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2024 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or

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2024 Cannes Film Festival Predictions – 25 Possible Palme d’Or Competition Films

2024 Cannes Film Festival Predictions – 25 Possible Palme d’Or Competition Films

Usually in the twenty to twenty-two film range, the competition for the Palme d’Or has been a tad more inclusive in recent years in terms of the number of invites handed out to established filmmakers who have either never been in comp or film nations that are hardly represented. Of course the 50-50 gender parity agenda is a whole other issue. Last year’s competition of twenty-one titles included a directorial debut, and we believe there might be room for at least two new voices – you’ll see those in our bold predictions below for the 77th edition. Last week we took stabs at the Out of Competition – offerings, possible Critics’ Week titles, Directors’ Fortnight possibitlies and Un Certain Regard possible musts split into a second list. Here are twenty-five items that we believe are in contention for a coveted spot:

First up in our Palme d’Or hopefuls would turn out to be quite an eyebrow-raising surprise if actually materializes. A filmmaker who submarine-tanked off the radar after making quite the intro with 2008’s Ballast resurfaced with a long-awaited sophomore feature this past April with Juliette Binoche toplining. Lance Hammer‘s drama A Queen at Sea follows a woman who is concerned for her aging mother, so she moves back to London with her teenage daughter. Tom Courtenay also stars…. From Brazil, Cannes mainstay Walter Salles should be repping his country with political flashback to Rio de Janeiro in the 1970s. Ainda Estou Aqui looks at the dictatorship, former deputy Rubens Paiva was taken from his home by soldiers to be interrogated. He was never found again. The search for truth lasts 30 long years. And when the answers begin to appear, Eunice Paiva feels the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Fernanda Torres, Selton Mello and Fernanda Montenegro star. Salles has been in competition on four occasions – he last visit was with On the Road (2012)…. Another highly anticipated sophomore feature is a film that shot in two different junctures in 2023. Payal Kapadia brought the dreamy A Night of Knowing Nothing to the Directors’ Fortnight section in 2021 (it won the prestigious L’Œil d’or award for Best Documentary Film) and returned to native India for All We Imagine as Light, which follows Praba, a nurse, receives an unexpected gift from her long estranged husband that throws her life into disarray. Her younger roommate, Anu, tries in vain to find a private spot in the big city to be alone with her boyfriend. One day the two nurses go on a road trip to a beach town where the mystical forest becomes a space for their dreams to manifest. A project with some great producers (Roberto Minervini is among them) involved received support via the Oxbelly and Fondation Gan folks…. As usual, American indie filmmaker Sean Bakers brand of cinema favors those who are on the fringes and outcasts of society, and is shot under the radar. A comedy (without possible dramatic elements), Anora stars Mikey Madison and tells the story about a sex worker shot in New York City and Las Vegas. Baker re-team with Red Rocket cinematographer Drew Daniels and if included this would be the third trip for Baker who he had a major launch in the Quinzaine section in 2017 with The Florida Project in 2017. This NEON project was filmed on 35mm…. After moving into television and the docu terrain with Cannes preemed Cow, Andrea Arnold made her return to fiction with Bird — which moved into production in June of last year. Packaged with two of the top working world cinema actors of the moment with Barry Keoghan and Franz Rogowski, wee don’t know anything about the plot and we are fine with this. The A24 project was shot in London with regular cinematographer Robbie Ryan….

Another American filmmaker who stands a great chance at cracking this line-up is Brady Corbet. We’ll he was feted with his debut feature and returned as a jury person on the Lido, his third feature, The Brutalist would make for great comp choice. Shot last Spring in Hungary and featuring the likes of Adrien Brody, Felicity Jones, Guy Pearce, Joe Alwyn, Alessandro Nivola, Jonathan Hyde, Isaach De Bankolé, Raffey Cassidy and good luck charm Stacy Martin, this chronicles three decades in the life of László Tóth (Brody), a Hungarian-born Jewish architect who survived the Holocaust. After the end of World War II, he emigrated to the United States with his wife, Erzsébet, to experience the “American dream”. László initially endures poverty and indignity, but he soon lands a contract with a mysterious and wealthy client Harrison Lee Van Buren that will change the course of his life. This was shot on film and sees Corbet re-team with Lol Crawley for a third time out….Also shot in Hungary and a film that also deals with Post WWII realties is the fifth feature by Emmanuel Finkiel. Shot last Summer, the book to film adaptation of La chambre de Mariana features Mélanie Thierry (who toplined Finkiel’s last feature, Memoir of War) and Julia Goldberg. Yulia (Goldberg) is fleeing the ghetto and deportation in 1943 Ukraine and Poland. She entrusts her 11-year-old son, Hugo to her childhood friend Mariana (Thierry), who is a prostitute working in a brothel. A veteran filmmaker, Finkiel had his debut feature Voyages premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight back in 1999…. A filmmaker who needs no introduction to the Croisette but has recently been a mainstay on the Lido, we firmly believe that Michel Franco might be set to return to a Palme d’Or comp with the Jessica Chastain, Isaac Hernandez and Rupert Friend starring Dreams. Filmed in San Francisco last summer, this involves a possible forbidden romance between a woman, who works for an arts foundation, and a ballet dancer. Franco re-teamed with his regular cinematographer Yves Cape…. He has been moving into new genre territories since winning the Palme d’Or with 2015’s Dheepan. For his tenth outing, Jacques Audiard heads into musical territory with Emilia Perez which stars Karla Sofia Gascón, Selena Gomez, Zoe Saldana and Edgar Ramírez. This is about a French singer-songwriter Camille about a drug mule who changes their gendern and it revolves around Rita who works for a large company in Mexico and is tasked with helping the formidable cartel boss Juan “Small Hands” Del Monte to retire from his business and to disappear in order to become the woman he’s always dreamed of embodying…. Five times in the running for the Palme d’Or (he won it for Secrets & Lies in 1996) and we possibly hit the half dozen mark this year with a project that has been in the works prior to the pandemic. Mike Leigh set sail on his latest project back in May in London of last year with Marianne Jean-Baptiste as the top-billing. Hard Truths is simply explained as a tough but compassionate and intimate film about family life that marks his return to a contemporary setting. Bleecker have this as a fall release so logic would include Telluride, TIFF and NYFF as part of the release strategy.

Feted on the Lido and well up into Oscar season with Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos lite the Croisette on fire when he won the Un Certain Regard section with Dogtooth in 2009 and in his two time sin competition her won the Jury Prize for The Lobster (2015) and Best Screenplay for The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017). The Searchlight folks have dated Kind of Kindness for a June 21st release so it’s almost unfathomable that this won’t receive a prestigious showcase. Kinds of Kindness is a triptych fable with segments following a man without choice who tries to take control of his life; a policeman who is alarmed that his wife who was missing at sea has returned and seems to be a different person; and a woman who is determined to find a specific someone destined to become a prodigious spiritual leader. This stars muse Emma Stone along with Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie, Hunter Schafer…. Since his Un Certain Regard preemed The Student (2016), Kirill Serebrennikov has been a favorite of the festival with three consecutive showings in the competition section. In a year where we’ll likely get not one, but two of his films, Kirill Serebrennikov worked with a screenplay signed by Emmanuel Carrère, Pawel Pawlikowski and Ben Hopkins. Due to the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, production had to be transported to a new backdrop. Starring Ben Whishaw, Limonov: The Ballad of Eddie is the outrageous story of Eduard Limonov, the radical Soviet poet who became a bum in New York, a sensation in France, and a political antihero in Russia…. If ever there was a moment in this Belgium filmmaker’s filmography to take part of the big dance it might be this eighth feature film. Fabrice Du Welz has been to the Croisette before with enfant terrible portraits in years ending in “4” with Calvaire in the Critics’ Week in 2004, and Alléluia in the Quinzaine in 2014. Maldoror features the hit ticket item Anthony Bajon in what could be a career turning/stomach churning portrait. Alongside Alba Gaïa Bellugi, Mélanie Doutey, Laurent Lucas, Jackie Berroyer, Alexis Manenti, Sergi Lopez and his Du Welz muse Béatrice Dalle, production took place in May of last year. This sees Paul Chartier, the newcomer who devotes himself to “Operation Maldoror,” set up in the greatest secrecy to keep an eye on a notorious criminal, as two girls have just disappeared. Faced with the dysfunction of an uncoordinated and unstructured police system, Chartier suffers the failure of the operation and sinks into obsession. He then embarks on a solitary crusade against a tentacular evil that fractures him from every side….A filmmaker who has been a bit everywhere on the Croisette with showings in the Directors’ Fortnight, Un Certain Regard and the Main Competition, Christophe Honoré made his fifteenth feature film a true family affair. Filmed in Paris and Rome in the early fall of last year, Marcello Mio could crack the competition line-up and gift cinephiles with a meta exercise featuring muse Chiara Mastroianni who, pressured from all sides by the figure of her father, decides to bring him back to life through her own self. She goes by the name of Marcello, dresses like him and asks to now be considered an actor, not an actress. The people around her believe this to be a temporary joke, but Chiara is determined not to give up her new identity. Mom Catherine Deneuve is part of an ensemble which includes Fabrice Luchini, Melvil Poupaud, Benjamin Biolay and Nicole Garcia….Despite shooting very late last year, another French option is apparently ready for show in Alain Guiraudie‘s seventh feature film. Starring Catherine Frot, Félix Kysyl and Jean-Baptiste Durand, the new film noir Miséricorde revolves around Jérémie who returns to Saint-Martial in the Massif Central region for an old friend’s funeral. In this village where so much goes unsaid, he must contend with rumours and suspicion, until he commits an irreparable act and finds himself at the centre of a police investigation….

We still recall the Critics’ Week premiere night malaise for Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel‘s debut The Snowtown Murders (2011) and since that splash, he has been in competition twice with Macbeth in 2015 and Nitram in 2021. Starring Jude Law, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Alison Oliver, Odessa Young, Jurnee Smollett, Marc Maron and Philip Granger, The Order is about an Idaho-based FBI agent (Law) who spots a pattern in recent bank robberies, counterfeiting operations and armored car heists terrorizing communities across the Pacific Northwest. He sets out to prove it is not the work of a traditional organized crime unit, but a radical group with a charismatic leader Robert Jay Mathews (Hoult). This was shot in May of last year with his regular cinematographer Adam Arkapaw. Since the feature Kurzel has moved onto television with “Narrow Road to the Deep North.”…. Some industry outsiders are thinking Paolo Sorrentino‘s tenth feature film temporarily titled B&W film Partenhope will opt for Venice — but we see this as a Palme d’Or hopeful instead. Filmed between June and September of last year in Naples and Capri, Gary Oldman toplines the mostly Italian cast — this revolves around a character called Partenope, who, is neither a siren nor the mythical figure connected to the creation of Naples. This spans from the 50’s to present day. Sorrentino has competed for the Palme on six prior occasions…. There’ll be some prestige animation titles hoping for a comp berth and we think that Michel Hazanavicius might be the filmmaker to grab that slot. in production for more or less half a decade, La plus précieuse des marchandises is poised for a 2024 launch. Featuring the voices of Dominique Blanc, Denis Podalydès, Grégory Gadebois and the departed Jean-Louis Trintignant, this is set during World War II — and tells the story of a French Jewish family who are deported to Auschwitz. On the train to the death camp, in a desperate gesture, the father throws one of his twins out into the snow, where he’s discovered by a childless Polish couple. Hazanavicius has competed for the Palme d’Or on three occasions and his last work Coupez! opened the festival in 2022. This was scored by Alexandre Desplat….Not all of his films are Croisette-bound but we are nonetheless on alert for the next François Ozon oeuvre. A project that was off the radar and we are still considering as an autumn option, the childhood memory tale of Quand vient l’automne stars Hélène Vincent, Josiane Balasko, Ludivine Sagnier and Pierre Lottin, this sees Michelle enjoying a peaceful retirement in a charming Burgundian village with her long-time friend, Marie-Claude. She looks forward to her grandson Lucas spending the school holidays with her, but things don’t go as planned in what is being coined as a crime dramedy…. In reading the big trades, we’ve become convinced that Oh Seung-uk might be a frontrunner for a first comp splash. The South Korean filmmaker reteamed with Jeon Do-yeon for a tale about an ex-police officer who leaves prison after serving a sentence for crimes in dubious circumstances and launches into a single-minded mission. Oh’s The Shameless played in Un Certain Regard in 2015. Almost a decade between his sophomore feature and this film, Revolver went into production this past June.

They’ve only competed for the Palme back in 2005 for Peindre ou faire l’amour, but the Arnaud Larrieu & Jean-Marie Larrieu‘s ninth feature film (filmed in June of last year) is being lined up for the big stage with Cannes Premiere being the least desirable back-up option. Book to film adaptation, Le roman de Jim stars Karim Leklou, Laetitia Dosch, Sara Giraudeau, Bertrand Belin and Noée Abita and in a nutshell is about a family living in the Jura mountains who are torn apart following the return of the son’s biological father…. As mentioned at the top of our predictions we think there are a pair of films from debut filmmakers who stand a solid chance at a big league inclusion. The first of these two bold predictions belongs to Ariane Labed. The French actress moved into filmmaking with her 2019 Quinzaine premiered short “Olla,” and she moved into production on her feature debut September Says back in early fall of last year. Filmed in Ireland, the adaptation of Daisy Johnson’s gothic novel “Sisters,” this follows two sisters born ten months apart and an encounter which forces shocking revelations about the girls’ past and future. It would be neat to see a competition section featuring a Lanthimos and Labed signed films…. Featured countless times in Cannes, David Cronenberg wasn’t found beating a dead horse after the competition showcasing of Crimes of the Future (2022) moving onto The Shrouds this past summer. Filmed back at home, Karsh, an innovative businessman and grieving widower, builds a device to connect with the dead inside a burial shroud. Diane Kruger, Vincent Cassel and Guy Pearce topline this horror thriller with a freshly dated September release…. Our most anticipated sophomore feature of 2024 is in our books should be a Main Comp lock. Georgian filmmaker Dea Kulumbegashvili already had ties to Cannes with her short competing for the Palme d’Or in 2014 and her next short in Léthé preemed in the Directors’ Fortnight section. For her debut feature in masterwork debut The Beginning (a Cinéfondation Residency selection) might have been shipwrecked by the pandemic but the 2020 Cannes Label selection was a huge winner not too long after with a Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress award at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Those Who Find Me features Georgia Ia Sukhitashvili and Kakha Kintsurashvili in the story of a female obstetrician in a rural part of Georgia who performs illegal abortions – after she is accused of negligence, during the internal investigation that follows, Nina’s personal and professional life will be scrutinized, and she will be forced to question her choices…. And for our final item, we are predicting another surprise selection and what would be a rare feature debut in comp with in Somalia-born, Austrian-based filmmaker Mo Harawe. It’ll for sure drop in 2024, his Village Next to Paradise moved into production in June of last year. The project received a lot of support over the years and was a recent post-production coin winner Atlas Workshops at the Marrakech Film Festival. This is portrait of a family in a village somewhere in the Somalian desert. Mamargade, a single father who makes a living by doing everything, is the central figure who leads through the world this film explores. His sister Araweelo lives with Mamargade; she sought refuge with him after a marital dispute that could not be resolved. In the middle of all this is Mamargade’s son Cigaal, whose potential is ignored due to the situation we see evolving around him….

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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