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Our 20 Most-Anticipated Films of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival

Written by on May 5, 2018 


The Cannes Film Festival, cinema’s most esteemed yearly event, begins in just a few days. While we’ll soon be on the ground providing coverage, today brings a preview of what we’re most looking forward to among the eclectic line-up, ranging from films in competition to select titles on the various sidebars. Check out our most-anticipated features below and follow our complete coverage here throughout the month. Make sure to also follow our contributors on Twitter: Giovanni Marchini Camia and Rory O’Connor.

20. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Terry Gilliam)


Hopefully a genuinely worthwhile film rather than a curio as it relates to its long-plagued production history, it’s still not precisely confirmed that Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will actually be legally approved to premiere at the festival. Let’s hope those issues get ironed out in the next few days, as the promise of Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce side by side in a Gilliam-directed feature, especially this one, is too promising to stow away. – Jordan R.

19. 10 Years Thailand (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnnon Siriphol)


We may have to wait until next year for a fully-fledged new Apichatpong Weerasethakul film (starring Tilda Swinton!), but in the meantime he’s contributed to the omnibus feature 10 Years  Thailand, premiering at Cannes. Rather than looking at the past decade, these directors–also including Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, and Chulayarnnon Siriphol–have each crafted a look ahead at what their country may fall into under its current military dictatorship. – Jordan R.

18. Fugue (Agnieszka Smoczyńska)


After making waves with her mermaid horror musical The Lure, director Agnieszka Smoczyńska is back, this time in the Critics’ Week section of Cannes. Fugue follows a woman who is suffering from memory loss, yet returns to her family even amongst her inner confusion. It doesn’t quite have the genre hook of the director’s prior feature, but it certainly has a more interesting psychological angle. – Jordan R.

17. The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier)


The latest work from cinematic provocateur Lars von Trier is the very project which caused the controversial filmmaker to paraphrase Roger Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon, claiming the film may be his final feature: “I think I’m getting too old for this (shit).” Okay, so maybe he didn’t say ‘shit,’ but von Trier stated that this may indeed be his final film. The House that Jack Built, the director’s first release since his beautifully disturbing two-parter Nymphomaniac, follows a serial killer named Jack, played by Matt Dillon, as he executes a series of vicious murders. Von Trier described the film as his “most brutal,” which after Antichrist, Dancer in the Dark and Dogville, feels like an incredibly bold claim. With Uma Thurman and Riley Keough rounding out the cast, we couldn’t be more curious to see what von Trier has in store. – Tony H.

16. Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda)


As he preps for his newest film starring Juliette Binoche and Catherine Deneuve, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda is returning to Cannes with another feature. Shoplifters, starring Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Kengo Kora, Sosuke Ikematsu, Chizuru Ikewaki, Yuki Yamada, Yoko Moriguchi and Akira Emoto, follows a family of shoplifters who take in an orphan. In recent years, it has seemed like every other film from the director has been a stand-out, so this hopefully follows the trend. – Jordan R.

15. Girls of the Sun (Eva Husson)


No stranger to Cannes Film Festival, Golshifteh Farahani is back this year, leading the war drama Girls of the Sun. Coming from Eva Husson, whose Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) we quite liked at TIFF a few years back, it follows a female battalion in Kurdistan who aim to liberate their hometown “from the hands of extremists, hoping to find her son who is held hostage.” While certainly timely, it also looks to be a well-realized tale from an up-and-coming director who finds herself in the competition for the first time. – Jordan R.

14. Dogman (Matteo Garrone)


Even when he gets too ambitious for his own good (Tale of Tales), Matteo Garrone is deserving of a look. His latest feature Dogman, described as an “urban western,” follows a dog groomer who gets involved in a boxer that terrorizes his small town, so he takes revenge. As for our anticipation, I mean, just look at that still above. – Jordan R.

13. Happy as Lazzaro (Alice Rohrwacher)


Returning to Cannes after The Wonders, Alice Rohrwacher’s latest drama follows a peasant and a nobleman living a small village. The two ban together in a kidnapping plot that leads them to experience the city for the first time. Rohrwacher has been one to watch in the past few years, so here’s hoping this serves to be a deserved break-out. – Jordan R.

12. Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski)


After picking up the Oscar for his austerely vivid drama Ida, Pawel Pawlikowski is back, this time in Cannes competition. His latest feature Cold War is described as a “passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatally mismatched and yet fatefully condemned to each other.” Set in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia, and Paris during the titular era, it’ll be difficult for the director top his best feature, but we’re eager to see what’s in store. – Jordan R.

11. Birds of Passage (Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego)


A perfect double feature with last year’s Lost City of Z, Ciro Guerra’s Embrace of the Serpent was a visionary, transportive journey and now the director will return this year with his follow-up, co-directed with Cristina Gallego. Opening Directors’ Fortnight, Birds of Passage follows an indigenous family who gets involved in the drug trade in 1970s Colombia as the marijuana business booms. Described as a film noir, western, and Greek tragedy, we can’t wait to see what one of international cinema’s most exciting directors has in store. – Jordan R.

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