The Cannes film festival is back. It’s that time of the year once again when the film world’s focus shifts from upcoming summer blockbusters to the titles that are likely to make a splash during awards season later in the year.
Returning to its original May spot after a move to July last year due to Covid restrictions, the 75th annual Cannes Film Festival feels like the first real return to normality for the single most prestigious event in the industry.
With names such as Baz Luhrmann, David Cronenberg, Kelly Reichardt, Michelle Williams and Tom Cruise all expected to make an appearance at the famous Cannes Croisette, this edition of the prestigious festival is set to be one of the most exciting.
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These are the biggest movies set to debut at Cannes.
This year sees the return of legendary Australian writer-director Baz Luhrmann. With a long-standing tradition of premiering some of his most iconic titles at Cannes — Strictly Ballroom in 1992, Moulin Rouge in 2001 and The Great Gatsby in 2013 — Lurhmann returns with the long-awaited biopic Elvis.
Charting the life of, arguably, the most iconic rock star in history, the film stars Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood) as Elvis Presley, while Tom Hanks plays Presley’s legendary manger, Colonel Tom Parker. Olivia DeJonge (The Visit) stars as Priscilla, the late star’s wife who is said to have approved of the film.
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Elvis will be released nationwide on 24 June, 2022 by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Elsewhere, writer-director and former Cannes Jury member (2019) Kelly Reichardt (Certain Women, First Cow) returns once more with her new Michelle Williams vehicle, Showing Up.
The film tells the story of a sculptor preparing to open a new show, who must balance her creative life with the daily events of family and friends. Hong Chau, Maryann Plunkett, Judd Hirsch, and pop sensation André 3000 also star.
Tori and Lokita
It’s not Cannes without a new film from double Palme d’Or winners Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (The Son, The Kid with a Bike, Young Ahmed). This year the esteemed Belgian filmmaking duo return with their new film Tori and Lokita, a story about a young boy and an adolescent girl who have travelled alone from Africa to Belgium.
Crimes of the Future
Perhaps one of the most exciting events of the whole festival is the return of the great David Cronenberg (The Fly, Scanners, Videodrome) with his first feature film since Maps to the Stars in 2014. Titled Crimes of the Future, this new offering from the reigning master of the body horror genre stars Viggo Mortensen, Oscar nominee Kristen Stewart and prolific French actor Léa Seydoux.
The Canadian filmmaker promises the film is a return to his roots, and predicts controversy on the Croisette. “I do expect walkouts in Cannes, and that’s a very special thing,” he recently told Deadline.
Watch the trailer above.
Three Thousand Years of Longing
Elsewhere, Australian filmmaker George Miller (the Mad Max film series) is back with a new fantasy adventure starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton. Three Thousand Years of Longing follows a scholar on a trip to Istanbul, who encounters a Djinn, who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom.
Critically acclaimed writer-director James Gray (The Immigrant, The Lost City of Z, Ad Astra) also returns to the festival with his new film Armageddon Time, a coming-of-age tale about growing up in Queens, New York in the 1980s.
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The film stars Anne Hathaway, Succession’s Jeremy Strong and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Stars at Noon
For her part, French writer-director Claire Denis (Beau travail, High Life) will be at Cannes for her latest film Stars at Noon. Set in 1984 Nicaragua, the story revolves around a romance between a mysterious English businessman and a headstrong American journalist.
It stars Margaret Qualley, Joe Alwyn, Benny Safdie and John C. Reilly.
Previous Palm D’or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters) makes a glorious return to Cannes with Broker. Parasite’s Kang-ho Song stars in this delicately layered tale about the phenomenon of baby boxes in South Korea, a place where newborns can be abandoned anonymously, allowing others to care for them safely.
Actor — and granddaughter of Elvis Presley — Riley Keough makes her directorial debut in War Pony, a film about two young men growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Ashley Shelton, Jojo Bapteise Whiting and Robert Stover star.
French writer-director Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sil Maria, Personal Shopper) also returns with a TV reimagining of his own cult 1996 film Irma Vep in this glossy limited HBO series starring Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Tom Sturridge and Byron Bowers.
It follows the story of Mira, an American movie star who comes to France to star as Irma Vep in a remake of the French silent film classic, Les Vampires.
Watch: Cannes prepares for start of film festival