2022 Cannes Film Festival: Eight Possible 11th Hour Film Options
Critics’ Week made their line-up public yesterday. Directors’ Fortnight topper Paolo Moretti mentioned that there is one title from Asia that they are still in the process of lassoing (plus they have their shorts films to announce). Thierry Frémaux on the other hand mentioned in some post press conference interviews that comp will likely include a pair of female filmmakers and the final add-ons could tally up to ten new film titles. This not only caps off the Palme d’Or race, but it’ll unveil the opening film item for the Un Certain Regard section. We also expect some Special Screenings — perhaps some docs and certainly the Sean Penn project if that were finished. Below we take one final look at some of our favorite films in the running for what will complete the Croisette buffet. And let’s not forget the Cannes Short Film Competition and the Cannes Classics!
The Artist 1994
We only received a major update on the project last month – but word on the street is Liu Jian‘s latest film is ready for a domestic release back home. Could this be the Chinese film title that Moretti was mentioning? Well it certainly would be neat if Jia Zhang-ke and the pop star lead cast could make the trip over to France. This tells the story about an anecdote that occurs at the Southern University of the Arts in the early 90s. In the romantic and cruel years of youth, in the era of reform and opening up, a group of young people are living in full swing. Friendship and love are intertwined with artistic pursuits and ideal aspirations.
Prediction: Directors’ Fortnight
The Blue Caftan [Sales: Films Boutique]
Maryam Touzani has quickly become a shooting star on the Croisette. First for her debut feature Adam which premiered at the 2019 Un Certain Regard section and then last year the film Casablanca Beats (which she helped co-write) was selected for the comp. Starring vets Lubna Azabal and Saleh Bakri with newcomer Ayoub Messioui, The Blue Caftan is definitely ready. This follows Halim and Mina who run a traditional caftan store in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas. In order to keep up with demanding customers, they hire a talented young man as an apprentice. Slowly Mina realizes how much her husband is moved by his presence.
Prediction: Un Certain Regard
Don Juan [Sales: MK2]
On two occasions (2007’s La France and 2013’s Tip Top) in his filmography, Serge Bozon has shined in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar with distinctly different films. His fifth feature film has been stamped (by ARP Sélection) with a domestic French release exactly on the same day that the Un Certain Regard section opens. This musical comedy (filmed in May of 2021) stars Tahar Rahim (a 2021 Cannes jury member and BFF to Spike Lee) and Virginie Efira who is the MC for both the opening and closing nights, and who will be present for the premiere to Alice Winocour’s Paris Memories in the Directors’ Fortnight.
Prediction: Un Certain Regard – Opening Night.
The Happiest Man in the World [Sales: Pyramide Intl.]
We’re convinced that Teona Strugar Mitevska might be a print still wet rushed last minute addition especially since it’s politically ripe for these unstable times. Her fifth feature is actually Cinefondation’s Atelier selected project in 2020. The Happiest Man in the World follows what was three consecutive selections at the Berlinale. This explores the legacy of the Yugoslav War and revolves around a 40-year-old single woman living in Sarajevo, who feels her biological clock is ticking. She goes to a dating event, where she is matched with a 43-year-old banker but he is looking for forgiveness rather than love.
Les enfants des autres (Other People’s Children) [Sales: Wild Bunch]
We mentioned that Virginie Efira could have more of a presence at the festival if the Bozon film is included, well perhaps she could triple down with Les enfants des autres. Also starring Roschdy Zem and Un Certain Regard winning actress Chiara Mastroianni, it would be nice to see Rebecca Zlotowski complete the Croisette quadfecta – with films in Critics’ Week (2010’s Belle Epine), Directors’ Fortnight (Une fille facile), Un Certain Regard (2013’s Grand Central) and now a possible shot at Palme. Her fifth feature is about Rachel, who loves her life, her students, her friends, her ex, her guitar lessons. When she falls in love with Ali, she grows close to his 4-year-old daughter, Leila. The film receives a September release in France.
Plus que jamais (More Than Ever) [Sales: The Match Factory]
When Emily Atef was not among the selections for the Berlinale it was perhaps because the film project was still not picture locked but it probably had a lot to do with Gaspard Ulliel’s untimely death. Atef has been to Cannes before with her sophomore feature The Stranger in Me and she was part of the Cinefondation for what would become her third feature. For Atef’s fifth feature outing, we find Vicky Krieps as Hélène and Ulliel as Matthieu – they’ve have known each other almost all their lives. The bond connecting them is deep. Faced with an existential decision Hélène goes on a journey to Norway alone to find peace and to discover the depth of their love. Jesper Christensen and Liv Ullmann are also in the supporting cast. Atef is currently filming episodes of Killing Eve.
Prediction: Un Certain Regard.
Sparta [Sales: Coproduction Office]
Do you recall the time that Ulrich Seidl split up a trilogy of films in Cannes, Venice and Berlin? Well, it could do the splits on what was formerly known as Wicked Games. With much surprise we learned that Rimini will then be followed by Sparta. While one portrait looked at one brother, this sequel or companion piece will then but the focus on the other.
David Lynch. He is going. What’s this thing about? Ask Reddit.
Prediction: Special Screenings.