Cannes returns in style

Imagen de Benedetta, de Paul Verhoeven

The wait has been long, but the Cannes Festival is here again, which although it does not start until next July 6 – far from its usual May date to buy time for the pandemic – has been put on long with the announcement of its impressive programming. Until today we only knew that Jodie Foster It would be the Honorary Palme d’Or and the title that opens the 74th competition: Annette, from Leos Carax. It is the first film in English by the French director, which returns to theaters nine years after the extraordinary Holy Motors, with which he also competed at Cannes. Annette tells the story of a glamorous couple from the show bussiness, a stand-up star played by Adam Driver and a singer played by Marion Cotillard, who give birth to a mysterious girl with an exceptional and life-changing destiny. The film features a Sparks soundtrack.

Wes Anderson and Paul Verhoeven They were not confirmed in the official section officially, but their presence in it was sung. Both were going to be part of last year’s selection with their new films until the coronavirus made an appearance and they decided to bet on keeping the film in a drawer until the 2021 edition. Anderson’s film, The French Chronicle, is a love letter to journalists. It is set in the newsroom of an American newspaper in a fictional French city of the 20th century and gives life to a collection of stories published in the eponymous magazine, The French Dispatch. The film’s spectacular cast includes Benicio Del Toro, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Timothée Chalamet, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Mathieu Amalric, Owen Wilson, and Bill Murray.

For his part, Verhoeven premieres his long-awaited Benedetta, which adapts the book Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy (Studies in the History of Sexuality), by Judith C. Browm and which in principle should have been released in 2019. The film revolves around life in a 17th century convent and the homosexuality of one of its nuns, who from a young age began to have visions without knowing why . In the hands of the Dutch master of perversion, and starring Virginie Efira, the film couldn’t look better.


Among the directors who appear in the official section there are some who have already raised the Palme d’Or. This is the case of the Italian Nanni Moretti, that shows Three floors, a film set in a middle-class apartment block to tell us the story of a young married couple who suspect that their neighbor is abusing their daughter, a mother of two whose husband is always away working, and a retired judge . Also thai Apichatpong Weerasethakul will try to reissue the success achieved with Uncle Boonmee (2015) with his new film, Memory, shot in Colombia with Tilda Swinton as the main character. We will see how leaving your comfort zone affects your personal style. And finally, Jacques Audiard, winner of the Palme d’Or with Deephan in 2015, it will compete with Paris, 13th District, a 21st century love story in which four characters try to decipher issues such as their own gender, their feelings, their sexuality and the concept of fidelity. The film stars Noemí Merlant and newcomers Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba and Jehnny Beth.

Others who have already passed through the official section of Cannes and who repeat in its 74th edition are the Norwegian Joachim Trier, the russian Kirill Serebrennikov, the iranian Asghar Farhadi, the Japanese Ryusuke Hamaguchi, the american Sean Penn, the Chadian Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, the australian Justin Kurzel and the french Francois Ozon and Bruno Dumont. Trier presents The Worst Person in the World, a film about the existential crisis of a woman who has just turned 30; Serebrennikov premieres Petrov’s Flu, which recounts a day in the life of a comic book artist and his family in post-Soviet Russia; and Farhadi returns with a drama that we still know little about, titled A hero.

Hamaguchi, for his part, adapts a Murakami book in Drive My Car, Sean Penn directs and stars in Flag Day the story of a family man who lives a double life as a counterfeiter, bank robber and con man to support his daughter, Haroun presents the drama Languages, Kurzel faces in Nitram one of Australia’s most notorious massacres, Ozon debuts Everything went well, adaptation of a novel by Emmanuèle Bernheim that addresses the issue of euthanasia, and Dumont will compete with France, a film starring Léa Seydoux that deals with the story of a famous journalist who has her life turned upside down due to a strange traffic accident.

The French director Mia Hansen-Love will seek the Palme d’Or for the first time with Bergman’s Island, a film with autobiographical overtones in which a couple of American filmmakers played by Mia Wasikowska and Anders Danielsen Lie retire to the island where Bergman took refuge during the summer to write scripts for their next films. Also competing for the first time is the Israeli Nadad Lapid -winner of the Golden Bear with Synonyms in 2015- with Ha’berech, the Belgian Joachim Lafosse with The Unquiet, the Hungarian Ildiko Enyedi with The Story of My Wife, the french Julia Ducournau with Titanium and Catherine Corsini with The divide, the Finnish Juho Kuosmanen with Ytti No. 6, the Moroccan Nabil Ayouch with High and loud and the american Sean Baker with Red Rocket.

In other sections, also compare illustrious filmmakers such as Todd Haynes (with a documentary about The Velvet Underground), Tom McCarthy (with the thriller Stilwater starring Matt Damon), Mathieu Amalric (Hold My Tight), Andrea Arnold (Cow), Charlotte gainsbourg (Jane par Charlotte), Hong Sang-Soo (In Front Of Your Face) u Oliver Stone, with the documentary JFK Revisited: Trought The Looking Glass. The festival, which is still on the warpath with Netflix, is committed to face-to-face passes to continue fighting the streaming platforms, but all attendees who are not vaccinated will have to undergo a PCR every 48 hours. The chairman of the jury will be Spike Lee.


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Cannes returns in style