Cannes 2018: Most anticipated films in lineup from Nuri Ceylan's The Wild Pear Tree to Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows

Mihir Fadnavis

May 08, 2018 08:57:32 IST

This is an interesting year for the Cannes Film Festival. Beyond the splashy red carpets and the gowns, for the first time the ripples created by streaming platforms on the film industry are being felt in an international film festival in a negative way. Netflix pulled out of the festival irked by a massive rule change that bans any films without theatrical distribution in France from playing in the competition. This is particularly relevant considering Netflix was a big draw at last year’s fest with titles like Bong Joon Ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories.

So it’s back to the drawing board with the 2018 Cannes film festival which comprises some obvious titles and some not so obvious ones that are bound to make a splash in the next Oscar season. It’s good news for Indian cinema as Nandita Das’ Manto will be screening in the Un Certain Regard competition, while Ron Howard’s Han Solo film oddly makes its premier at the fest more than a decade after his The Da Vinci Code screened to loud boos. New films by Cannes regulars like Xavier Dolan, Jacques Audiard and Harmony Korine are notably absent from this year’s edition. So let’s take a look at some of the most interesting ones that did make it to the lineup:

The House That Jack Built

Director: Lars Von Trier

Danish filmmaker Von Trier returns to Cannes after his infamous pro-Hitler remarks got him banned from the festival. Predictably, his new film is crazy looking and sounding – Matt Dillon plays a serial killer whose life is chronicled Boyhood style for a period of 12 years. Like vintage Von Trier, the film celebrates the idea that everything good in the world is a result of pure evil and nothing can change the soullessness of mankind. Just the kind of uplifting film that everyone needs at the moment.

(Also read: Cannes Film Festival 2018: A journalist's view of the iconic event and its touching commitment to cinema)

Under the Silver Lake

Director: David Robert Mitchell

Everyone and their grannies watched the metaphorical indie horror It Follows three years ago and every single one of its fans has been waiting in anticipation for Mitchell’s follow up, which seems like an odd Kiss Kiss Bang Bang like murder mystery black comedy. Andrew Garfield plays a man attracted to his ludicrously hot new neighbour (Riley Keough) and ultimately finds himself playing detective when the girl suddenly goes missing. The film is produced by A24 who have been responsible for some high-quality films over the past few years, so expect fireworks.

The "Palme d'Or" symbol held by a statue is pictured outside the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France May 6, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau - RC1597CCC810

The "Palme d'Or" symbol held by a statue is pictured outside the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France May 6, 2018. Reuters

The Wild Pear Tree

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

It’s time for celebration when one of the greatest living filmmakers is back in Cannes with a new film. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia and Uzak-helmer Ceylan’s latest follows a writer who returns to his home town to handle some domestic financial issues, and is poised to be another glacially-paced, three hour character conflict study. Ceylan won the top prize at Cannes four years ago with the incredible Winter Sleep so the buzz around this one is bound to be huge.

Everybody Knows

Director: Asghar Farhadi

A new film by Asghar Farhadi needs no formal introduction – when Farhadi makes a movie you expect it to be a classic. The Iranian filmmaker seems to continue his trend for outlandish consistency in form with his new film, which like his earlier work, seems to contain a mystery enveloped in a domestic drama led by a solid cast of Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. He’s a rare filmmaker who somehow manages to weave a tight thriller merely through dialogue while also simultaneously juggling social issues, but if you’re perceptive enough you’ll probably be able to figure out the mystery from the trailer which released recently.

The Man That Killed Don Quixote

Director: Terry Gilliam

It is of no level of exaggeration to say that one of the most troubled productions in the history of motion pictures is finally here, and a premier at Cannes seems like a well deserved spot for audiences to experience it for the first time. Terry Gilliam’s film has been development not for years but for decades; it’s journey has been so messy that it has spawned documentaries that chronicled its repeated failings. While its difficult history is itself worthy of buzz, the plot feels like a bonus: the story follows an ad agency honcho who befriends a guy who claims to be Don Quixote. Like Gilliams’ Monty Python films expect things to go magic realist and hilariously absurdly.

Three Faces

Director: Jafar Panahi

Iranian filmmaker Panahi has been banned in his home country from making films but that doesn’t stop him from belting out classics every two years. The filmmaker, who has resorted to tactics like guerrilla shooting and smuggling a film out of the country in a pen drive hidden inside a birthday cake returns to Cannes with Three Faces, a story that chronicles an actress at three different points of her life. It’s also a nice homecoming for Panahi after his film The While Balloon won the Camera d’Or at Cannes twenty years ago.


Director: Spike Lee

In an era where Black America is finally getting the recognition it deserves and racist white supremacy has crawled out of the woodwork and deserves ridicule, Spike Lee’s satirical new film revolving around the Klu Klux Klan seems like a timely release. It has been produced by Jordan Peele and Jason Blum, the people responsible for Get Out. The film stars Adam Driver, Topher Grace along with John Washington who plays a detective who infiltrates the KKK only to become a honorary member of the party. It’s not entirely clear whether this is a comedy or a horror, or both, but given the team and Lee’s long due return to form thirty years after Do The Right Thing, we should expect some buzz.

Updated Date: May 08, 2018 09:05:49 IST