Talk to any young person seeking a career in the arts, television or film and the creative industries, the one place that they want to attend is the Cannes Film Festival that takes place each year on France’s Cote d’Azur.
The 76th Festival, 16th – 27th May, is set for a legendary year with Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, starring Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, and an out-of-competition world premiere of Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny from James Mangold.
Some of the best names in cinema will be crowding the Croisette in May – in fact, it’s hard to think which stars won’t be on the famous Red Carpet for this year’s epic celebration announced by General Delegate Thierry Fremaux.
The 2023 competition line-up includes new films from Wes Anderson, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Todd Haynes, Nanni Moretti and Aki Kaurismäki. The programme also includes the latest from cinema greats Wim Wenders, Takeshi Kitano, Victor Erice and Catherine Breillat. Seven female directors – one making her feature debut – will compete for the coveted main prize: the Palme d’Or.
Palme d’Or hopefuls include Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, who won in 2018 with Shoplifters and is now back in Cannes competition with Monster, and Nanni Moretti with Il Sol Dell’Avvenire after winning the main prize with The Son’s Room in 2001. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, won the Palme in 2014 with Winter Sleep, and comes back with About Dry Grasses, a family story set between Istanbul and small town Anatolia, billed as his most ambitious to date and running at over three hours.
Wes Anderson’s latest Asteroid City promises to be as quirky as ever and stars Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Steve Carell and Tilda Swindon. Todd Haynes’ May December features Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore in another emotional rollercoaster. But humour will undoubtedly come from Finland’s Aki Kaurismäki and Dead Leaves, his first film in six years.
Veteran Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas) makes a reappearance in Cannes with his Japan-set drama Perfect Days, together with a documentary Anselm, a portrait of German painter Anselm Kiefer, one of two films about artists, the second being Martin Provost’s Bonnard, Pierre et Marthe exploring the love story between the renowned French painters Pierre Bonnard and his wife Marthe. With love in the air, one time partners Benoit Magimel and Juliette Binoche team up again for La Passion de Dodin Bouffant, a 19th century romance between a gourmet and his cook, from Vietnam-born French director Tran Anh Hung.
Jessica Hausner is one of seven female directors in the main competition this year, with Club Zero. She joins Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher, who directs her sister Alba, Josh O’Connor and Isabella Rossellini in La Chimera. French filmmaker Justine Triet will present her thriller Anatomy of a Fall. Catherine Breillat, another seasoned French director, will be there with Last Summer starring Léa Drucker and Olivier Rabourdin; Catherine Corsini with her latest Le Retour ; Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania (The Man Who Sold His Skin) is coming with Four Daughters. A feature debut for Senegalese-French director Ramata-Toulaye Sy with Banel & Adamawill premiere in competition this year.
It takes a Brazilian/Algerian director (Karim Ainouz) to make a film about Henry the VIII, but forget Hilary Mantel, Firebrand, billed as a ‘history horror story’, has a British writing team behind it: Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth, best known for the BAFTA-winning series Killing Eve. The stars are Alicia Vikander, Eddie Marsan, Jude Law and Simon Russell Beale.
One of this year’s most anticipated films vying for the Palme d’Or is from English auteur Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Under the Skin): The Zone of Interest is an Auschwitz-set love story inspired by a novel of the same name by Martin Amis. British Oscar winner Steve McQueen brings Occupied City, a documentary that looks back at Amsterdam under Nazi-occupation. Also from England comes Molly Manning Walker, a graduate of the NFTS, with her debut feature that goes by the buzzworthy title of How to Have Sex. Let’s just hope that this and all the others live up to expectations.
Meredith Taylor is the film editor at Finito World
Photo caption: Catherine Deneuve, on the set of La Chamade, Cote d’Azur, June 1, 1968. Copyright Jack Garofalo/Paris Match/Scoop