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55th Critics’ Week: France Dominates Selections with Justine Triet’s “In Bed With Victoria” as Opener

As we wait for the Directors’ Fortnight to confirm the future Croisette status of Alejandro Jodorowsky if Endless Poetry, Kim Nguyen’s Two Lovers and a Bear, Rebecca Zlotowski’s Planetarium, Katell Quillevere’s Heart, Tran Anh Hung’s Eternity and the puzzling situation regarding Bertrand Bonello’s Paris is Happening, it is the Charles Tesson led crew of the Critics’ Week that released a savoury bunch of world cinema offerings from first and second time filmmakers this morning.

Typically the hardest section to predict, of the seven comp selections (out of 1100 submitted) we did highlight Julia Ducournau’s Raw (a Camera d’Or candidate this year and was a Critics’ Week winner for her short a couple of years back) as a possible Croisette offering and the only other helmer we’ve heard of is Óliver Laxe (he bestowed the Directors’ Fortnight section with his 2010 docu Todos vós sodes capitáns). This year’s possible treasures comes from a sprinkling of countries that are often overlooked: we got Lebanon, Cambodia and Singapore. And unless you count shorts from Chloë Sevigny (Kitty) and François Jaros’ (who offered us the excellent Sundance short Life’s a Bitch) Oh What A Wonderful Feeling, this year is “short” on North American entries and heavy with French line-up (several co-productions). Here are all the selections as described by Tesson himself.

Competition (Feature Films)
Albüm – Mehmet Can Mertoğlu (Turkey/France/Romania)
Mimosas – Óliver Laxe (Spain/Morocco/France/Qatar)
Raw – Julia Ducournau (France/Belgium)
Tramontane – Vatche Boulghourjian (Lebanon/France)
A Yellow Bird – K. Rajagopal (Singapore/France)
Diamond Island – Davy Chou (Cambodia/France/Germany)
One Week and A Day (Shavua ve yom) – Asaph Polonsky (Israel)

Special Screenings (Feature Films)
In Bed With Victoria – Justine Triet (France) (opening film)
Happy Times Will Come Soon – Alessandro Comodin (Italy/France)
Apnée – Jean-Christophe Meurisse (France)

Competition (Short Films)
Arnie – Rina B. Tsou (Taiwan/Philippines)
Ascensão – Pedro Peralta (Portugal)
Campo de víboras – Cristèle Alves Meira (Portugal/France)
O delírio é a redenção dos aflitos – Fellipe Fernandes (Brazil)
L’enfance d’un chef – Antoine de Bary (France)
Limbo – Konstantina Kotzamani (Greece/France)
Oh What A Wonderful Feeling – François Jaros (Canada)
Prenjak – Wregas Bhanuteja (Indonesia)
Le Soldat Vierge – Erwan Le Duc (France)
Superbia – Luca Tóth (Hungary)

Special Screenings (Short Films)
Los pasos del agua – César Augusto Acevedo (Colombia), From The Diary of A Wedding Photographer (Myomano Shel Tzalam Hatonot) – Nadav Lapid (Israel) (50+5 screening)
Bonne figure – Sandrine Kiberlain (France), En moi – Laetitia Casta (France), Kitty – Chloë Sevigny (United States) (closing screening)

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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