2023 Cannes Film Festival Predictions – Out of Comp, Midnight, Special Screenings & Cannes Premiere
The 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival (May 16th until the 27th) begins exactly fifty days from now and from the one-hundred-plus feature film offerings we should technically see the very last batch of films that were made in the storm of the pandemic. Chopping the number of screenings that the Un Certain Regard section has, means that the Cannes Premiere section is now a permanent fixture. Last minute film entry As bestas premiered there. Apart from the half dozen films in the category (and if included, this is Sam Levinson’s episodes of “The Idol” would be featured) we also have the Out of Competition films, about three to four Midnight Screenings plus Special Screenings (where they normally documentary films) and now we can’t leave out world preems that might slip into showings on the beach and those attached to the Cannes Classics. Here are twenty across the board prognostications.
It hasn’t been made official by the festival yet but the moment Pedro Almodóvar mentioned that Strange Way of Life would open the fest we quickly thought that Jean-Luc Godard‘s Scénario et Drôles de guerres would make for a perfect triple bill. Both of those posthumous films are understood to not have a runtime that is feature length.
So we’re thinking that Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire‘s Black Flies might be a logical contender for a Midnight slot. Starring Thierry Frémaux bud Sean Penn, Katherine Waterston, Tye Sheridan and Michael Pitt, this shot in NYC thriller is based on a Shannon Burke novel about lifesaving paramedics and the toll the job takes on them. Sauvaire’s last film A Prayer Before Dawn premiered in the Midnight section in 2017.
Venice may be more friendlier when it comes to including docu films in competition and so Lucrecia Martel might premiere there instead, but if she accepts a Special Screenings status would be available for Chocobar – which digs into Javier Chocobar – who was shot dead fighting the removal of his indigenous community from their ancestral land in Argentina and the docu contextualizes it in the system of land tenure that emerged across Latin America. South Korean filmmaker Kim Jee-woon could make a third Cannes Out of Comp trip following A Bittersweet Life (2005), and The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008). Cobweb is definite Midnight terrain. Song Kang-ho, Im Soo-jung, Oh Jung-se, Jeon Yeo-been and Krystal Jung star in the tale about about director Kim (Song Kang-ho), who is obsessed with the fact that the ending of the movie ‘Cobweb’, which was filmed in the 1970s, will be better if re-filmed. It is a film that depicts the sad and funny things that happen while filming under conditions. Woody Allen‘s France shot feature number fifty last year with Valerie Lemercier, Lou de Laage, Elsa Zylberstein, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Schneider, Grégory Gadebois and Guillaume de Tonquédec. He doesn’t need comp status, so Coup de chance will likely be a candidate for an Out of Competition slot. This is two young people’s bond leads to marital infidelity and ultimately crime.
Quentin Dupieux began shooting Daaaaaali ! really late last year (and we believe it perhaps overlapped into January but if there is one filmmaker who can rush a film to the finish line it’s this maverick. This is based on French journalist meets the iconic surrealist artist Salvador Dalí on several occasions for a documentary project that never came to be. It stars Alain Chabat, Anaïs Demoustier, Pierre Niney and Gilles Lellouche. This comedy would be a Midnight selection. Dupieux was at Cannes last year – Smoking Causes Coughing was also a Midnight section selection. We think the comp section is going to be stacked and seeing that Frémaux is looking to add first time running for Palme filmmakers then this means the likes of Aki Kaurismäki and his latest Fallen Leaves and Nanni Moretti with Il sol dell’avvenire might want to consider Cannes Premiere inclusion. Kaurismäki’s dramedy stars Alma Pöysti. Moretti’s film stars Mathieu Amalric, Margherita Buy, Barbora Bobulova and Moretti (himself) in a tale that includes cinema, the circus, the 1950s. This looks to drop in Italy just beforehand. Some believe Maïwenn will return to the competition but we are earmarking her latest film Jeanne du Barry for an Out of Comp slot. It might be receiving a fall release so perhaps the team might aim for Venice instead. Also in the Out of Comp items we think Michel Gondry might premiere Le Livre des solutions – Pierre Niney, Françoise Lebrun, Blanche Gardin and Vincent Elbaz star in the dramedy that follows a man, a director who tries to vanquish his demons which are oppressing his creativity.
The big question for almost a full year has been: will Apple bring Martin Scorsese‘s Killers of the Flower Moon to the Croisette? The answer appears to a big yes by the insiders. Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone, Tantoo Cardinal, Brendan Fraser and John Lithgow populate this one – which is based on a pretty solid book in Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. In a nutshell: members of the Osage tribe in northeastern Oklahoma are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s, sparking a major FBI investigation directed by a 29-year-old J. Edgar Hoover and former Texas Ranger Tom White. This is would be an Out of Comp blockbuster bonanza if included.
This was totally off our radar until NEON announced that they picked it up earlier this month, but French-Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck dug into George Orwell and its implications today. The docu aptly titled Orwell – was aided by the Orwell Estate. The I Am Not Your Negro helmer was once featured in comp in 1993 for L’Homme sur les quais. Another one-timer in the comp (with Michael Kohlhaas) who might shore up in the Out of Comp section is Arnaud des Pallières. His latest Le Bal des Folles stars Carole Bouquet, Mélanie Thierry, Marina Foïs, Josiane Balasko, Lucie Zhang and Yolande Moreau and is based on true historical events and characters in 1893.
We were thinking this animated Brazilian could be among the Palme d’Or competition items but finally we think this might be a Special Screenings candidate. Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal‘s They Shot The Piano Player looks at a journalist from New York who sets out to investigate the story of “Tenório Jr,” a Brazilian piano prodigy who has vanished. The story appears to be inspired by the disappearance in 1976 of pianist Francisco Tenório Júnior. Jeff Goldblum is among the cast. A Caméra d’Or winner for The Scent of Green Papaya in ’93, Tran Anh Hung sure takes his time between film projects. His latest, Le Pot-au-feu de Dodin Bouffant stars French veterans Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel and is coined as a historical romantic drama set in 1885 when a cook and the gourmet she works for stir up things between them.
Shot next door from the Croisette in Marseille, Jean-Bernard Marlin saw his debut film Shéhérazade get selected for the Critics’ Week in 2018. Could Salem get the nudge for a Midnight showcase? The gangland-set fantasy is about a former gang member who believes his daughter is the only one who can save his community from an apocalyptic curse uttered by a rival gang member in his dying breath. Oumar Moindjie, Dalil Abdourahim and Mohamed Soumare topline. The 1984 concert film by Jonathan Demme is getting some A24 love and as we witnessed David Byrne went back to the cleaners to fetch his infamous suit. Stop Making Sense might be found in Cannes Classics section. Here’s a film that has a slim chance at breaking in but for some reason we think this might shore up as an Out of Comp selection.
Admittedly we think the chances are low for this one but System Crasher and The Unforgivable director Nora Fingscheidt‘s The Outrun features Saoirse Ronan in what could be awards bait. Ronan stars as Rona, who, fresh out of rehab, returns to the Orkney Islands; a place both wild and beautiful right off the Scottish coast. After more than a decade of living life on the edge in London, where she both found and lost love, Rona – now 30 – attempts to come to terms with her troubled past. This is based on a best-seller. Yann Gozlan might be best known for popcorn films and we’re thinking that a Cannes Premiere slot might be available for his fourth film, Visions. This follows a brilliant airline captain, Estelle, who has a perfect life with her husband Guillaume, a renowned doctor. Something is about to change as Estelle falls in love with Ana and starts and intense affair. This stars Diane Kruger, Mathieu Kassovitz and Marta Nieto. And our final item could be fitted for the Midnight slot with a reefer smoke not too far behind. Habitual Croisette director David Michôd‘s Wizards! (an A24 project) might fit the bill. Orlando Bloom, Naomi Scott, Pete Davidson, Sean Harris and Franz Rogowski star in a tale about the problems of two unlucky beach bar operators starts when they find stolen loot that they really should have left alone.
This week in our 2023 Cannes Film Festival predictions:
Critics’ Week – Tuesday
Directors’ Fortnight – Wednesday
Un Certain Regard – Thursday
Out of Competition – Monday
Main Competition – Tuesday