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2018 Cannes Predictions

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The Conversation – Cannes Predictions III: Italy’s Sorrentino, Garrone & Rohrwacher Lead Europa Europa

The Conversation – Cannes Predictions III: Italy’s Sorrentino, Garrone & Rohrwacher Lead Europa Europa

It’s less than a week before the official program is unveiled for Cannes 2018 and this year’s festival already promises to be one of the most contentious is recent history—at least if all the pre-festival rumors are to be believed.

One thing for certain—Asghar Farhadi’s Spanish language Everybody Knows will be the official opening night film while also playing in competition, a reality some sources considered a dubious prospect only several weeks ago (the point being, we won’t know for certain until the lineup is announced).

But there are some things several sources do seem to know for certain, according to who won’t be premiering. Beyond the Netflix titles potentially yanked from the program due to the ongoing ban from the main competition (due to a rule establishing their films must also play in France theatrically), doubt has been cast on the appearance of new films from Claire Denis, Barry Jenkins, Jacques Audiard, and Xavier Dolan.

In deliberating who some of the remaining European heavy hitters might possibly be playing the Croisette, the rumor mill also seems to be predicting Luca Guadagino’s Suspiria will not be at Cannes. However, several other Italian auteurs look to be returning, such as Paolo Sorrentino with Loro—true, the first part of this two-part saga will be playing in Italian theaters prior to the festival, but some have suggested a potential special cut of the film will appear in the program. Otherwise, Matteo Garrone’s Dogman and Alba Rohrwacher’s Lazzaro Felice should be comp contenders. Meanwhile, actress Valeria Golino is back with another directorial effort, Euphoria, which could make the cut considering her 2013 debut Honey also played Cannes. Finally, the Italian delegation could also include Roberto Minervini. Currently in post prod with Nobody in This World Is Better Than Us, if included this would be his third straight showing after Stop the Pounding Heart (read review) (Special Screening – 2013) and The Other Side (read review) (Un Certain Regard – 2015).

Greece’s Yorgos Lanthimos has another English language title, The Favorite, but rumors have also suggested it may not be ready in time for the competition.

Belgium’s Felix van Groeningen may get his second sidebar entry (following 2009’s The Misfortunates) with English language drama Beautiful Boy. Perhaps making his way to the first time in competition will be Joachim Lafosse with Keep Going. Meanwhile, Koen Mortier returns with Angel and Olivier Masset-Depasse has the thriller Mothers’ Instinct.

Out of Germany and Austria, the major player seems to be Sebastian Schipper with Caravan. More likely might be Markus Schleinzer, whose 2011 debut Michael played in the comp, with Angelo. There’s no word on where fellow Austrian Ulrich Seidl is on Evil Games, so don’t count on him showing up, but another Austrian, Peter Brenner, has To the Night starring Caleb Landry Jones, which could also be programmed.

From Poland, all eyes are on Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, which would make its Cannes debut. But if Agnieszka Smoczynska has The Fugue ready, one could see this making an entry, potentially in a sidebar. From Hungary, Laszlo Nemes’ sophomore film Sunset also seems a given. It looks to be a quiet year from Romania, though Radu Muntean‘s Alice T. could be returning. And should he complete post-production in time, Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa could compete with Donbass (a feat considering he competed in Cannes 2017 with A Gentle Woman).

Besides Farhadi’s Spanish language title, Jamie RosalesPetra has made several rounds of predictions.

Following his banishment after the 2011 festival, many assume sanctions will be lifted against Danish auteur Lars Von Trier (who won the Palme in 2000 for Dancer in the Dark), whose serial killer exploration The House That Jack Built would otherwise be a contender. Von Trier remains the most notable Nordic auteur in contention, but 2018 could also see the inclusion of new titles from Johannes Nyholm with Koko-di Koko-da, while Iceland’s Kristin Johannesdottir’s Alma is in post-production—it would serve as the director’s first time in Cannes since 1992 and the film stars the late French legend Emmanuelle Riva.

Sure Bets: Loro, Dogman, Lazzaro Felice, Alma, Cold War, Angelo, Sunset, The House That Jack Built, Keep Going, Donbass, Alice T.

Dark Horses: Beautiful Boy, The Fugue, To the Night, Koko-di Koko-da, Suspiria, The Favorite, Caravan, Petra, Mothers’ Instinct

Long Shots: Evil Games, Nobody in This World Is Better Than Us

The Conversation – Cannes Predictions I: North & South America
The Conversation – Cannes Predictions II: France
The Conversation – Cannes Predictions III: Europe
The Conversation – Cannes Predictions IV: U.K / Ireland / Australia
The Conversation – Cannes Predictions V: Russia / China / Japan / South Korea / Asia
The Conversation – Cannes Predictions VI: Middle East / Africa / India

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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