Coppola, Arnold, Cronenberg hope to make bumper Cannes

Thierry Frémaux announces the return of the Festival’s big guns for 77th edition

by Richard Mowe

Clockwise from top left: Armand, The Girl With The Needle, Kinds Of Kindness and The Apprentice
Clockwise from top left: Armand, The Girl With The Needle, Kinds Of Kindness and The Apprentice Photo: Film I Vast, Searchlight Pcitures, Apprentice Productions Ontario Inc/Profile Productions 2APS/Tailored Films Ltd 2023,
After what was generally considered a vintage edition of the Cannes Film Festival last year with many of the titles in the official selection receiving awards and further acclaim in festivals and critically on release (including 26 Oscar nominations and three wins) Festival director Thierry Frémaux was facing an uphill task in trumping the achievement.

Thierry Frémaux
Thierry Frémaux Photo: Richard Mowe
In the event it looks on paper at any rate as if he has a similar fertile formula for this year’s 77th edition over which Barbie’s Greta Gerwig will preside as president of the jury.

In addition to those already announced such as George Miller (Furiosa), Kevin Costner (Horizon) and George Lucas (honorary Golden Palm), some of Cannes most treasured names such as Francis Ford Coppola (Megalopolis), Paola Sorrentino (Parthenope), Yorgos Lanthimos (Kinds of Kindness), Andrea Arnold (Bird), Ali Abbasi (The Apprentice), David Cronenberg (The Shrouds), Jacques Audiard (Emilia Perez) and Nabil Ayouch (Everybody Loves Touda) are all returning to the fray with new and highly anticipated titles.

Frémaux, officially styled as the general delegate, and his cohort Iris Knobloch, president, divulged their hopes and dreams for another bumper year at a media gathering in Paris today at the fabled UGC Cinema on the Champs-Elysées which, along with other historic screens on the avenue, is under threat.

“This year’s selection was not that easy either coming the wake of the strike by actors and writers in the States who were protesting to preserve their jobs. Mind you at this time last year we had no idea the Festival would have such success,” Frémaux cautioned. Despite the difficulties American cinema will have strong presence with Columbia Studios celebrating their 100th anniversary on the Croisette.

Knobloch took particular pleasure in Gerwig’s presence. “She’s a young woman, full of life and talent who has unique approach. She also has this deep love of cinema and its history, while Xavier Dolan as president of Un Certain Jury has a role that fits him like a love.”

She described the Festival’s role as akin to “finding the best films, putting them into orbit and then flying them to the moon.”

Lanthimos’ Kinds Of Kindness, is described as “a stylized three-part story set in the present that reunites the director of Poor Things with Emma Stone accompanied by Willem Dafoe.

Also in the mix is Paul Schrader’s Oh Canada with Richard Gere and Uma Thurman, based on a screenplay by the late Russell Banks on the theme of ageing and looking back on life. and Audiard’s musical melodrama Emilia Perez features Zoe Saldana and Selena Gomez deals with Mexican drug cartels.

Sorrentino’s Parthenope stars Gary Oldman and takes place in Naples where a young woman fights to be taken seriously for other things than her beauty. Cronenberg’s The Shrouds teams Vincent Cassel and Diane Kruger in a tale of the death of someone close to you. First time French film-maker Coralie Fargeat’s The Substance, a female-powered horror film starring Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley has shades of Julie Ducornau’s Titane.

Cannes launch 2024
Cannes launch 2024 Photo: Richard Mowe
Arnold returns to the tone of her early works such as Ratcatcher for Bird which focuses on a young girl trying to find her way out of a challenging environment and marks her first narrative feature in almost a decade. The director also is being feted by the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

Much attention is bound to surround Ali Abbasi’s The Apprentice, with Sebastian Stan (A Different Man) taking on the role of a youthful Donald Trump.

Australian director Lorcan Finnegan finds a novel role for Nicolas Cage as The Surfer which shows out of competition.

The Cannes Film Festival runs from 14 to 25 May with more titles to be divulged by Frémaux and co in the weeks in to come.

Opening film

  • The Second Act (Le Deuxieme Acte) - dir Quentin Dupieux Out Of Competition


  • The Apprentice - dir Ali Abbasi
  • Motel Destino - dir Karim Aïnouz
  • Bird - dir Andrea Arnold
  • Emilia Perez - dir Jacques Audiard
  • Anora - dir Sean Baker
  • Megalopolis - dir Francis Ford Coppola
  • The Shrouds - dir David Cronenberg
  • The Substance - dir Coralie Fargeat
  • Grand Tour - dir Miguel Gomes
  • Marcello Mio - dir Christophe Honoré
  • Caught By The Tides (Feng Liu Yi Dai) - dir Jia Zhang-Ke
  • All We Imagine As Light - dir Payal Kapadia
  • Kinds Of Kindness - dir Yorgos Lanthimos
  • L'amour Ouf - dir Gilles Lellouche
  • Wild Diamond (Diamant Brut)- dir Agathe Riedinger
  • 1st Film

  • Oh Canada - dir Paul Schrader
  • Limonov - The Ballad - dir Kirill Serebrennikov
  • Parthenope - dir Paolo Sorrentino
  • The Girl With The Needle (Pigen Med Nålen) - dir Magnus Von Horn

Un Certain Regard

  • Norah - dir Tawfik Alzaidi
  • The Shameless - dir Konstantin Bojanov
  • Le Royaume - dir Julien Colonna
  • 1st Film

  • Vingt Dieux! - dir Louise Courvoisier 1st Film
  • Who Let The Dog Bite? (Le Procès Du Chien) - dir Laetitia Dosch 1st Film
  • Gou Zhen (Black Dog) - dir Guan Hu
  • The Village Next To Paradise - dir Mo Harawe 1st Film
  • September Says - dir Ariane Labed 1st Film
  • L'histoire De Souleymane - dir Boris Lojkine
  • The Damned - dir Roberto Minervini
  • On Becoming A Guinea Fowl - dir Rungano Nyoni
  • My Sunshine (Boku No Ohisama) - dir Hiroshi Okuyama
  • Santosh - dir Sandhya Suri
  • Viet And Nam - dir Truong Minh Quý
  • Armand - dir Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel 1st Film

Out Of Competition

  • She's Got No Name - dir Chan Peter Ho-Sun
  • Horizon - dir Kevin Costner
  • Rumours - dir Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson & Guy Maddin
  • Furiosa : A Mad Max Saga - dir George Miller

Midnight Screenings

  • Twilight Of The Warrior Walled In - dir Soi Cheang

  • The Surfer - dir Lorcan Finnegan

  • The Balconettes - dir Noémie Merlant

  • I, The Executioner - dir Ryoo Seung Wan

Cannes Premiere

  • Everybody Loves Touda - dir Nabil Ayouch
  • C’est Pas Moi - dir Leos Carax
  • The Matching Bang (En Fanfare) - dir Emmanuel Courcol
  • Miséricorde - dir Alain Guiraudie
  • Le Roman De Jim - dir Arnaud Larrieu & Jean-Marie Larrieu
  • Rendez-Vous Avec Pol Pot - dir Rithy Panh

Special Screenings

  • Le Fil - dir Daniel Auteuil

  • Ernest Cole, Lost And Found - dir Raoul Peck
  • The Invasion - dir Sergei Loznitsa
  • Apprendre - dir Claire Simon
  • La Belle De Gaza - dir Yolande Zauberman

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