The Cannes Festival is probably the most famous and most prestigious festival in the world. People don’t just look forward to the best-dressed men and women walking on the red carpet but in fact, see the latest films that made it to the competition. This year, there are about 90 feature films screening at Cannes. While we know you can’t possibly watch everything, here are a few important ones you might want to see, or not?
If you’re looking for a romance-tragedy type of movie, the Cold War delivers that. It’s a real heartbreaker. According to Vox’ Allisa Wilkinson, “Cold War grandly takes on the whole arc, from first meeting till the very end. And yet it still manages to feel like an intimate character drama, even as its scope goes much broader.”
The polish romance film is set in Europe in the early decades of the actual Cold War. It stars Tomasz Kot as Wiktor and Joanna Kulig as Zula. The two characters are said to be based on director Pawel Pawlikowski’s parents. The entire film is shot in black and white in a 4:3 aspect ratio.
The passionate story revolves around two people trying to find love but always divided by personal and political differences. Their struggle comes every time they choose each other over a country. It’s a broken love story that anyone can relate to.
Starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, the film Everybody Knows was Cannes opening film. It is directed by Oscar-winning writer-director Asghar-Farhadi. According to Michigan Daily, it’s an exceptionally good telenovela or soap opera.
“It’s a soap opera with traditional dramatic aspirations…. It is refreshing to see melodrama elevated to the extent that Farhadi does in “Everybody Knows.” How the conventions of a “genre film” can be employed to excavate the collective psyche of a family.”
The film involves Laura (Cruz) returning to Spain to attend her sister’s wedding. She was with her daughter and son. She also reunites with her ex-lover, Paco (Bardem). At the wedding, a series of unfortunate events led to her daughter’s disappearance. From there, the story became sort of a thrilling drama.
Horrible and ludicrous – this is how the latest Nicolas Cage film was described by most critics. The film’s horror theme seems to match the madness of Cage’s acting prowess. The film is directed by Panos Cosmatos. The story is set in 1983 in a woodland cabin in the Shadow Mountains. Cage plays Red who lives with the love of his life, Mandy. The lunatic scenes began when the leader of a satanic cult pitched their tent nearby and tried to seduce Mandy.
Red then cuts loose on his revenge mission filled with anger, alcohol, and possibly some occult substances. According to John Bleasdale of Cinevue, “The cumulative craziness doesn’t so much threaten as promise to go over-the-top. The controls have been set for the heart of the sun and whether it’s chainsaw fights or decapitations, Mandy delivers its wet deaths with gruesome wit and slavering relish.”
“Mandy is grimy and screwed up – a true arthouse video nasty,” he added.
One of the films that gained a standing ovation was this film directed by Spike Lee. It was also applauded several times throughout the screening for its best effort in highlighting humor and satire in a story with a serious theme: racism. According to critics, this is, by far, Lee’s best efforts to tell a story that is very much relevant in 2018.
The story is about a real-life detective, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who responds to an ad in a newspaper recruiting members of the KKK. Adam Driver, who portrays the role of a Jewish officer, helps Washington pull off an undercover operation by standing in as him at Klan meetings and rallies.
The film’s story is based on Stallworth’s book, Black Klansman. It talks about what the first black cop in Colorado Springs went through on that operation. Alissa Wilkinson of Vox.com says that this film participates in the history-making potential of cinema while criticizing it.
“BlacKkKlansman reinforces what we’re already angry about. And it makes us feel glad that we, at least, see through the pathetic lies.”
The House That Jack Built
If there’s one film at Cannes that made dozens of people walked out in disgust, it is this! The film is described by many critics as “dark and grisly serial-killer comedy.” It’s written and directed by Lars von Trier. If you’re a film enthusiast, you would know that a film by Lars von Trier means it’s quite long, overblown, and a bit boring.
The movie is structured as a dialogue between an interviewer and a homicidal maniac, Jack (Matt Dillon). Jack talks about his five murder incidents which happened in an unspecified town during the 1970s.
According to Hollywood Reporter, “von Trier orchestrates a methodical display of sadistic violence against women, even bumping off two young boys for good measure, then subjecting their devastated mother to a gruesome family picnic before ending her misery. There’s nothing like the coldly detached killing of children to spark waves of walkouts.”
While others are intrigued, you do have a choice to watch this… or not.