After the Academy Awards, all eyes are pointed to film festivals to bring us the next new batch of critically acclaimed titles that will circulate the next awards season. Sundance Film Festival garnered some attention from films such as On the Count of Three, Flee, and Summer of Soul. These films were picked up by well-known distributors and received positive word of mouth. Cannes Film Festival is home to auteur filmmakers releasing their next projects and independent filmmakers to make a name for themselves. This year it will be all in person, let’s have a look on what films that would be a dream come true if they attended the festival
The French Dispatch
Wes Anderson has made himself a house hold name with films such as Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, and many more. Originally going to debut in 2020, is his next feature titled The French Dispatch. Like his pervious features, the cast is filled to the brim with A list stars from Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Timothée Chalamet, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand among others. The French Dispatch tells the story of an American news publisher making a series of stories in France. The film contains Anderson’s trademark style of symmetrical framework and dry, quirky dialogue and humor. Since Cannes is in France and the story takes place in France, this is a no brainer that this will make its World Premiere.
The Card Counter
If there is one screenwriter that has become infamous among film fans, it is Paul Schrader. If you are unfamiliar with his work let me briefly list some of his work. Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ. He also has directed the critically beloved film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. Schrader has made himself more popular among the mainstream public eye with First Reformed starring Ethan Hawke. Paul has teased his film titled The Card Counter starring Oscar Issac about a gambler who gives guidance to a young man as he is out for revenge against his mutual enemy. First Reformed not only attracted the public eye but also made its debut at Cannes, so I am fairly certain that this would be a shoe in for a premiere at the festival.
Now we go into foreign filmmaker territory. Apichatpong Weerasethakul (or goes by Joe) is a Thai filmmaker infamous for making slow moving films. Some concepts are more outlandish than others but he portrays life in a sentimental and existential way. Films such as: Uncle Boonmee, Tropical Malady have simple stories but are thematically deep with its subject matter. His latest film stars Tilda Swinton. The plot is unknown at the moment but this will be Weerasethakul’s first English language film. Well known distribution company NEON is releasing the film later this year. This film has had its moments of information spread throughout the course of the past two years and knowing Weerasethakul’s track record at Cannes; it would not shock me if his latest makes its debut.
In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express, Fallen Angels, 2046; these films all have one thing in common between them. They all are directed by Hong Kong visionary Wong Kar Wai; his films have a very unique style and mostly capture romance in a melancholic and somber way. His latest, Blossoms, fits right in his “trilogy” of films with In the Mood For Love and 2046. It is unknown if his latest will act as a feature film or a television series. Knowing how much the film community respects Kar Wai’s previous work, I would be shocked if Cannes did not snatch this one up.
One of our most underrated films is Australian filmmaker, Andrew Dominik. He captures real and bleak stories and always gets career best performances from his actors. In the last decade, he only directed one film titled Killing Them Softly and anticipation has been fueled for his latest film titled Blonde. The film stars Ana De Armas as a fictionalized version of Marilyn Monroe. The film is set to be released by Netflix later this year but fans of his work would love to see him make its World Premiere at Cannes.
Now this choice is up for debate due the news that the film will debut later in 2021. Paul Thomas Anderson has established himself as a modern master of a filmmaker. He captures absorbing stories that tend to feel original amongst the other mainstream films released nowadays. The film’s plot and name is unknown but it stars Bradley Cooper, Cooper Hoffman, and Benny Safdie. PTA has not been to Cannes since he debuted his 2003 film, Punch Drunk Love and is very inconsistent with timing his releases. However, it would be a big shock if his latest makes its debut and will surely spark awards talk early rather than later.