Top 19 Films I'm Excited to See at Cannesby keithsim | last updated - 1 week ago
I'm shocked at how many of the films on my list are from the Directors' Fortnight selections including my #2 film, AN EASY GIRL, from Rebecca Zlotowski, (GRAND CENTRAL). In the past Fortnight had been largely tyro directors from far-flung corners of the earth. Nothing wrong with that it just turns attending a film you nothing about, from a director you know nothing about, more of a crapshoot. Fortnight's new delegate general (read=creative director), Paolo Moretti, has brought in old and new blood while Cannes' In Competition committee continues to default to directors that haven't inspired me in years including the Dardennes and Ken Loach, all absent from this list. - by Keith Simanton, Senior Film Editor
1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
159 min | Drama
A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.
In Competition - The most anticipated film at Cannes is Tarantino's return to the festival 25 years to the day that his classic, PULP FICTION, premiered and conquered the fest. I'll admit that I'm plenty queasy about seeing anything about the Manson murders particularly as no one can make you squirm quite the way that Quentin does.
2. An Easy Girl (2019)
92 min | Comedy, Drama
Naima is 16 years old and lives in Cannes. While she gives herself the summer to choose what she wants to do in life, her cousin Sofia, with the attractive way of life, comes to spend the ... See full summary »
Directors' Fortnight - Zlotowski wrote and directed a 2013 Un Certain Regard entry, GRAND CENTRAL, that should have won the category that year (yes, even over another great film that year that didn't win, FRUITVALE STATION). She handles both intimate and momentous moments with the same dexterity.
3. The Dead Don't Die (2019)
R | 103 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves.
Opening Night - Not only does the opening night slot assure that it's at least pretty good but Jarmusch has had such a solid track record over the last few years including 2016's Un Certain Regard entry PATERSON and his elegant vampire film, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE.
4. Rocketman (2019)
R | 121 min | Biography, Drama, Music
A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.
Out of Competition - Director Fletcher's trailer makes the film look more like Julie Taymor's ACROSS THE UNIVERSE than a straight-forward BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, which is a good thing. Plus, Egerton burns excess charisma and talent on the weekends behind his pool shed just to keep it in check.
5. A Hidden Life (2019)
173 min | Biography, Drama, War
The Austrian Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector, refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II.
In Competition - I know, I know. I saw KNIGHTS OF CUPS and SONG TO SONG too. But perhaps my most enriching experience attending Cannes was seeing Mallick's THE TREE OF LIFE in the Lumiere. So I'm in.
6. Pain and Glory (2019)
113 min | Drama
A film director reflects on the choices he's made in life as past and present come crashing down around him.
In Competition - This feels like Almodovar slipping into the shoes of Fellini and I can't wait.
7. Parasite (2019)
132 min | Drama
All unemployed, Ki-taek's family takes peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident.
In Competition - I realize that I'm in the minority here but while I was utterly impressed with the scrappiness and edge of THE HOST I found SNOWPIERCER to be a one-note exercise in tedium, a political science class I didn't sign up for. But, besides my misgivings that this will be another soft-core societal lecture a la LA CIENEGA the man can make movies.
8. Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo (2019)
240 min | Comedy, Romance | Post-production
It's the end of summer vacation for Amin. The young photographer spends cozy evenings with Charlotte, the ex-girlfriend of his Casanova cousin. She talks to him about literature, he ... See full summary »
In Competition - I never saw the first MEKTOUB, MY LOVE but I did see Kechiche's BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, which won the Palme (and several other awards) under Spielberg's jury in 2014.
9. The Swallows of Kabul (2019)
80 min | Animation
Summer 1998, Kabul in ruins is occupied by the Taliban. In love despite the daily violence and misery, Mohsen and Zunaira want to believe in the future. But a senseless act by Mohsen will upset their lives forever.
Un Certain Regard - Some films you have to see because they look so beautiful. That applies here.
10. The Best Years of a Life (2019)
90 min | Drama
Out of Competition - Lelouch comes around one more (maybe the last?) time with another entry in the story of A MAN AND A WOMAN. Watching Trintignant and Aimee assay their roles again should be worth it.
11. Diego Maradona (2019)
130 min | Documentary, Sport
Constructed from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage, this documentary centers on the career of celebrated football player Diego Armando Maradona, who played for S.S.C. Napoli in the 1980s.
Out of Competition - Who wants to watch a documentary about a famous footballer? When it's from the director who made AMY, among other good docs, I guess me.
12. Too Old to Die Young (2019– )
TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama
Explores the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles, following characters' existential journeys from killers to samurais.
Out of Competition - Refn has a special place in my heart even though I typically warn anyone I know and love far away from his films. I'm curious and excited to see what he's done with a serialized format.
13. Family Romance, LLC (2019)
A man is hired to impersonate the missing father of a young girl.
Special Screening - It's Herzog so, if I can catch it, I will.
14. The Specials (2019)
Comedy | Completed
The story of two men, educators of children and adolescents with autism.
"Last Screening" = "Last Screening" is the new term for the old Closing Night Film and this is from the guys who did the smash hit, THE INTOUCHABLES which then became THE UPSIDE. Frankly, I'm glad that this nod to commercial filmmakers is happening at Cannes. God knows they've avoided such acknowledgments in the past.
15. The Lighthouse (2019)
110 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
The story of an aging lighthouse keeper named Old who lives in early 20th-century Maine.
Directors' Fortnight - Eggers made the very creepy THE WITCH
16. Wounds (2019)
R | 94 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
Disturbing and mysterious things begin to happen to a bartender in New Orleans after he picks up a phone left behind at his bar.
Directors' Fortnight - I haven't seen anything by Anvari but this is a crazy-talented cast. They must have seen something they liked.
17. Red 11 (2019)
77 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Based on the research hospital where Robert Rodriguez sold his body to pay for 'El Mariachi'. 'Red 11' is the shirt color and number he was assigned.
Directors' Fortnight - Rodriquez has been kinda-telling this story for most of his career. He should have it down to a science at this point.
18. Matthias & Maxime (2019)
119 min | Drama | Completed
A drama focusing on a group of friends in their late 20s.
In Competition - Ah, Mssr. Dolan, I give you yet another try with an open heart and a trusting soul. Please don't beat me up.
19. First Love (2019)
A young boxer and a call girl get caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme over the course of one night in Tokyo.
Directors' Fortnight Does the old ronin/last good cop have one last great film in him? Here's to hoping.