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Cannes 2023 - Everything I'll Be Seeing

May 15, 2023
Hunter Friesen
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The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film events in the world, attracting movie buffs, critics, and industry professionals from across the globe. Each year, the festival showcases some of the most captivating and thought-provoking films, ranging from indie productions to big-budget blockbusters.

As a film enthusiast, I am excited to once again attend this year's festival and share my thoughts on some of the films I'll be watching. The lineup promises to deliver a diverse range of stories and perspectives.

In this article, I'll be taking you through some of the most highly anticipated films that I'll be watching at the festival, giving you a glimpse of what's in store for cinema lovers this year.

*All film descriptions and pictures have been supplied by the festival program*

The Old Oak (dir. Ken Loach, United Kingdom)

The Old Oak is a special place. Not only is it the last pub standing, it is the only remaining public space where people can meet in a once-thriving mining community that has now fallen on hard times after 30 years of decline. TJ Ballantyne (Dave Turner), the landlord, hangs on to The Old Oak by his fingertips, and his hold is endangered even more when it becomes contested territory after the arrival of Syrian refugees who are placed in the village. In an unlikely friendship, TJ encounters a young Syrian, Yara (Ebla Mari) with her camera. Can they find a way for the two communities to understand each other? So unfolds a deeply moving drama about loss, fear, and the difficulty of finding hope.

Black Flies (dir. Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, United States)

Ollie Cross (Tye Sheridan), a young paramedic in New York, teams up with Rutkovsky (Sean Penn), an experienced EMT. Facing extreme violence, he discovers the risks of a job that every day shakes his beliefs about life… and death.

Cobweb (dir. Kim Jee-Woon, South Korea)

In the 1970s, Director Kim is obsessed with the desire to re-shoot the ending of his completed film ‘Cobweb’, but chaos and turmoil grip the set with interference from the censorship authorities and the complaints of actors and producers who can’t understand the re-written ending. Will Kim be able to find a way through this chaos to fulfill his artistic ambitions and complete his masterpiece?

Kidnapped (dir. Marco Bellocchio, Italy)

In 1858, in the Jewish quarter of Bologna, the Pope’s soldiers burst into the home of the Mortara family. By order of the cardinal, they have come to take Edgardo, their seven-year-old son. The child had been secretly baptized by his nurse as a baby and the papal law is unquestionable: he must receive a Catholic education. Edgardo’s parents, distraught, will do anything to get their son back. Supported by public opinion and the international Jewish community, the Mortaras’ struggle quickly take a political dimension. But the Church and the Pope will not agree to return the child, to consolidate an increasingly wavering power…

A Brighter Tomorrow (dir. Nanni Moretti, Italy)

Giovanni, a renowned Italian filmmaker, is about to start shooting a political film. But between his marriage in crisis, his co-producer on the verge of bankruptcy, and the rapidly changing film industry, everything seems to be working against him! Always on the edge, Giovanni will have to rethink his way of doing things if he wants to lead his little world toward a bright tomorrow.

May December (dir. Todd Haynes, United States)

Julianne Moore and Charles Melton star as a married couple whose 20-year relationship inspired a national tabloid obsession at its offset. Now preparing to send their grown children off to college – as Melton reconciles with empty nest syndrome in his mid-30s – an actress (Natalie Portman) embeds with the family to study them for an upcoming film where she’ll play Moore. The couple buckles under the pressure as Portman probes as deeply as she can for an honest performance.

About Dry Grasses (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey)

Samet, a young art teacher, is finishing his fourth year of compulsory service in a remote village in Anatolia. After a turn of events he can hardly make sense of, he loses his hopes of escaping the grim life he seems to be stuck in. Will his encounter with Nuray, herself a teacher, help him overcome his angst?

La Chimera (dir. Alice Rohrwacher, Italy)

Everyone has their own Chimera, something they try to achieve but never manage to find. For the band of tombaroli, thieves of ancient grave goods and archaeological wonders, the Chimera means redemption from work and the dream of easy wealth. For Arthur, the Chimera looks like the woman he lost, Beniamina. To find her, Arthur challenges the invisible, searches everywhere, and goes inside the earth – in search of the door to the afterlife of which myths speak. In an adventurous journey between the living and the dead, between forests and cities, between celebrations and solitudes, the intertwined destinies of these characters unfold, all in search of the Chimera.

Anatomy of a Fall (dir. Justine Triet, France)

Sandra, Samuel, and their 11-year-old visually impaired son, Daniel, have been living far from everything in the mountains for a year. One day, Samuel is found dead at the foot of their house. A suspicious death investigation has been opened. Sandra is soon charged despite the doubt: suicide or homicide? A year later, Daniel attends his mother's trial, a true dissection of the couple.

Firebrand (dir. Karim Aïnouz, United Kingdom)

In the bloodstained England of the Tudors, Katherine Parr, the sixth and last wife of Henry VIII, is appointed Regent during his military campaigns. With this provisional role, Katherine tries to influence the king's advisers towards a future based on her Protestant beliefs. On his return from combat, the king, increasingly paranoid and ill, accuses a childhood friend of Katherine of treason and sends her to the stake. Horrified by her act and secretly bereaved, Katherine fights for her own survival. Conspiracies ensue within the palace walls and the court holds its breath – will the Queen misstep and Henry have her executed? With the hope of a kingdom without tyranny, will she be able to submit to the inevitable for the good of king and country?

Monster (dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan)

When her young son Minato starts to behave strangely, his mother feels that there is something wrong. Discovering that a teacher is responsible, she storms into the school demanding to know what’s going on. But as the story unfolds through the eyes of the mother, teacher, and child, the truth gradually emerges. Palme d’Or winner and internationally acclaimed director Hirokazu Kore-eda returns with a delicate, powerfully moving story of love, duty, social conflict, and secrets.

Asteroid City (dir. Wes Anderson, United States)

In 1955, students and parents from across the country gather for scholarly competition, rest, recreation, drama, and romance at a Junior Stargazer convention held in a fictional American desert town. Writer/director Wes Anderson further plants Cannes as his home with this star-studded whimsical comedy.

The Zone of Interest (dir. Jonathan Glazer, United Kingdom)

The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, and his wife Hedwig, strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp. Writer/director Jonathan Glazer returns to feature filmmaking after a ten-year absence with this highly original story of love in the darkest of places.

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