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CANNES 2022

A week before the Official Selection is revealed, the mysteries of Cannes thicken

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- A congestion of films delivered in extremis further clouds the crystal ball of Cannes selections, but psychic predictions promise a superb lineup

A week before the Official Selection is revealed, the mysteries of Cannes thicken
(from left to right, from top to bottom) Directors Ruben Östlund (© Gunnar Bangsmoen), Cristian Mungiu (© T.Leibreich), Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Joanna Hogg, Pietro Marcello, Mia Hansen-Løve (© Philippe Quaisse), Ali Abbasi, Léa Mysius (© Alice Khol) and Lukas Dhont (© Georges Biard)

Once upon a time, a team of festival programmers found themselves not actually at a loss, but in fact receiving the films they must watch at a much more comfortable cruising speed than they are used to. When suddenly, in late March, an onslaught of films arrived, hundreds of DCPs flooding in day and night, inflating short lists, multiplying the number of pending responses and constantly changing the contours of the definitive lists of the happy selected few who will join the 75th Cannes Film Festival, the most beautiful showcase for cinema worldwide. The festival returns to the Croisette from 17 to 28 May, in its usual dates for the first time since 2019, and in a global context where the attractiveness of the 7th art really could do with its time in the spotlight. 

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Needless to say, a week before the press conference that will reveal the Official Selection (whose choices greatly determine, in a domino effect, those of the Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight sections as well as those of other major international film festivals to follow), speculations abound. Leaked secrets, rumours and forecasts are multiplying in Paris, before the final decisions are made next weekend for foreign films and in the evening of 13 April for French films. Because it is impossible to directly enter the mind of General Delegate Thierry Frémaux (the risk of a psychic uchi mata counter attack being extremely high), and because the usual crystal ball is unusually opaque, one must almost become a medium to make any tentative guesses this year. 

The race to the Palme d’Or could bring together Triangle of Sadness [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ruben Östlund
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile
]
from Swedish director Ruben Östlund, R.M.N [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
from Romania’s Cristian Mungiu, Tori and Lokita [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
film profile
]
from Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Broker from Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda, Decision to Leave by South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook, Crimes of the Future [+see also:
film review
trailer
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]
from Canada’s David Cronenberg, the American films Armageddon Time by James Gray, Showing Up by Kelly Reichardt and Disappointment Blvd. by Ari Aster, Tchaikovsky’s Wife [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
from Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov (whose opposition to Putin’s regime is well known), and L’immensità [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
from Italy’s Emanuele Crialese. Very likely outsiders include The Eternal Daughter from English director Joanna Hogg, Scarlet [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pietro Marcello
film profile
]
by Pietro Marcello (which apparently hasn’t yet been seen, however), Close [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
from Belgium’s Lukas Dhont, Holy Spider [+see also:
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trailer
film profile
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from Danish director with Iranian origins Ali Abbasi, Love Life [+see also:
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]
from Japan’s Koji Fukada, and maybe Pobres pibes from Argentina’s Benjamin Naishtat.

To this sketch of the potential candidates to the supreme distinction in Cannes, we must add the French representatives, a category whose identity is even more uncertain since several of them have not yet been put in front of the eyes of the festival selectors (either because they are in the final stages of post-production, or because they are betting on a strategic last-minute submission). The most buzzy titles currently are Brother and Sister [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Arnaud Desplechin and The Five Devils by Léa Mysius, with close favourites including Forever Young [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
film profile
]
by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Other People's Children by Rebecca Zlotowski, Sons of Ramses [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Clément Cogitore
film profile
]
by Clément Cogitore and Diary of a Fleeting Affair [+see also:
film review
interview: Emmanuel Mouret
film profile
]
by Emmanuel Mouret. The odds for Retour à Paris by Alice Winocour are falling slightly, while those for One Fine Morning [+see also:
film review
trailer
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by Mia Hansen-Løve remain in suspense because of how rare it has historically been for a filmmaker to play in Cannes Official Competition two years in a row.  

Since it appears that the Official Selection aims to renew the experiment of the Cannes Premiere programme, a given film’s possibilities for integrating one of the diverses Cannes showcases of the Palais des Festivals are therefore higher, raising the chances of films moving from one section to the other at the last minute. Among the many candidates in the starting blocks, we can see Corsage [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marie Kreutzer
film profile
]
from Austrian director Marie Kreutzer, Boy From Heaven [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tarik Saleh
film profile
]
from Swedish director of Egyptian origins Tarik Saleh, The Happiest Man in the World from Macedonian filmmaker Teona Strugar Mitevska, The Blue Caftan [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
from Morocco’s Maryam Touzani, a new film from Russian director Alexandre Sokourov, Hit Big from Finland’s J.-P. Valkeapää but also Godland [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hlynur Pálmason
film profile
]
from Iceland’s Hlynur Palmasson. Also lying in wait are the French films La Grande Magie by Noémie Lvovsky, Winter Boy by Christophe Honoré, Mother and Son [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Léonor Serraille
film profile
]
by Leonor Serraille, Harkis [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Philippe Faucon
film profile
]
 by Philippe Faucon and A Woman by Jean-Paul Civeyrac, as well as Dodo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pános H Koútras
film profile
]
from Greek director Panos H. Koutras, while the world of documentaries also offers several beautiful possibilities (from The Natural History of Destruction [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa to La Très Grande Évasion from French duo Yannick Kergoat - Denis Robert) and the buzz among animated films is dominated by Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman [+see also:
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trailer
film profile
]
by Pierre Foldes and Art College from China’s Liu Jian.

El agua [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elena López Riera
film profile
]
from Spanish filmmaker Elena López Riera and the documentary De humani corporis fabrica [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Véréna Paravel, Lucien Cast…
film profile
]
by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel are almost certain guesses for the Directors’ Fortnight, around which are also gravitating other titles such as Saint Omer by Alice Diop, Don Juan [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Serge Bozon
film profile
]
by Serge Bozon and La Bête dans la jungle from Austria’s Patric Chiha.

The word on the street is that Critics’ Week fell in love with a Portuguese film, but the fight for feature debuts and sophomore films will feed into the selection process all along the Croisette to the very end, with other candidates including Nezouh from Syrian director Soudade Kaadan, Morrison from Thailand’s Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, Pamfir [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk
film profile
]
 from Ukraine’s Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk, 1976 from Chile’s Manuela Martelli, La Jauría [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
from Colombia’s Andrés Ramirez Pulido, The Woodcutter Story [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mykko Myllylahti
film profile
]
from Finland’s Mikko Myllylahti, Opponent from Iranian born, Danish-based director Milad Alami, The Dam [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ali Cherri
film profile
]
from Lebanon’s Ali Cherri, Retour à Séoul [+see also:
film review
interview: Davy Chou
film profile
]
from Franco-Cambodian director Davy Chou, La Dernière reine by Damien Ounouri, Dalva [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emmanuelle Nicot
interview: Emmanuelle Nicot, Julie Esp…
film profile
]
 from Belgium’s Emmanuelle Nicot, French titles Summer Scars [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Simon Rieth
film profile
]
by Simon Rieth, Chien de la casse by Jean-Baptiste Durand and L’appel du devoir by Hugo P. Thomas, as well as L’établi by Mathias Gokalp.

Regarding the out of competition titles, after the already announced Elvis by Baz Luhrmann and Top Gun: Maverick by Joseph Kosinski, French films Mascarade [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nicolas Bedos
film profile
]
by Nicolas Bedos and Final Cut [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michel Hazanavicius
film profile
]
by Michel Hazanavicius are among the buzziest predictions. A game of psychic projection that Thierry Frémaux will end on Thursday 14 April with the reveal of the Official Selection (with additions to come later), followed by Critics’ Week on Monday 18 April and Directors’ Fortnight on Tuesday 19.

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(Translated from French)

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