Awards Hopefuls at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival

The 2022 Cannes Film Festival line-up was recently announced, and it looks to be as massive as ever bringing in what should be some amazing films from all around the world. Some of these films will receive the first boost into the 2022/23 awards season. Here are a few Cannes premieres that I think have some award potential.

Armageddon Time – In Competition

From director James Gray (Ad Astra), Armageddon Time is a coming-of-age story about growing up in Queens in the 1980s. This film is said to be a semi-autobiographical one for the writer/director and stars a loaded cast of Anthony Hopkins, Anne Hathaway, and Jeremy Strong. These semi-autobiographical films are all the rage right now for directors – Alfonso Cuarón, Kenneth Branagh, and Steven Spielberg to name a few – and this kind of story could be one to finally break Gray into the awards conversation after his previous two films, Ad Astra and The Lost City of Z, failed to do so.

Broker – In Competition

Writer/director Hirokazu Kore-eda was nominated for a BAFTA in 2019 with Shoplifters which also conveniently won the Palme d’Or in 2018. Led by Kang-ho Song – who recently starred in 2020’s historical Best Picture winner ParasiteBroker revolves around a group of people who are associated with baby boxes, an anonymous drop-off service that allows infants to be cared for by others. The recent success of international films could help Hirokazu – who recently teamed up with Netflix to develop a series and a film for the streaming service – when it comes to the Oscars race.

Decision to Leave – In Competition

For a while, it was unknown if this film would even release in time for the 2022/23 awards season. That looks to be squandered now as Park Chan-wook’s crime/drama will premiere at Cannes this year. Of all the films releasing at Cannes this year, I think this is the one that has the best shot of really making its mark this awards season. Park Chan-wook is a well-known figure in film history and recently won a BAFTA for The Handmaiden. Long overdue for an Oscar nomination in any capacity, Decision to Leave gives Park Chan-wook the chance to follow in the footsteps of recent first-time international directors, and a strong showing at Cannes could greatly help his, and his film’s, awards chances.

Elvis – Out of Competition

When the first trailer for Elvis was released, you could see Baz Luhrmann’s flashy and chaotic touch surrounding the film. Austin Butler looked to be perfectly cast as the King of Rock and Roll, even if his counterpart, Tom Hanks, felt oddly placed. I’m not completely sure if releasing at Cannes helps or hurts the case for this film; Rocketman premiered at Cannes to rave reviews and applause, but a far too early release date hurt the film’s award chances in the long run. Nevertheless, it seems like we won’t have to wait long to figure out if this is going to be a Moulin Rouge or a Great Gatsby.

Moonage Daydream – Midnight Screening

This film comes with an asterisk as I am not 100% sure what it will exactly be. This will be the first film to receive official approval from the Bowie estate, and director Brett Morgan – Oscar-nominated for his documentary On the Ropes – was given unfiltered access into the David Bowie archives. This film will feature never before seen footage of Bowie in concert and is being labeled as a feature film, concert documentary, and an experimental cinematic odyssey. If it isn’t too experimental and fits in the context of a documentary, this could be one of the early leaders for Best Documentary at the 2023 Oscars

Three Thousand Years of Longing – Out of Competition

Since 1998, George Miller has made a sequel to Babe, two Happy Feet movies, and a sci-fi masterpiece in Mad Max: Fury Road. His film Three Thousand Years of Longing will be his first director output since Mad Max: Fury Road, and it seems like he is trading sci-fi for fantasy. Led by Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, little is known about what this film will exactly be; given the genre and context of the movie the synopsis doesn’t help all that much. However, coming off a film that just went 6/10 at the Oscars means we have to at least take this film, and George Miller himself, seriously until proven otherwise.

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