On Thursday morning, Cannes delegate general Thierry Fremaux and president Pierre Lescure announced the lineup of films that will be playing at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival, the most prestigious film festival in the world.
As usual, most of the attention during the conference was reserved for Cannes’ highly secretive (and scrutinized) Competition lineup as the vast majority of films that make the Competition cut go on to receive massive critical and commercial success worldwide. Out of the 17 films that have been announced to play in competition this year, 16 are works from filmmakers who have already had their previous films play at the festival. So, it’s still an exclusive club that’s nearly impossible to get into if you aren’t an established Cannes favorite.
Previous Cannes prize winners returning to the competition lineup include Americans Gus Van Sant (The Sea of Trees) and Todd Haynes (Carol), Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien (The Assassin), French filmmakers Jacques Audiard (Dheepan) and Maiwenn (Mon roi), Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda (Our Little Sister), Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke (Mountains May Depart) and three Cannes staples from Italy: Nanni Moreti (My Mother), Matteo Garrone (The Tale of Tales) and Paolo Sorrentino, whose Youth has perhaps the most striking trailer I’ve seen this year.
Those making their first trip to the Competition selection after having previous films play in either the Un Certain Regard of Director’s Fortnight selections are Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), Norwegian Joachim Trier (Louder than Bombs), Australian Justin Kurzel (Macbeth), French filmmakers Valerie Donzelli (Marguerite and Julien) and Stephane Brize (A Simple Man), and Canadian Denis Villeneuve (Sicario). The sole debutant in the competition lineup is Hungarian filmmaker Laszlo Nemes’ Holocaust drama Son of Saul.
Even though this year’s Cannes competition lineup looks like a truly global affair with four continents being represented (South America is a surprisingly glaring omission), Hollywood will still have its biggest presence in years! Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are headlining Todd Haynes’ Carol while Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe are the stars of Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees. Meanwhile, Villeneuve’s Sicario stars Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, and Kurzel’s Macbeth adaptation stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in the leads. All are expected to be Oscar contenders from major studios towards the end of the year. The Lobster, Lanthimos’ English-language debut, features Colin Farrell, Rachel Weitz, Ben Wishaw and John C. Reilly in major roles. Weitz will also appear in Sorrentino’s Youth alongside Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel while Reilly is part of the large ensemble cast of Garrone’s The Tale of Tales with Salma Hayek and Vincent Cassel. There’s also Louder than Bombs which will star Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert, David Strathairn and Amy Ryan.
Hollywood will also make waves outside the competition lineup with the blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, Pixar’s Inside Out, Woody Allen’s Irrational Man starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone, and A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman’s directorial debut (which will play as a Special Screening).
As previously announced, American masters Ethan and Joel Coen will serve as Presidents of this year’s Jury. The 68th Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 13-24.
Here’s the full lineup. For descriptions of each film, visit Variety.
Standing Tall (La Tete Haute), Emmanuelle Bercot
Carol, Todd Haynes
Macbeth, Justin Kurzel
Dheepan, Jacques Audiard
The Measure of Man, Stephane Brize
Marguerite and Julien, Valerie Donzelli
The Tale of Tales, Matteo Garrone
The Assassin, Hou Hsiao Hsien
Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhangke
Our Little Sister, Hirokazu Koreeda
The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos
Mon roi, Maiwenn
Mia Madre, Nanni Moretti
Son of Saul, Laszlo Nemes
Youth, Paulo Sorrentino
Louder Than Bombs, Joachim Trier
Sea of Trees, Gus Van Sant
Sicario, Denis Villeneuve
Out of Competition
Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller
Inside Out, Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Irrational Man, Woody Allen
The Little Prince, Mark Osborne
A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman
Asphalte, Samuel Benchetrit
Panama, Pavle Vuckovic
Amnesia, Barbet Schroeder
Hayored Lema’Ala, Elad Keidan
Oka, Souleymane Cisse
Amy, Asif Kapadia
Office, Hong Won-Chan
Un Certain Regard
Madonna, Shin Suwon
Maryland, Anna Winocour
The Fourth Direction, Gurvinder Singh
Masaan (Fly Away Solo), Neeraj Ghaywan
Hruter (Rams), Grimur Hakonarson
Kishibe No Tabi (Journey to the Shore), Kiyoshi
Je Suis Un Soldat (I Am a Soldier), Laurent Larivere
Zvizdan (The High Sun), Dalibor Matanic
The Other Side, Roberto Minervini
One Floor Below, Radu Muntean
Shameless, Oh Seung-Uk
The Chosen Ones, David Pablos
Nahid, Ida Panahandeh
The Treasure, Corneliu Porumboiu