Our Most Anticipated Premieres at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival

It’s time for the French Riviera to be overcrowded with celebrities, industry veterans, cinephiles and filmmakers to celebrate cinema! The 76th Cannes Film Festival is about to kick off with some of the biggest names in cinema including Todd Haynes, Wes Anderson, Hirokazu Kore-eda, and Martin Scorsese. This year’s Cannes Film Festival lineup has hit a record number of movies helmed by female filmmakers; there are seven films directed by women in the competition section.

21 films are competing for the Palme d’Or with a jury, presided by jury president Ruben Östlund, overseeing the competition. The jury includes Paul Dano, Brie Larson, Maryam Touzani, Denis Ménochet, Rungano Nyoni, Atiq Rahimi, Damián Szifrón, and Julia Ducournau. The jury will award the Palme d’Or to one of the films announced in competition.

In addition to the films in competition, there are more premiering in other sections, this year’s lineup is a dream for cinephiles everywhere. Ahead of the festival’s run from May 16th through the 27th, we’ve rounded up just some of the titles we are most looking forward to.

La Chimera (Dir. Alice Rohrwacher)

Set in the 1980s in Italy, La Chimera stars Josh O’Connor as Arthur, a young British archaeologist who finds himself entangled in the world of the tombaroli, tomb raiders who steal Etruscan artifacts. Alice Rohrwacher, who was recently nominated for an Oscar for her short film, Le Pupille. The film also stars Alba Rohrwacher, Isabella Rossellini, and Vincenzo Nemolato. The director is no stranger to the Cannes Film Festival. Rohrwacher’s The Wonders won the Grand Prix at the festival in 2014, while Happy As Lazarro won the best screenplay prize in 2018. The filmmaker herself served on the Cannes Jury in 2019. Neon has North American rights to La Chimera. – Kenzie

Strange Way of Life (Dir. Pedro Almodóvar)

I am most excited for Strange Way of Life, a short film premiering at Cannes this year. I am a bit partial, of course, because it stars one of my favorite actors, Pedro Pascal, and is produced by Saint Laurent. I am usually not one for westerns, but there are a number of different factors working for this short film that have peaked my interest. It is the second English language film for director Pedro Almodóvar, who has an impressive lineup of films to his name, and the debut production for YSL’s film production effort. On paper at least, this film seems like the makings of a beautiful film. – Lex

Monster (Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda)

Japanese auteur Kore-eda, who won the Palme d’Or with Shoplifters in 2018, is back in competition at the Cannes Film Festival for the seventh time. He premiered his fantastic Broker in competition last year. Though not much has been disclosed about the plot, we do know it’s a coming-of-age drama told from three perspectives. The script is from TV writer Yuji Sakamoto, making this only the second feature by Kore-eda to be penned by another writer since his 1995 debut drama Maborosi. Monster also features a score by legendary composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who passed away in March. – Kenzie

Killers of the Flower Moon (Dir. Martin Scorsese)

Easy to say this is one of the most anticipated films of the year, not just the Cannes Film Festival. Killers of the Flower Moon will mark Martin Scorsese’s first appearance on the Croisette since winning the award for Best Director in 1985 for one of his many masterpieces, After Hours. The film is an adaptation of David Grann’s non-fiction book titled Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI the film is centered around the systemic murders of Osage Indians in Oklahoma during the 1920s. The all-star cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone, and Robert De Niro. – Kenzie

Asteroid City (Dir. Wes Anderson)

Any new film of Wes Anderson’s is exciting, even if his previous Cannes premiere, The French Dispatch (2021), was a bit of a disappointment. But Asteroid City looks a bit more promising, jarring color palette aside. The film features Wes Anderson staples like Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, and Willem Dafoe, while also including some new faces to the aesthetically-curated world of Wes Anderson including Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie, and Maya Hawke.  The sci-fi film is set in the 1950s at an annual Junior Stargazer convention. The trailer has left no doubt that it’s full of quippy lines, unique plots, and delightfully blocked shots. Plus, the Wes Anderson TikTok trend has put us in the mood for a new film from the auteur. Focus Features will distribute Asteroid City within the United States. – Nicole

May/December (Dir. Todd Haynes)

Todd Haynes is returning to the French Riviera to showcase his latest film starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore. The incredible director has won previous awards at the Cannes Film Festival for Velvet Goldmine and CarolMay/December revolves around an actress interested in researching a scandalous romance between an older woman and her younger husband. This is Haynes’ first feature since documentary The Velvet Underground screened out of competition at the festival two years ago. – Kenzie

The Zone of Interest (Dir. Jonathan Glazer)

Cinephiles rejoiced upon one of the most exciting announcements of this year’s Cannes lineup; the return of Under the Skin and Birth director Jonathan Glazer, whose film The Zone of Interest will serve as his first feature in a decade (!!). Lightly based on the novel of the same name by Martin Amis, the film tells the story of a Nazi officer who falls in love with the wife (Sandra Hüller) of a commander of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The film also reunites Glazer with composer Mica Levi. – Kenzie

Occupied City (Dir. Steve McQueen)

Steve McQueen is one of the most exciting filmmakers working today. His documentary, Occupied City, is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival and is listed as over four hours long. The documentary will showcase the ‘present and past continuously intersect and overlap in the capital of the Netherlands. The visuals all show contemporary Amsterdam – its streets, squares, 17th century buildings – while the narration points out, in even tones, what took place at those very locations during World War II when the Nazis ruled: arrests, executions, betrayals, acts of inhumanity and, sometimes, acts of heroism.’ A24 and New Regency are behind the film, which premieres in the Special Screenings section, out of competition at the film festival. – Kenzie

Anatomy of a Fall (Dir. Justine Triet)

Justine Triet’s fourth feature is a natural pick for the Cannes Film Festival as all of her features have shown at the festival. Described as a Hitchockian drama, Anatomy of A Fall is about a woman on trial for murder following her husband’s mysterious death in the Alps. Her blind son starts to doubt her innocence as the trial unfolds in the film starring Sandra Hüller alongside Swann Arlaud. – Kenzie

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