Cannes 2017: Forget the red carpet, these were the 10 films that should have had all your attention

Mihir Fadnavis

May,30 2017 14:20:32 IST

If you’re tired of the exhaustive coverage of who wore which gowns at Cannes 2017, there’s something more interesting for you to look at — the films that premiered at the festival.

Here’s a look at ten of the best:

THE SQUARE

Dir: Ruben Östlund

After the terrific Force Majeure and his tongue-in-cheek yet moving Oscar snub YouTube video, Swedish filmmaker Östlund returns with another strange story — this time chronicling a loud breakdown at a museum. The film won the Palme d’Or at the fest, sealing Ostlund as one of the most fascinating modern filmmakers. Considering he backed out of directing the critical and commercial bomb Passengers and then went on to bag an award at Cannes, it’s safe to say he makes good life choices.

THE BEGUILLED

Dir: Sofia Coppola

To be honest I’d lost faith in Coppola after seeing many of her films post-Lost In Translation — every subsequent project became less memorable, and The Beguiled, which is a remake of a Clint Eastwood movie, didn’t inspire much confidence. Surprisingly the film received rave reviews at Cannes and even bagged Coppola the Best Director trophy. It remains to be seen if the film is worthy of the honour it was bestowed, or it’s a matter of Coppola being a festival darling since she was a child. In any case with Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning and an erotic horror genre the film sure looks alluring.

120 BEATS PER MINUTE

Dir: Robin Campillo

Campillo, who wrote the excellent French film The Class goes behind the camera for a fascinating political drama about ACT-UP, an organisation in the '90s that launched AIDS awareness and fought against the public xenophobia against the disease during that time period. The film won the Queer Palm award at the fest.

LOVELESS

Dir: Andrey Zvyagintsev

After the incredible (but also severely depressing) 2014 film Leviathan, Russian filmmaker Zvyagintsev returns with another bleak drama with a political undercurrent. The story is about a divorced couple finding themselves working together to find their missing son. The film garnered tremendous reviews at Cannes, with many critics hailing it as a masterpiece. It also bagged the prestigious Jury Prize at the fest, and is a favourite to win the Foreign Language Oscar next year.

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Dir: Lynne Ramsay

No one thought director Lynne Ramsay would top her terrifying and gripping We Need To Talk About Kevin, but it looks like she’s done the impossible as the film received the biggest buzz in the fest. Reminiscent of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, the film follows a vigilante played by Joaquin Phoenix tortured by existential angst. The film won the Best Screenplay trophy for Lynne as well as a Best Actor award for Phoenix, who was predictably, delightfully strange during his acceptance.

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos

After delivering fascinating social commentaries on the human condition with Dogtooth and The Lobster, Greek filmmaker Lanthimos is back with another esoterically titled film, which no doubt delves into his favorite theme – confinement. This time his Lobster star Colin Farrell plays a surgeon who is forced to make an awfully deadly choice to fix the problems in his life. The film won the Best Screenplay award at the fest, tying with Lynne Ramsay’s film.

THE FLORIDA PROJECT

Dir: Sean Baker

Sean Baker, who blew everyone away with the fiery, pulsating, iPhone-shot comedy drama Tangerine is back with a story that chronicles a bunch of kids growing up and having all kinds of strange adventures in Orlando, while their parents struggle to make ends meet. Like in his previous film, Florida consists mainly of non actors improvising – and if the reviews are anything to go by, this is going to be another memorable feature from the new filmmaker. A24 has picked up the rights for the film, and we hope to see it in theaters this year.

GOOD TIME

Dir: Josh and Ben Safdie

Who knew Robert Pattinson, the Twilight star, would go on to become one of the most interesting actors starring in boundary pushing cinema? This time his performance has been praised in Good Time, which is described to be a pulsating, heart stopping heist thriller in the vein of Michael Mann. Even as this film earns them accolades the Safdie brothers are already ready to roll their next film, a much bigger project starring Jonah Hill and produced by Martin Scorsese.

THE PROMISED LAND

Dir: Eugene Jarecki

As we’re witnessing the slow decline of the might of America there’s nothing more fascinating than a film on how such a vast empire ended up in this state. Jarecki’s documentary portrait of the fall of the USA chronicles the past 70 years, putting spotlight on the rise of racism, corruption, greed and bigotry that ultimately led to the rise of Trump and his legion of supporters.

WIND RIVER

Dir: Taylor Sheridan

It was hard to believe that the actor who played the pugnacious cop in Sons of Anarchy went on to write the screenplays of Sicario and Hell or High Water – two exceedingly great films. And it’s even more amazing that he’s now directed a murder mystery, which has also received great reviews. The film, which stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen investigating murders on a Native American reservation won the Un Certain Regard directing prize for Sheridan.

Updated Date: May 30, 2017 14:20 PM