'Top Gun'! 'Elvis'! Plus everything else worth gossiping about at Cannes

Cannes Film Festival 75th Edition | Soho House

Cinema's biggest event is back in full force this year with a packed programme of movies and documentaries

Thursday 12 May 2022   By Olpha Ben Salah

A post-pandemic celebration is on the cards for cinephiles worldwide when the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival kicks off on 17 May. With just 50 or so features in the main programme (2,200 were submitted) and an intriguing cross-section of old and new, this year’s festival promises to deliver something truly special. 

Vaunted premieres include the much-anticipated follow-up to perennial fan favourite, Top Gun, with Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris taking to the skies in Top Gun: Maverick. Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis – with Tom Hanks, Austin Butler and Kodi Smit-McPhee – promises to highlight the music icon to a whole new generation, and George Miller’s fantasy-romance-drama Three Thousand Years Of Longing, stars Idris Elba as a genie tasked with granting Tilda Swinton’s lonely scholar three wishes. 

Cannes Film Festival 75th Edition | Soho House

Of the 18 films in official competition, two US filmmakers will premiere their latest films on the Croisette. James Gray is back in New York with Armageddon Time, an autobiographical coming-of-age drama set in the mid-1980s that stars Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins and Succession’s Jeremy Strong; while singular filmmaker Kelly Reichardt directs Michelle Williams for the fourth time in Showing Up, a gentle and emotional comedy drama that follows a sculptor on the eve of her next show.

An altogether different portrait of the artist is on show in Canadian director David Cronenberg’s latest. Body horror Crimes Of The Future, starring Kristen Stewart, Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen, centres around an artist who publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. French director Claire Denis is back with English-speaking title, Stars At Noon. Shot in Panama, it’s based on the eponymous novel by Denis Johnson, and features Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn. Also back in competition is Arnaud Desplechin with sibling drama Brother And Sister, starring Marion Cotillard.

Cannes Film Festival 75th Edition | Soho House

It’s always exciting to see Palme d’Or winners return to Cannes, and this year is no exception. Ruben Östlund directs Woody Harrelson in dark comedy Triangle Of Sadness, in which a celebrity couple are left stranded on a desert island. Also back are Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne with Tori And Lokita, a story of friendship and exile, while Cristian Mungiu presents a timely look at national identity and the fear of strangers with R.M.N. Elsewhere, Hirokazu Koreeda goes to Korea for the first time with Broker, which offers an intriguing plot around anonymously abandoned newborns left in baby boxes, while Korean director Park Chan-wook returns with romance thriller, Decision To Leave

Lukas Dhont, who helmed the poignant and beautiful Girl in 2018, makes a welcome return. His latest, Close, is the tale of two 13-year-old boys whose intense friendship is disrupted. Ali Abbasi – who also presented in 2018 with Border – breaks through to competition selection with Holy Spider, a dark exploration of a serial-killer investigation. 

Cannes Film Festival 75th Edition | Soho House

Competition section first-timers Said Rustayi, with Leila’s Brothers, and Tarik Saleh, who’s showing Boy From Heaven, are this year’s new kids at the Palais. Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen will present Le Otto Montagne, an adaptation of Paolo Cognetti’s bestseller of the same name, while Spanish director Albert Serra is in competition with Tourment Sur Les Îles, about a magnetically charming writer. French director and 2017 Caméra d’Or winner, Léonor Serraille, also joins with Mother And Son, in which a woman arrives from Africa and moves to the Paris suburbs with her two sons. And festival veteran Valeria Bruni Tedeschi returns with a comedy drama about a troupe of young comedians in Les Amandiers.

But Cannes, as we all know, is not just about the main selection, let alone the 18 films in competition. Look out for Sergei Losnitza’s The Natural History Of Destruction in the Special Screenings section, which is representing Ukrainian cinema this year; Michel Hazanavicius’ Z (Comme Z), starring Romain Duris and Bérénice Bejo, which opens Out of Competition; and Quentin Dupieux, whose Smoking Makes You Cough is sure to rock the Midnight Screenings section.

Find out more at festival-cannes.com

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