August 1, 2021

The 2021 Cannes Film Festival unveils a very French selection

Are it really Thierry Frémaux, general delegate of the Festival, and Pierre Lescure, its president, that we see, unmasked, in the room of the UGC Normandie, in Paris, also filled with other human beings, in this morning of Thursday, June 3, for the traditional announcement of the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival? We almost want to pinch ourselves as the scene comes from afar. In truth, from 2019, even as the Covid, a pathogen relatively little cinephile, blew up the 2020 edition and reduced, for a year, the ordinary life of cinematographic exploitation to a semi-desert area.

Are we talking about a return to normal? We’re not there yet. The speakers are serious, tense, irritable at times. The fatigue of this particular year is making itself felt. But the essential is there: except landing of a variant superméchant, this seventy-fourth edition will be held from July 6 to 17, and we now know with what finery it will adorn itself.

High-end competition

Faithful to a long-established method of preparation, chef Frémaux, after gnawing his blood for a year, has slowly raised the temperature for a few weeks, then, according to the Cannes recipe, shelled its various ingredients. We therefore already know that Spike Lee, an old veteran of fighting Afro-Americanity, resumes his position as president of the jury vacated in 2020, and that the actress Jodie Foster, American francophile if there is one and a committed feminist, there will receive a palm of honor. Annette, Aesthetist Leos Carax’s musical, co-written with the once-glam rock band The Sparks, starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, has also been revealed as the event’s opening film.

The “leakage” of two other titles in competition had also been organized. Blessed, by Paul Verhoeven, with Virginie Efira as heretical nun, and The French Dispatch, by Wes Anderson, a wacky new group film, this time shot in Angoulême (Charente) with the coolest Bill Murray. Two works eagerly awaited by moviegoers for more than a year, which were already part of the stillborn selection of 2020. It is therefore a competition a priori upscale that Thierry Frémaux revealed today, at the end of a choice made more difficult by the number of films accumulated (nearly two thousand) since the pandemic.

France insolently holds pole position there, with a record of seven films. Signed by Jacques Audiard (The Olympics), Leos Carax (Annette), Catherine Corsini (The divide), Julia Ducournau (Titanium), Bruno Dumont (France), Mia Hansen-Love (Bergman Island) and François Ozon (Everything went well).

You have 59.92% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.