Delve into the captivating films contending for the Palme d’Or, from thrilling mysteries to audacious dramas, and explore the glamorous fashion highlights at Cannes Film Festival.
By now we all know Cannes Film Festival is 50% about film and another 50% about fashion, status, and glamour. After all, nothing screams celebrity quite like a star-spangled red carpet as notorious as the French Riviera’s. Contrary to what many expect, the event itself is a two-week affair. It’s not just the prizes (although these are often what the headlines are all about), but a series of screenings, receptions, and superyachts. We’re halfway down Cannes Film Festival 2023 and its shenanigans, so let us take a peek at what has happened, is happening, and is yet to happen.
The Palme d’Or
Out of the festival’s many events, the Palme d’Or takes the win for the most prestigious of film prizes. This year’s edition welcomes an interesting cohort, of which 7 are by women filmmakers. The predictions are set and it seems that Anatomy of a Fall, The Zone of Interest, and May December are three cinephile favorites.
Anatomy of a Fall
Director: Justine Triet
Triet’s second film in competition, following the dark comedy “Sibyl” in 2019, presents a captivating mystery that continuously unfolds. At the center of the intrigue is Cannes favorite Sandra Huller, known for her remarkable performances in “Toni Erdman” and this year’s “The Zone of Interest.” In this film, she portrays a writer who unexpectedly finds herself on trial, accused of her husband’s murder. The story seamlessly transitions from an initial investigation into a gripping courtroom drama, eventually shifting perspectives to focus on the writer’s young son. This unexpected narrative turn leads to a surprising conclusion, filled with ambiguity and emotional payoff.
While Sandra Huller‘s performance stands strong and could potentially earn her the acting prize, the film’s true strength lies in its sophisticated filmmaking techniques that draw the audience into the narrative. This captivating storytelling may just be the ingredient that propels the film to Palme territory, the highest honor at Cannes.
Triet, a rising filmmaker, displays both confidence in technique and a knack for accessible storytelling. This combination makes her a strong contender, particularly for a jury seeking consensus among more divisive titles. However, it’s worth noting that the film’s two-and-a-half-hour runtime and dialogue-heavy midsection may present challenges for some viewers.
The Zone of Interest
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Glazer, known for his previous work “Under the Skin,” returns with a gripping and intense exploration of the lives of an Auschwitz commander (played by Christian Friedel) and his wife (portrayed by Sandra Huller). What sets this film apart is its unique perspective, delving into the domestic aspects of their lives. The critics have showered it with praise, and it is highly likely that the jury will appreciate its bold and audacious approach. With its serious tone and artistic merits, it stands as a strong contender for the prestigious Palme d’Or. However, there is a chance that some jury members might find it emotionally distant. Nevertheless, in Glazer’s first entry in the Cannes competition, he could potentially secure the Best Director award, solidifying his talent and vision.
Director: Todd Haynes
Haynes, in his fifth appearance at Cannes, delivers his most outwardly entertaining film to date. This campy drama stars Julianne Moore as a woman who finds herself years after a scandalous tabloid romance with her seventh-grade student. Alongside her, Natalie Portman portrays an actress trailing her for a role. Loosely inspired by a real-life case, the movie weaves a captivating love triangle, with the now-grown love interest of the Moore character (played by Charles Melton) becoming entangled in the dynamic as Portman infiltrates their lives. With its playful and engaging tone, “May December” has not only become a hot title in terms of sales but has also garnered warm reviews.
While it would be a surprise for “May December” to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2023 due to its light-hearted nature, juries have been known to favor fun and enjoyable options over more serious choices. Even if it doesn’t secure the top prize, both Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman stand strong chances of receiving recognition for their performances.
All Eyes on the Depps
Images courtesy of @johnnydepp and @lilyrose_depp
Following his highly public court case with Amber Heard, Johnny Depp has made an on-screen comeback with his latest; Jeanne Du Barry. In this captivating film, we witness the star assuming the role of King Louis XV, while the director, a renowned French filmmaker named Maiwenn, takes on the lead character in this dramatic tale. But it is not just Johnny we’re seeing in Cannes, as his daughter Lily stars in the film The Idol, a highly anticipated screening from the same makers of Euphoria.
Images courtesy of @manurios
The fashion, aka the other 50% of the Cannes film festival, has so been as stellar as the show itself for 2023. From Manu Ríos exuding elegance in Saint Laurent and adorned with Cartier, featuring a daring plunging neckline, to Jude Law’s iconic Brioni ensemble, the men have truly dazzled in this year’s edition. The ladies, too, graced the festival with their enchanting fashion choices. Michelle Yeoh adorned her arms with elbow-length white gloves, while Brie Larson stunned the crowd with a translucent shawl, epitomizing glamour and elegance like never before. The Cannes Film Festival became a breathtaking showcase of style, where every attendee radiated a sense of allure and sophistication.