Keith Simanton's Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of Cannes 2023

by keithsim | created - 3 weeks ago | updated - 1 week ago | Public

The 76th annual Cannes Film Festival, May 16-27th, feels like retro-Cannes. In Competition we have Nuri Bilge Ceylan (he won the 2014 Palme d'Or for WINTER SLEEP), Anh Hung Tran ('93's Camera d'Or for The Scent of Green Papaya) Catherine Breillat (French Cineaste of the Year in 2001 for FAT GIRL), Aki Kaurismäki (too many In Competition noms to mention), and perennials like Jessica Hausner, Nani Moretti, and still-dyspeptic Ken Loach. I think we're only missing the Dardenne's for a royal flush. Of course, the big movies are Out of Competition but sometimes those can be a bust (STRANGER TIDES) as often as they are blockbusters (MAVERICK). And there's some Un Certain Regard films that deserve more than a look. Here are the Top Films that intrigue me and here's the full Cannes Film Festival guide. - Senior Film Editor, Managing Editor, IMDbPro, Keith Simanton

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1. The Zone of Interest (2023)

105 min | Drama, History, War

98 Metascore

The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, and his wife Hedwig, strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp.

Director: Jonathan Glazer | Stars: Sandra Hüller, Christian Friedel, Ralph Herforth, Max Beck

Votes: 209

I haven't seen a Jonathan Glazer work since UNDER THE SKIN. Couple that with some of his other, earlier works like BIRTH and 2000's criminally under-seen SEXY BEAST, one of the best mad-gangster films of all time (and about so much more), and this makes ZONE my top In Competition watch.

2. Jeanne du Barry (2023)

113 min | Biography, Drama, History

51 Metascore

The life of Jeanne Bécu who was born as the illegitimate daughter of an impoverished seamstress in 1743 and went on to rise through the Court of Louis XV to become his last official mistress.

Director: Maïwenn | Stars: Maïwenn, Johnny Depp, Benjamin Lavernhe, Melvil Poupaud

Votes: 1,610

The multi-hyphenate Maïwenn has tackled gritty procedural drama in POLISSE and relationship drama with MY KING with a deft hand but she has chosen to also star opposite a plumper, more rascally Depp for this period piece. It's opening the fest so the film promises glamour and the intriguing proposition of this director taking a crack at her DANGEROUS LIASIONS or AGE OF INNOCENCE.

3. Monster (2023)

126 min | Drama, Thriller

80 Metascore

A mother demands answers from teacher when her son begins acting strangely.

Director: Kore-eda Hirokazu | Stars: Sakura Ando, Eita Nagayama, Soya Kurokawa, Hinata Hiiragi

Votes: 202

Koreda returns after his excellent, morally dense PARASITE-in-waiting SHOPLIFTERS from 2018 and his 2019 Franco-fizz-out THE TRUTH with Catherine Denueve. MONSTER looks to be more his bag just given the title.

4. Asteroid City (2023)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

The itinerary of a Junior Stargazer convention is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright

Votes: 473

Yes, THE FRENCH DISPATCH was too long (still in my Top 10 for that year) and ISLE OF DOGS was...ponderous but it's still Anderson and he's still capable of creating wonder and striking emotional chords underneath all of that twill and twee.

5. The New Boy (2023)

116 min | Drama, History

63 Metascore

Depicts the mesmeric story of a 9-year-old Aboriginal orphan boy who arrives in the dead of night at a remote monastery run by a renegade nun.

Director: Warwick Thornton | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Mezi Atwood, Deborah Mailman, Wayne Blair

Votes: 41

BOY is in the Un Certain Regard competition which can be a blessing and a curse. The big stage premiere in the Lumiere Theater is off and so the expectations are lessened. And Regard has had both great films, like FRUITVALE STATION, and really not-great films, like James Franco's interminable Faulkner adaptation AS I LAY DYING. But it's a steady platform for new filmmakers, like Warwick Thorton, and has Cate Blanchett, in her next role after TAR.

6. Killers of the Flower Moon (2023)

R | 206 min | Crime, Drama, History

91 Metascore

Members of the Osage tribe in the United States are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s, sparking a major F.B.I. investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons

Votes: 788

It could be the final bow for one of the masters of cinema in the holy of holies, the Lumiere Theater where I once watched him unveil a peek of GANGS OF NEW YORK. Cinema doesn't get much richer.

7. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)

PG-13 | 142 min | Action, Adventure

Archaeologist Indiana Jones races against time to retrieve a legendary artifact that can change the course of history.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook

I'm completely apoplectic at the current trend of reconsidering the abomination that was KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL and I'm hoping that Phoebe Waller-Bridge can bring some of the Lawrence Kasdan-snap back to the series. Plus there's the hint that this is all time-travel stuff, which could be richer, and more poignant, than we can guess. C'mon Mangold!

8. Bonnard, Pierre et Marthe (2023)

122 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

Explores the art and love story of renowned French painters Pierre Bonnard and his wife Marthe.

Director: Martin Provost | Stars: Cécile de France, Vincent Macaigne, Stacy Martin, Anouk Grinberg

Votes: 18

Provost directed the ugly, beautiful SERAPHINE and he has both Cécile de France (HAUTE TENSION & THE KID WITH A BIKE) and Stacy Martin (NYMPHOMANIAC I & II) making this a Cannes premiere worth catching.

9. Strange Way of Life (2023)

R | 31 min | Short, Drama, Western

After twenty-five years Silva rides a horse across the desert to visit his friend Sheriff Jake. They celebrate the meeting, but the next morning Jake tells him that reason for his trip is not to go down the memory lane of their friendship.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Pedro Pascal, Ethan Hawke, José Condessa, Manu Ríos

Votes: 404

Yes, it's only 31 minutes long (or 8 FLOWERS OF THE KILLER MOON's worth) but any Almodovar is a must in Cannes.

10. The Animal Kingdom (2023)

130 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

69 Metascore

An adventure between a father and his son, in a world where some humans have started mutating into other animal species.

Director: Thomas Cailley | Stars: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Romain Duris, Paul Kircher, Tom Mercier

Votes: 38

Director Cailley's LOVE AT FIRST FIGHT was a favorite of the César Awards (the French Oscar), the plot sounds intriguing (even if it's not directed by THE LOBSTER's Yorgos Lanthamos) and it's got Adèle Exarchopoulos.

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