in the comments section below or on our Twitter account.

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Cody Dericks
Cody Dericks
Actor, awards & musical theatre buff. Co-host of the horror film podcast Halloweeners.

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