Cannes 2022 Film Festival Predictions

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From David Cronenberg to Kelly Reichardt, here are the films we hope get announced as part of the lineup in April.

With another awards season (thankfully) over, the time has come to look ahead to the year in cinema. Anyone concerned that the release slate for 2022 will deliver the goods shouldn’t worry: The Cannes Film Festival is on it. The year’s most glamorous movie gathering is also the most reliable place for major international cinema to take flight, and with the lineup scheduled to be announced April 14, we couldn’t be more excited. Each year, we do some digging, a little guesswork, and some wishful thinking for good measure to come up with a list of films that seem poised to make the cut. 

As wish lists go, this one isn’t pure fantasy: For the most part, we only include films that seem to have a good shot at making the cut. That means we aren’t pretending that Ari Aster’s “Disappointment Blvd” will be ready any earlier than the fall, or that Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s “Bardo” hasn’t already set its sights on Venice, or that Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” is anywhere near done. At the same time, a few titles on this list may or may not be ready in time for the festival; others may have already been rejected. But if there’s still a slight possibility they could be there, we’d sure love to see it happen…especially since Cannes is notorious for finalizing its choices at the very last minute.

Already, a few titles have been confirmed as part of the upcoming edition, but even though plenty of people are excited about “Top Gun: Maverick” and Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” chances are strong that you’ve already heard about those. Instead, this 50-movie list prioritizes new work from the global film community with the potential to energize audiences in the months ahead, much as last year’s “Drive My Car,” “Titane,” and “The Worst Person in the World” did last year. If any these movies surface in the April announcement (and we know a lot of them will), consider yourself ahead of the curve. And if they don’t, stay tuned, because they’re still worth keeping tabs on.

Samantha Bergeson, Christian Blauvelt, Jude Dry, David Ehrlich, Kate Erbland, Ryan Lattanzio, Chris Lindahl, and Christian Zilko contributed to this list. 

“All That Breathes” (Shank Sen)

Although Michael Moore won the Palme d’Or for “Fahrenheit 9/11” and future Oscar winners “Inside Job” and “Amy” premiered at the festival, Cannes is not known as a major platform for documentaries. But that also means when documentaries do make it to the festival, they stand out. This time, that outcome stands to benefit a Sundance documentary that flew under the radar at the virtual event in January. Director Shank Sen’s World Cinema documentary prize-winner looks at two former teen bodybuilders in India who run a sanctuary for ailing black kites in New Delhi, and rumor has it that the film is in the Official Selection. The movie focuses on how birds of prey contribute to a fragile ecosystem beset by pollution and urban sprawl, but have been ostracized by most bird clinics due to their predatory nature. Sen’s intimate camera captures the brothers’ sibling efforts to rescue these birds and nurse them back to health despite a general disinterest from the world around them. The cinematic poetry of this entrancing documentary should help it stand out at Cannes and bolster appreciation for non-fiction achievements at a festival that always could use more of them. —EK

“Armageddon Time” (James Gray) 

Steven Spielberg isn’t the only beloved director getting reflective about his formative years with his upcoming film “The Fabelmans.” James Gray is plumbing the depths of his own coming of age in the Queens-set “Armageddon Time,” which was disrupted by the experience of Covid-19 in New York City. The film was announced in May 2019, before his last film “Ad Astra” had even opened, and was set to star Robert De Niro, Donald Sutherland, Oscar Isaac, and Cate Blanchett. All left the project related to the Covid delay, while Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Strong were added, alongside Anne Hathaway. It’s believed Strong will be playing Gray’s father. The film wrapped in December 2021, so a Cannes debut should have given enough time for post-production, and Cannes is often supportive of Gray’s work. —CB 

“Blaze” (Del Kathryn Barton) 

Lauded Aussie painter Del Kathryn Barton has already dipped her toe in the film world, co-directing the animated short “The Nightingale and the Rose” alongside Brendan Fletcher in 2015 (based on Oscar Wilde’s short story of the same name) and casting no less than Cate Blanchett in her solo short film debut “Red” in 2017. Her strong visual sense will surely guide her feature debut “Blaze,” which combines live action with VFX and stop-motion animation techniques. Starring Simon Baker and Julia Savage, the film follows the eponymous Blaze (Savage), who accidentally witnesses a terrible crime and, per the film’s IMDb page, “struggles to make sense of what she saw, ultimately finding renewal in the inestimable world of her own imagination.” The imaginative work is poised to launch a whole new chapter for the established artist’s career, much in the way that Steve McQueen pivoted to filmmaking from fine art when he took “Hunger” to Cannes. Here’s hoping for a similarly successful trajectory.—KE 

“Bones & All” (Luca Guadagnino)

Timothée Chalamet'Little Women' film premiere, Arrivals, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA - 07 Dec 2019

Timothée Chalamet

Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

Luca Guadagnino has been attached to so many different film projects over the previous few years that it’s hard to believe he actually followed through on one of them, but — after a brief, brilliant retreat into television — the “I Am Love” auteur wrapped production on “Bones & All” last July, and the tea leaves suggest that his first feature since 2018’s under-appreciated “Suspiria” will also be his first to premiere at Cannes (Guadagnino has always been more of a Venice kind of guy). And Timothée Chalamet will naturally be tagging along for the trip, as the “Dune” star reunites with his “Call Me by Your Name” director for another carnal coming-of-age story, this one adapted from a Camille DeAngelis novel about a teenage girl (Taylor Russell) who can’t stop herself from eating anyone who lusts after her. Chalamet plays her partner on a cross-country road trip across Reagan-era America, while Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark Rylance, and André Holland provide some of the familiar faces they encounter along the way. —DE

“Bowie” (Brett Morgen) 

Documentarian Brett Morgen – best known for his insightful, deeply sourced films like “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” “Jane,” and “The Kid Stays in the Picture” — has reportedly been working on a David Bowie joint for nearly five years. The hybrid project is reportedly based on thousands of hours of rarely-seen concert and performance footage of Ziggy Stardust himself, who died from liver cancer in January 2016.  The Bowie project will also feature live concert footage, with Morgen eyeing a release in IMAX. Along with directing, Morgen (who received a Best Documentary Feature Oscar nomination in 2000 for boxing doc “On the Ropes”) also wrote, edited, and produced the project. 

Made in cooperation with Bowie’s estate, the film boasts a seasoned pedigree below the line, with Bowie’s longtime music producer Tony Visconti on board, as well as the Oscar-winning sound team behind “Bohemian Rhapsody,” who will mix and sound-design the project. The film’s credentials also include re-recording mixers Paul Massey and David Giammarco, who worked on “Ford v Ferrari.” The sound design team also includes John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone, Oscar winners for Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” —KE 

“Broker” (Hirokazu Kore-eda)

After winning the Palme d’Or with his 2018 masterpiece “Shoplifters,” Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda seized on his newfound cachet by shooting his follow-up film in Paris with a cast of major American and French stars. “The Truth” proved to be another of Kore-eda’s immaculate stories of families lost and found, but the meta-textual drama premiered in Venice to polite applause and measured fanfare. All signs point to his latest feature marking Kore-eda’s grand return to the world’s biggest stage. Shot in South Korea, and reuniting the director with “Air Doll” star Bae Doona, “Broker” finds the filmmaker continuing to hop around the globe while also staying in decidedly familiar territory, as its premise hinges on baby boxes — where people can anonymously drop off unwanted infants — in a way that can’t help but summon memories of “Shoplifters,” “I Wish,” and “Like Father, Like Son.” Throw “Parasite” legend Song Kang-ho into the mix and you have a fine recipe to recapture that vintage Kore-eda magic. —DE

“Brother and Sister” (Arnaud Desplechin)

It wouldn’t be Cannes without a new Arnaud Desplechin film, and the starry “Brother and Sister” seems poised to rescue the prolific French auteur from his flop era (though all of his recent misfires have their fair share of fans) and return him to his golden days. The drama tells the story of two estranged siblings — played by Marion Cotillard and Melvil Poupaud — who are forced to reconnect after the death of their parents, and has promisingly been described by Desplechin as something of a spiritual companion piece to his 2004 stunner “Kings and Queen.” The project wrapped production in France last fall and started post in early January, which, per Desplechin’s usual schedule, should allow it to be finished right in time for its inevitable unveiling on the Croisette. —DE

“Chronicle of a Temporary Affair” (Emmanuel Mouret)

Emmanuel Mouret’s “Love Affair(s)” was the most nominated film at the 2021 César Awards, and already the French actor-turned-filmmaker is set to return with a film whose title sounds especially Croisette-friendly. The film, which stars Sandrine Kiberlain (“Another World”) and Vincent Macaigne (“The Night Doctor”), shot last spring, and centers on a single mom and a married man who take up a love affair. While their relationship begins as purely physical, it becomes more complicated as their bond deepens. High acclaim and placement on the Cahiers du Cinema top 10 in 2020 for “Love Affair(s)” assures Mouret will pop up on this year’s European festival circuit. Cannes seems like an obvious destination. —RL

“Close” (Lukas Dhont)

Lukas DhontUn Certain Regard jury photocall, 72nd Cannes Film Festival, France - 15 May 2019

Lukas Dhont


Thirty-year-old Belgian director Lukas Dhont makes his return to filmmaking with “Close,” four years after his controversial trans drama “Girl” received the Camera d’Or at Cannes, but also backlash for its depictions of gender dysphoria and self-harm. Though that film was Belgium’s Oscar entry in 2018 and earned considerable attention with a Netflix acquisition, its release was all but buried in theaters and on the platform. Starring Emilie Dequenne (“Rosetta,” “Our Children”), Dhont’s next film “Close” centers on two childhood friends whose relationship is complicated by the loom of adolescence, and could be an opportunity for bigger breakout status than his last undertaking. —RL

“Club Zero” (Jessica Hausner) 

Cannes regular Jessica Hausner seems like an obvious pick to return to Cannes — her previous feature, “Little Joe,” played in competition in 2019 and won star Emily Beecham the fest’s Best Actress award, and all of her previous films, save for Venice premiere “Lourdes,” have debuted on the Croissette. Her latest is filled with intrigue. The film, Hausner’s second English-language effort, stars Mia Wasikowska as a young teacher who takes a gig at a tony prep school, where she forms a strong — and eventually dangerous — bond with five of her students. In March 2021, Hausner told Screen that the film is “a lot about eating — eating disorders and eating behavior.” Early reports suggest the film is focused on a cult, and given Hausner’s predilection for engrossing metaphors, it’s safe to expect an unsettling one about today’s consumerist society. —KE 

“The Contractor” (Tarik Saleh) 

 Chris Pine and reunites with “Hell or High Water” co-star Ben Foster for director Tarik Saleh’s latest effort, “The Contractor.” The main actors portray two former Special Forces operatives who became entangled in a private contracting organization run by a mysterious fellow veteran, played by Kiefer Sutherland. Gillian Jacobs, Eddie Marsan, Fares Fares, Nina Hoss, and Amira Casar also star in the J.P. Davis-penned movie. 

 While the Paramount Pictures film will have a limited theatrical release on April 1 before heading to Paramount+ and Showtime later this year, “The Contractor” is still a contender for Cannes inclusion ahead of its international launch. Saleh, a Swedish director of Egyptian heritage, has a long-standing festival history on the circuit, with 2017 film “The Nile Hilton Incident” winning the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at Sundance and 2009’s “Metropia” previously premiering at the Venice International Film Critics’ Week. Saleh is currently collaborating with “The Contractor” star Fares for “Boy From Heaven” about the ruthless competition to fulfill the position of a grand imam in Cairo, set to also be released in 2022. That means Cannes could be a big opportunity for this filmmaker to expand his international profile. —SB

“Crimes of the Future” (David Cronenberg) 

“I have unfinished business with the future,” the legendary director of “The Fly” and “Dead Ringers” said. But remarkably, “Crimes of the Future,” his first film since 2014’s “Maps to the Stars,” is not a remake of a 63-minute 1970 cheapie he made that was also titled “Crimes of the Future.” Cronenberg, busy juggling his appearances as a recurring guest star on “Star Trek: Discovery,” filmed the movie in Greece last summer with a cast including Viggo Mortensen, Lea Seydoux, and Kristen Stewart. Mortensen told Variety that it feels like “we’ve entered a story he collaborated on with Samuel Beckett and William Burroughs, if that were possible.” Cronenberg is a Cannes regular whose movies tend to go over well at the festival, and cinephiles are certainly going to be excited about the potential of another masterwork from the auteur after this very long delay. —CB 

“Decision to Leave” (Park Chan Wook) 

South Korean director Park Chan-Wook, left, of the film 'Bak-Jwi', gestures as he arrives on the red carpet for the awards ceremony, during the 62nd International film festival in Cannes, southern FranceAwards Red Carpet, Cannes, France - 24 May 2009

Park Chan-Wook

Matt Sayles/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The South Korean thriller master could return to Cannes with his first feature in six years. That last film, “The Handmaiden,” competed for the Palme d’Or but lost to Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake.” But the intervening years have been kind: “The Handmaiden” has become one of Park’s most beloved movies, and he followed it up with a foray into television with “The Little Drummer Girl,” a John le Carré adaptation for AMC and the BBC starring Florence Pugh, Michael Shannon, and Alexander Skarsgård. 

Little is known about “Decision to Leave” other than that it stars Park Hye-il (“The Host” and “Memories of Murder”) as a detective investigating a murder who finds himself in love with a mysterious widow (Tang Wei): the crime’s number one suspect. Production started near the end of October 2020. The film originally appeared on a version of this list last year; by now, you had better believe it’s ready and Cannes would be the natural place for it to surface.—CB 

“Don Juan” (Serge Bozon)

Could this be the year that “Tip Top” director (and Director’s Fortnight alum) Serge Bozon finally graduates to Competition status at Cannes? Time will tell, but his postmodern re-imagining of Don Juan will certainly be ready for the red carpet treatment should the powers that be decide to screen it at the Lumiere Theater in May. Shot more than a year ago, “Don Juan” stars Croisette regular Tahar Rahim as a present day theater actor whose stage performance as the legendary lothario is complicated by the fact that he sees his ex-fiancée (“Benedetta” star Viriginie Efira) in every woman he meets… and naturally tries to seduce them all in a musical bid to exorcize his demons. When that fails, the ex herself is hired to play our hero’s co-star in a desperate bid to save the show. “Don Juan” may be a bit too frothy to guarantee a Competition spot, but if it has even a fraction of Bozon’s usual bounce and theatricality, it might just charm its way into the Palme conversation after all. And if not, there’s always Un Certain Regard. —DE

“Enys Men” (Mark Jenkin)

The Cornish director of 2019 fishing drama “Bait” veers into 1970s-set horror with “Enys Men,” a 16mm-shot, nearly silent movie that collides the ecological with the metaphysical. “Bait” breakout Mary Woodvine stars as a wildlife volunteer sent to observe a rare flower on an uncharted island off the Cornish coast, but reality and nightmare start to blur. Filming wrapped last year on the cliffs and moors of West Penwith, and with “Bait” landing rave reviews and British Independent Film Award in 2019, expect Jenkin to make a splash with his latest genre pivot at the festival, where it would make sense at Directors’ Fortnight. —RL

“The Five Devils” (Lea Mysius) 

Five years after bowing her feature directorial debut “Ava” at Cannes’ Critics Week, French filmmaker Lea Mysius seems poised to bring her latest vision to a bigger stage on the Croisette. Much like “Ava,” which followed a teenage girl grappling with her impending loss of vision, “The Five Devils” is similarly obsessed with the senses. This time around, it’s smell, and the film follows a young girl (newbie Sally Dramé) who has long enjoyed a heightened ability to sniff things out. Her life is upended by the arrival of her “mysterious aunt Julia,” who unearths all manner of familial secrets (some of them, it seems, even “magically”). 

The film also stars a who’s-who of rising and known French talent, including Cannes regular Adèle Exarchopoulos, plus Daphne Patakia, Noee Abita, Patrick Bouchitey, and Paul Guilhaume. Since her directorial debut, Mysius has kept very busy indeed, co-writing scripts from films ranging from Claire Denis’ upcoming “The Stars at Noon,” Jacques Audiard’s Cannes 2021 entry “Paris, 13th District” (which premiered at Cannes last year), and Arnaud Desplechin’s “Oh Mercy!” Looking for the next big name in French filmmaking? It’s Mysius. —KE 

“God’s Creatures” (Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer) 

Announced back in 2019, the A24-backed “Gothic psychological drama” reunites “The Fits” filmmakers — Anna Rose Holmer directed the Sundance breakout, which she co-wrote with Saela Davis — for a secretive drama. Anyone who was lucky enough to see “The Fits” knows that simple loglines can’t do justice to what Holmer and Davis can cook up between them, but we’ll try anyway. 

Starring Emily Watson, Paul Mescal, and Aisling Franciosi, the film reportedly “tells the story of a mother who lies to protect her son and the devastating impact that choice has on her community, her family, and herself.” Filmed on location in Ireland, the drama sounds ripe for the kind of impressive visuals and otherworldly underpinnings the duo brought to their last feature, and the backing of A24 hints at a fresh new hit in the making. —KE 

“Holy Spider” (Ali Abbasi)

Iranian-Swedish director Abbasi’s dark fairy tale romance “Border” was the great breakout story of Cannes 2018, where it premiered in Un Certain Regard and was acquired by NEON. The story of an ostracized creature’s sexual awakening was the kind of baffling and otherworldly beauty that only a true cinematic visionary could dream up (it also scored an Oscar nomination for its makeup). While Abbasi has an episode of HBO’s “The Last of Us” behind him (and also an adaptation of “Hamlet” starring Noomi Rapace for later this year), the time is ripe for another plunge into the filmmaker’s astonishing world-building. 

Buzz on “Holy Spider” is strong: This time, Abbasi leans into his roots with a project set in the country focused on a serial killer who believes he’s on a religious quest to rid the holy city of Mashhad of immoral women. Nabbed by the authorities and transformed into a hero by a deranged public after he’s condemned to death, the man finally comes to terms with his deeds, and…then what? Expect another dark and unpredictable look at anti-heroes recognizing their true purpose in the world, with a blend of risk and profundity that this filmmaker seems to grasp better than most. —EK

“Iao Capitano” (Matteo Garrone)

Italian auteur Matteo Garrone (“Gomorroah”) shot in Italy, Morocco, and Senagal for his latest feature, which tells the story of two young men who leave Senegal for Europe. The film is billed as a coming-of-age adventure drama, a “contemporary odyssey through the dangers of the desert, the perils of the sea and the ambiguities of the human soul.” The film is inspired by true stories and based on an origina idea by Garrone, who wrote the screenplay with frequent collaborators Massimo Gaudioso. Andrea Tagliaferri, and Massimo Ceccherini. —JD

“The Integrity of Joseph Chambers” (Robert Machoian)

Director Robert Machoian’s “The Killing of Two Lovers” was a memorable breakout from Sundance 2020 that turned on the ferocity of leading man Clayne Crawford and the tense, spare tale of an estranged husband and father driven to desperate efforts to salvage his family. Now, the pair have reteamed for a very different sort of project, though one that once again calls for Crawford to play a family driven to desperate ends. In this case, he plays a man in the midst of the current pandemic-era recession who attempts to hunt for sustenance, a decision that leads to a shocking hunting accident. The project, shot in Alabama in late 2020, also stars Jordana Brewster as the protagonist’s wife, Michael Raymond-James as a character named Lone Wolf, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Expect another tense, atmospheric story of masculine bravado driven to a breaking point — exactly the kind of complex portrait of America through the prism of personal experience that tends to resonate at Cannes. —EK

“L’immensità” (Emanuele Crialese)

Italian filmmaker Emanuele Crialese wowed the Cannes Critics’ Week in 2002 with the drama “Respiro,” but has remained relatively quiet on the arthouse circuit since, though his immigration drama “Terraferma” served as Italy’s Oscar entry in 2011. His latest film, “L’immensità,” seems like a no-brainer for Cannes thanks to a cast led by recent Best Actress Oscar nominee Penelope Cruz, who plays a mother living with her children in 1970s Rome. Rumors suggest that Cruz could be heading to Cannes as its jury president; if that happens, the movie obviously won’t go to Competition, but would make sense in a special screening slot. —RL

“Love Life” (Koji Fukada)

 Japanese director Koji Fukada previously won the jury prize at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard for his 2016 film “Harmonium,” and later returned to the festival in 2020 with “The Real Thing” which was part of Cannes’ Official Selection. Now, two years later, Fukada’s “Love Life” is anticipated to premiere on the same stage. The character-driven drama centers around mother Taeko (Fumino Kimura), her husband, and young son. Yet after a tragic accident brings her son’s long-lost father back into her life, Taeko dedicates herself to help her estranged ex through the pain and guilt of his current state. The film was picked up by distributor MK2 Films, which launched the international rollout of 2022 Oscar-nominated “The Worst Person in the World.” —SB

“Monica” (Kantemir Balagov) 

Kantemir Balagov on the set of “Beanpole”

Liana Mukhamedzyanova

Since he won the Un Certain Regard director award and FIPRESCI prize for best film for “Beanpole” at Cannes in 2019, the Russian director has been hard at work on an adaptation of the videogame “The Last of Us” for HBO and Craig Mazin. Whether he’ll have finished his third feature, “Monica,” by the time of Cannes — especially considering that he’s among the intelligentsia who’ve packed up and left Russia after the start of the Ukraine war — is unclear. “Monica” is said to be a father-son story, and Balagov’s slow-burn approach to such emotional situations has only gotten stronger, so it would make sense to see him somewhere in the Cannes selection. —CB 

“La Maternal” (Pilar Palomero)

Spanish filmmaker Pilar Palomero, whose 2019 debut “Schoolgirls” made her only the fifth first feature director to win a Spanish Academy Best Picture Goya, returns with a follow-up that expores the borders between childhood and parenthood. Tackling social issues from a comtemporary feminist perspective, the film follows a 14-year-old pregnant girl who arrives at a maternity shelter to fleeing social ostracism. Whilst there, she navigates friendships with the other inhabitants and reconciling her relationship with her mother. —JD

“The Natural History of Destruction” (Sergei Loznitsa)

Ukrainian director Loznitsa has been chronicling the instability of Ukrainian life at the hands of Russian persecution for years, often with movies that premiere at Cannes, like the 2018 dark satire “Donbass.” Of course, the Russia-Ukraine war has brought renewed attention to his work (and some controversy — when Loznitsa argued against boycotts of Russian cinema, he was expelled by the Ukrainian Film Academy). Timely or not, Loznitsa archival documentaries are often essential deep dives into troublesome European history, which is why it makes sense to expect “The Natural History of Destruction” to surface somewhere at Cannes. This time, however, the focus is on Germany, and the impact that massive allied air raids had on German cities. Focused on the way these tragedies reverberated in post-war literature, the movie promises another complex look at the victims of wartime destruction, which will make it essential viewing wherever it lands at the festival. —EK

“Nezouh” (Soudade Kaadan)

Syrian director Soudade Kaadan follows up her 2018 debut feature “The Day I Lost My Shadow,” which won the Lion of The Future prize at Venice, with another story set during the ongoing conflict in Damascus. The film follows a 14-year-old girl and her family whose roof is suddenly destroyed by a bomb. When a neighboring boy lowers a rope down through the opening, she experiences her first taste of freedom. Stuck between the precarious safety of home and the potential of the unknown, she and her mother must decide whether to stay or leave. While Ukraine still dominates headlines, Syria’s civil war wages on, and this film could be a brutal reminder of that daily struggle. —JD

“One Fine Morning” (Mia Hansen-Love)

Mia Hansen-Love'Things To Come', film premiere, New York Film Festival, USA - 14 Oct 2016

Mia Hansen-Love


Fresh off her first appearance in Competition with 2021’s extraordinary “Bergman Island,” French powerhouse (and longtime IndieWire favorite) Mia Hansen-Løve may already be planning a return trip to the Croisette. Her latest film, a star-studded intergenerational drama about a single mother (Léa Seydoux) whose struggle to care for her senile father (Pascal Greggory) is complicated by a chance encounter with an unavailable old flame (Melvil Poupaud), “One Fine Morning” was itself complicated by a COVID shutdown during the middle of last years festival. Hansen-Løve is no stranger to fragmented productions — “Bergman Island” revealed her gift to weave a seamless whole from wildly disparate parts — but it’s too soon to tell if her latest hiccups will force her to punt her new film to the fall. Cannes would probably rather she didn’t: At this point in her career, the festival may need her more than she needs it. —DE 

“Other People’s Children” (Rebecca Zlotowski) 

 It’s time for Cannes favorite Rebecca Zlotowski to ascend to the main stage, having previously premiered films in the Critics’ Week, Directors’ Fortnight and the Un Certain Regard sections, and this Paris-shot drama could be her ticket there. Starring Virginie Efira and Roschdy Zem, the film follows 40-year-old Rachel (Efira), who starts up a relationship with Ali (Zem) and promptly falls hard for his charming young daughter. But while their bond might be a tight one, Rachel has to grapple with some hard truths about who she is and what she wants.  Zlotowski’s ability to effectively interrogate human emotions and desires, especially those of complex women, is unmatched, and her latest sounds like another step forward for her career. Hey, Cannes: Put her in competition! —KE 

“The Perfumed Hill” (Abderrahmane Sissako)

Director Abderrahmane Sissako during a photo call for Timbuktu at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Abderrahmane Sissako at Cannes


Mauritanian director Sissako is a Cannes regular whose last feature, “Timbuktu,” played in competition at the festival in 2014 before landing an Oscar nomination. Sissako tends to make emotional stories of everyday life shattered by persecution and class warfare. His latest effort, initially set to go into production when the pandemic set in, builds on a scene from his 20-year-old “Waiting for Happiness” to explore a love story that extends from Africa to China. While it’s unclear whether Sissako will finish the project in time for this year’s festival, it would be exciting to have one of Africa’s greatest auteurs back at the festival with another study of globalization on an intimate scale. —EK

“Klarsfeld” (Mike Lerner)

Encompassing post-war history, fearless activism, and enduring love, this promising documentary follows Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, the so-called “Nazi hunters” who dedicated their lives to tracking down and exposing Nazis and making them answer for war crimes over the last 50 years. The film will chart the past achievements and present day battles of the married French couple, now in their 80s and fighting the current onslaught of neo-fascism. The project is directed by Mike Lerner and Martin Herring, the acclaimed filmmakers behind Oscar-nominated docs “The Square” and “Hell and Back and Again,” and executive produced by Alexander Nanau, director of 2020’s Oscar-nominated Romanian doc “Collective.” —JD

“Revoir Paris” (Alice Winocour)

Alice Winocour’s latest tells the story of a journalist who survives an attack in Paris and deals with the trauma by searching the city for the stranger who saved her life. Two of Winocour’s previous features have screened at Cannes, with 2012’s “Augustine” competing for the Palme d’Or, so her latest film seems like a natural fit for the festival. —CZ

“Rheingold” (Fatih Akin)

With a unique cross-cultural, energetic approach, German-Turkish director Fatih Akin has been a dominant force in the European festival circuit for nearly two decades. “The Edge of Heaven” won Best Screenplay at Cannes and “In the Fade” earned Diane Kruger the festival’s Best Actress prize. His latest film, “Rheingold,” features German rising star Emilio Sakraya as Xatar, the real-life multihyphenate German rapper who came to the country from Iran as a refugee. It makes sense that Akin, celebrated for his skill in portraying the nuances of modern life, has chosen such a complex character in Xatar: The rapper’s music has topped the German charts while being branded by the government as “youth endangering,” he’s founded several record labels, and served time for stealing over $2 million in gold. —CL

“RMN” (Cristian Mungiu) 

Cristian Mungiu is not just one of the leading lights of the Romanian New Wave; he’s one of the most awarded filmmakers at Cannes this century. He won the Palme d’Or in 2007 for “Four Months, Three Weeks, and Two Days,” and in 2012 and 2016 he won Best Screenplay for “Beyond the Hills” and Best Director for “Graduation.” His latest promises another bracing jolt of realism: It revolves around a man who comes home for Christmas and discovers that his community has been overrun by racial prejudice after the bakery hires two foreign staffers. Expect a tense and timely look at a global humanitarian issue through Mungiu’s typically intimate lens. —CB 

“Rodeo” (Lola Quivaron)

Billed as the first film to explore the urban dirt bike rodeo subculture in France, “Rodeo” marks the feature debut from Lola Quivoron, whose shorts earned acclaim at Locarno. The film follows the young misfit Julia, who infiltrates the male-dominated “bike life” culture on the outskirts of Bordeaux as an accident compromises her ability to fit in. Quivoron’s effort gets a boost from heavyweight collaborators including producer Charles Gillibert, whose recent Cannes entries include “Bergman Island” and “Annette,” and stunt expert Mathieu Lardot, whose credits include “Jason Bourne” and “Spectre.” —CL

“Scarlet” (Pietro Marcello)

Italian filmmaker Pietro Marcello last generated festival circuit buzz for Venice breakout “Martin Eden,” but he also co-directed the pandemic documentary “Futura” last year at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his latest “Scarlet” (“L’envol”) premiere at the festival. The French-language drama is set in Northern Normandy, where tells a two decade-spanning epic about the emancipation of a woman between the two world wars. The period drama incorporates musical and fantasy elements, with newcomer Juliette Jouan leading a cast that includes Raphael Thierry, Louis Garrel, Noémie Lvovsky, Ernst Umhauer, Francois Négret, and Yolande Moreau. Cinematographer Marco Graziaplena is behind the camera, with a script by Marcello and writing partner Maurizio Braucci as well as Maud Ameline and novelist Genevieve Brisac. “Martin Eden” landed Luca Marinelli a Best Actor award at Venice as well as Golden Globe nomination, while the movie featured on no less than Barack Obama’s top films list for that year. It’s easy to imagine that Marcello’s latest could garner similar momentum as his arthouse stature grows. —SB

“She Said” (Maria Schrader)

After Ronan Farrow, reporting of the Harvey Weinstein allegations was spurred by the indefatigable journalistic efforts of Jodi Kantor and Meghan Twohey, whose bestseller “She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement” is now being turned into a star-studded feature film. Starring Zoe Kazan as Kantor and Carey Mulligan as Twohey, “She Said” tells the story behind the women’s’ Pulitzer Prize-winning work in the New York Times that popularized the #MeToo movement. German actress-turned-filmmaker Maria Schrader takes on her highest-profile directing gig yet, after proving her commercial appeal with the popular Netflix mini-series “Unorthodox.” —JD

“Showing Up” (Kelly Reichardt)

Kelly Reichardt

Kelly Reichardt

Daniel Bergeron

One of great chroniclers of American alienation, Kelly Reichardt’s immersive filmmaking continues to enthrall audiences with unpredictable journeys. Her A24 partnership on “First Cow” resulted in one of her most exciting undertakings, a playful 19th century character study that doubled as a meditation on early capitalist pursuits. Now she’s re-teaming with the company and regular collaborator Michelle Williams, who gave some of her most memorable turns in Reichardt’s “Wendy and Lucy,” “Meek’s Cutoff,” and “Certain Women.” Here she plays “an artist on the verge of a career-changing exhibition,” per an official description when production was announced a year ago. Co-written by Reichardt’s regular collaborator Jon Raymond, the movie also includes quite the expansive cast: André Benjamin, Hong Chau, Judd Hirsch, Amanda Palmer, and “First Cow” star John Magaro are among the impressive ensemble, and the movie promises to tackle a milieu we haven’t quite seen in Reichardt’s oeuvre before — the plight of the modern artist, something she knows a thing or two about. The director has been to Cannes before as a juror, while “Wendy and Lucy” cracked Un Certain Regard, but she’s never had a film in competition. Here’s hoping 2022 is the year that changes that. —EK

“The Son” (Florian Zeller)

It’s not often that an Oscar winner reprises the role that they won for, but Florian Zeller’s sequel to “The Father” will see Anthony Hopkins do just that. Like “The Father” that preceded it, “The Son” is adapted from one of Zeller’s stage plays. While “The Father” focused on a man’s battle with dementia, “The Son” shifts the focus to younger members of the family, with Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern joining the cast in leading roles. —CZ

“Sparta” (Ulrich Seidl)

Austrian director Ulrich Seidl’s “Paradise” trilogy captured a bleak world of alienated people overwhelmed by a consumerist society, and now he’s returning to that theme with another world-building initiative: The recently-wrapped “Sparta” builds on the setting of “Rimini,” which premiered in February at the Berlinale. That movie starred an extraordinary Michael Thomas as sad, aging lounge singer Richie Bravo, who attempts to make good with his estranged daughter as his family’s history with the Third Reich catches up to him. “Sparta” is said to follow the same character’s brother (who makes a fleeting appearance in “Rimini”).  The saga of Ewald (Georg Friedrich) is shrouded in secrecy, though Seidl has said that the follow-up is another story of a middle-aged man whose past catches up to him. Seidl’s movies tend to be both tender and shocking looks at despair elevated by unexpected bursts of cinematic poetry. Considering the profound sorrow at the center of “Rimini,” it’s safe to assume that the singular filmmaker has more of that memorable combo in store for this new installment. Given that the “Paradise” trilogy traveled the festival circuit, it seems likely that this new duology will follow. —EK

“The Stars at Noon” (Claire Denis)

Claire Denis has never been one to rest on her laurels, but the 75-year-old “High Life” auteur has kicked things into another gear in the twilight days of her brilliant career. Her fourth film in the last five years — and her second of 2022, following the incendiary COVID drama “Fire” — “The Stars at Noon” is a revolutionary romance that finds Denis alighting to Central America for her return to politically-driven thrillers like “White Material” and “The Intruder.” Adapted from the Denis Johnson novel of the same name, the film tells the story of an English businessman (Joe Alwyn), the American journalist who winds up in his bed (Margaret Qualley), and the bond that forges between them as they try to escape Nicaragua during the death throws of the Somoza dictatorship. After a host of scheduling headaches and subsequent recastings, Denis finally wrapped production in Panama last December. It might be too optimistic to hope that “The Stars at Noon” will be ready in time for Cannes, but at her current pace there’s no telling what Denis might be able to achieve by then. —DE

“Tchaikovsky’s Wife” (Kirill Serebrennikov)

Russian theatre director (and regular Cannes competitor with titles like “Petrov’s Flu” and “Leto”) Kirill Serebrennikov could return to the festival with “Tchaikovsky’s Wife,” a new film about the toxic marriage between the legendary composer and his wife, Antonina Miliukova. While the film industry has been divided over whether to program Russian films at major international festivals, Serebrennikov is a significant enough director to merit a spot on the lineup. —CZ

“Three Thousand Years of Longing” (George Miller)

 “Mad Max: Fury Road” started its legendary journey to Oscar glory and cult fandom with a 2015 Cannes launch, and Miller served as the jury president the following year, so it’s only appropriate for the director to return with his latest ambitious undertaking. “Three Thousand Years of Longing” marks what seems like the same amount of time that writer-director Miller has appeared at the festival. Miller previously described “Longing” as the “anti-‘Mad Max” to Collider, but the feature — starring Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba — marks a “Mad Max” reunion behind the camera, with cinematographer John Seale, editor Margaret Sixel, hair and makeup designer Lesley Vanderwalt, set decorator Lisa Thompson, composer Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL, casting director Nikki Barrett, first AD P.J. Voeten, stunt coordinator Guy Norris, and prosthetics expert Sheldon Wade all on board, alongside Miller’s longtime producing partner Dough Mitchell.

“Three Thousand Years of Longing” centers on a scholar (Swinton) offered three wishes by a mystical Djinn (Elba) in exchange for his freedom. Their conversation unfolds in a hotel room in Istanbul, and leads to surreal consequences for both characters. MGM has secured the North America rights to the film, though a release date has yet to be announced. —SB

“Tori and Lokita” (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)

The Belgian Dardenne Brothers have been a Cannes fixture over the last two decades; eight of their films have screened in competition. They’re among just a handful of directors who have won the Palme d’Or twice, for “Rosetta” in 1999 and “L’Enfant” six years later. The directing, producing, and screenwriting duo’s latest, “Tori and Lokita,” follows a pair of young refugees who find strength in their friendship after traveling to Belgium. Its cast includes Congolese-Belgian actor Marc Zinga (“Spectre”) and past Dardenne collaborators Claire Bodson and Baptiste Sornin. —CL

“Triangle of Sadness” (Ruben Östlund)

Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson

Efren Landaos/Variety

Four years after he won the Palme d’Or for “The Square,” Swedish director Ruben Östlund is expected to return to Cannes with another ambitious comedy set in an enclosed space. While “Force Majeure” found its estranged family trapped at a ski resort and “The Square” was an anarchic look at an art gallery, “Triangle of Sadness” turns to castaways. The movie stars Charle Dean and Harris Dickinson as a pair of models who find themselves at a crossroads in their careers. The couple are invited on a luxury yacht, captained by a Marxist (Woody Harrelson in what’s expected to be a kooky turn). When the boat sinks and leaves them stranded on a deserted island with a group of millionaire jetsetters and a cleaning lady. The fight for survival challenges the so-called class hierarchy, as the housekeeper fares the best since she is the only person who knows how to cook. Vicki Berlin, Dolly De Leon, and Zlatko Buric round out the international cast. Shot during the pandemic with a sizable budget, the movie promises to bring Östlund’s unique form of social satire to a broader audience. —SB

Untitled Sidney Poitier Documentary (Reginald Hudlin)

The world lost an icon at the start of 2022, with the death of Sidney Poitier at the age of 94, but appreciation for his many decades of work has just begun. Reginald Hudlin (“The Black Godfather”) had already spent over a year working on this promising career overview, which is produced by Oprah Winfrey and Apple. The first Black man to win an Oscar in 1964, Poitier’s legendary achievements on both sides of the camera continue to inspire conversations around representation and Black art to this day. From “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” to “In the Heat of the Night” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” Poitier’s film work is a masterclass in performative intensity and range. Expect this project to be a natural fit for the Cannes Classics section, as the festival loves to provide a platform for the legacies of great movie stars, and this one — made with the approval and participation of Poitier’s family — fits that tradition better than anything. —EK

“The Way of the Wind” (Terrence Malick)

“Mark Rylance plays Satan in a Terrence Malick film” is the kind of sentence that makes cinephiles salivate. The “Tree of Life” auteur has been working on his epic film about the life of Jesus Christ since 2019, and expectations will certainly be high for the philosophical director’s take on the biblical material. “Son of Saul” breakout Géza Röhrig stars as Christ in the film, which producer Karim Debbagh described as putting a “dark genre twist” on the iconic story. The film has been in post-production for over two years, but rumors are swirling that it will be ready for Cannes. —CZ

“The Whale” (Darren Aronofsky)

In the five years since “mother!” premiered, master of the disturbing Darren Aronofsky has been busy producing comparatively tamer fare, like the Florida-retirement documentary “Some Kind of Heaven.” Now, he’s back in the director’s chair for the eighth time with “The Whale.” Brendan Fraser — spackled with prosthetics — plays the 600-pound Charlie, who abandons his family for his gay lover. The lover dies, Charlie becomes a hermit who self-soothes through compulsive eating, and then tries to reconnect with his estranged teen daughter (Sadie Sink). Adapted by Samuel D. Hunter from his play of the same name, a story of such grotesque psychological torment guarantees a wide canvass for Aronofsky to execute a provocative vision.  But will it land with the divisiveness of “mother!” or break through into pop culture like “Black Swan?” —CL

“White People” (Robin Campillo)

We haven’t heard from French director Robin Campillo since 2017, when he won the festival’s Grand Prix for his gutting and vital portrait of AIDS activism in 1990s Paris, “120 Beats Per Minute.” He also has quite the Cannes pedigree already, with the 2008 Palme d’Or for “The Class.” For his next film, Campillo turns his eye on Madagascar at the turn of the 1960s and ‘70s when, on a French army airbase, soldiers are living out the last carefree days of colonialism. Filming wrapped last fall with a cast including Nadia Tereszkiewicz from “Only the Animals” and Quim Gutiérrez of “Wulu” fame. With a French title that translates as “Flight School,” the movie promises another period-specific look at rascally young adulthood against the backdrop of major historical events. Cannes would be an inevitable destination. —RL

“Wild Sunflowers” (Jaime Rosales)

Jaime Rosales is no stranger to Cannes, having screened his last three films (“Dream and Silence,” “Beautiful Youth,” and “Petra”) at the festival. His latest, “Wild Sunflowers,” is a romantic drama about a young mother who falls in love with a dangerous man. The film has been described as his broadest work yet, with the potential for wide international appeal, so a Cannes debut would not be surprising. —CZ

“Women Talking” (Sarah Polley)

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/Shutterstock (2243597d)STORIES WE TELL (2012) Sarah Polley (DIR)Stories We Tell - 2012

Sarah Polley on the set of “Stories We Tell”


It’s been over a decade since Canadian actor-turned-director Sarah Polley’s last narrative feature, the lovable “Take This Waltz,” and she’s overdue to remind audiences that she’s a major filmmaker. “Women Talking” seems well-positioned to do that: The movie adapts Miriam Towes’ novel about a secret meeting between several Mennonite women where they speak freely about the rapes they’ve experienced as part of their community. Polley has a tendency to find the humanity in heavy subjects and make even dark times into absorbing portraits of resilience. Expect that to continue with this provocative drama, especially because — wow, is that a stacked cast:  Frances McDormand, Ben Whishaw, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, and Jessie Buckley are among the stars, while Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir (“Joker”) provides the score. With Brad Pitt’s impeccable Plan B Entertainment onboard as producers alongside McDormand (who played a similar role on both sides of the camera for “Nomadland”), this one has all the markings of a Cannes sensation if it’s ready in time. —EK 

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