Cannes Speculation 2018: Intrigue Spikes As Fest Lineup Reveal Looms


Cannes Film Festival 

The Cannes Film Festival lineup is due to be announced three weeks from today, and, as ever, predictions are running the gamut. While nothing about the annual derby is confirmed until fest chief Thierry Frémaux declares it so, many reflect this is a particularly tough year to call. One key difference in 2018 is the pressure folks say the calendar is putting on filmmakers.

Running May 8-19, the fest is kicking off earlier than in recent years, and on a Tuesday to boot. The situation is close to the wire with what industry sources say is a tighter timeline and movies yet to screen for the selection committee. Still, conversations with industry sources and Cannes-watchers have yielded signs of some strong possibilities à la Alfonso Cuaron’s family saga Roma and others — and several mooted titles that likely are not Riviera-bound.

To wit: Nicole Kidman-starrer Destroyerhas been the focus of much media attention, but scuttlebutt is that the Karyn Kusama crime pic is not expected to stroll the red carpet. It’s understood to be in early-mid post. Likewise, La La Land helmer Damien Chazelle’s First Man is just getting into heavy editing.

hen there’s Jacques Audiard’s The Sisters Brothers. The English-language western from the Cannes laureate that stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Joaquin Phoenix could wait for fall, we gather. And, a widely speculated title from another Cannes veteran, Paolo Sorrentino’s Silvio Berlusconi movie, Loro, may not be in the mix after all.

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There’s been no official word on an opening-night movie — last year the fest waited until the April press conference to unveil the curtain-raiser. Speculation is rife around Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows. We understand that Frémaux has yet to screen the film, but it certainly seems a plausible possibility to open. The Iranian filmmaker has history with the festival and is presenting his first film in Spanish (and English) with Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Argentine icon Ricardo Darin — that would make for a starry and prestigious international start.

There are also musings around Kirikou series filmmaker Michel Ocelot’s animated family mystery Dilili In Paris. Frémaux is fond of animation, having memorably selected Shrek for Competition in 2001.

Turning back to some of the other titles we hear are unlikely to be vacationing on the Riviera, Cannes favorite Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite is thought not to be ready. Word surrounding Xavier Dolan’s The Death And Life Of John F Donovan is that it could cut very close.

Media suggestions of Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go Bernadette, Steve McQueen’s Widows or Lenny Abrahamson’s gothic horror tale The Little Strangerappear not to hold water as those are looking like fall movies.