7 Highly-Anticipated Films From Cannes Film Festival 2023

Among the list are works from renowned filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, and Hirokazu Kore-eda. 

With the 76th Cannes Film Festival fast approaching, the prestigious awards event has finally released its official selection of films. 

This year’s edition promises to be another interesting one, as it’ll be featuring a diverse range of works from both seasoned and emerging talents, including six female directors. Some films from the talented roster of women include Jessica Hausner’s Club Zero, Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera, and Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s Banel et Adama

New works from acclaimed auteurs Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson will also be screened during the festival, news that’s gotten the internet buzzing with excitement. For the curious cinephile who wants to stay up to date, below is a list of some of the most anticipated films from this year’s Cannes: 

Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City 

Wes Anderson is a name that requires no introduction, as his inimitable films are widely loved by many with their distinct symmetry, impeccable color palettes, unique costume designs, and famous collaborators. 

His latest film entitled Asteroid City incorporates all of these recognizable elements and somehow amplifies them. To say that the cast is “star-studded” would be an understatement, as the movie boasts an impressively long list of big industry names. 

These include Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Hong Chau, Maya Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, and Jeff Goldblum—just to name a few. 

Taking place in the 1950s, the film will focus on residents in a small desert town, and how their lives are affected by the arrival of an alien. In typical Wes Anderson fashion, the film’s trailer teases deadpan humor and lovably weird characters placed in an even stranger situation. 

Pedro Almodóvar’s Strange Way of Life 

Luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent is debuting their new film production company—Saint Laurent Productions—through the world premiere of three short films in this year’s Cannes. Among them is Oscar-winner Pedro Almodóvar’s queer western piece entitled Strange Way of Life, which will star Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke. 

A moment from the short film/Photo from Strange Way of Life‘s official IMDb page.

Not much has been released about the film’s plot, though Almodóvar told Variety that it would feature something not usually found in Westerns, which is “the kind of dialogue [the genre hasn’t] ever captured between two men.” 

Strange Way of Life’s official poster/Photo via Instagram @anthonyvacarello

Below is a brief official synopsis of the film from MUBI:

A pair of former hired-gunslingers in the Old West reconnects after working together more than 25 years earlier. However, it soon becomes clear that the reason for their meeting is not strictly friendly or coincidental.

Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon 

Much like Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese is another legendary name in cinema. The prolific filmmaker has created compelling narratives in a wide range of genres, having been the creative force behind iconic films like Taxi Driver, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Age of Innocence, and The Irishman.

His latest work, Killers of the Flower Moon, is one that’s been delayed for two years—resulting in the buzz and high expectations surrounding it.

Lily Gladstone stars alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Scorsese’s latest film/Photo from Apple TV’s official press page

Based on David Grann’s acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name, the movie will center on the harrowing events that occurred in 1920s Oklahoma. 

These involve the brutal crimes and serial murder of members from an oil-wealthy Native American community, Osage Nation. The movie will star Lily Gladstone, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Brendan Fraser.

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Monster 

Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda won Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or in 2018 for his tender drama Shoplifters, which depicted the inner lives of a dysfunctional family engaged in petty crimes. 

This year, Kore-eda returns with his newest film Monster. The work is categorized as a drama-thriller, and centers on a single mother’s relationship with her son. What starts as a simple fight between him and other students at his school quickly escalates into a media-wide frenzy, before resulting in the disappearance of the children involved.

The film will be scored by the late Ryuichi Sakamoto, and will feature heart-pumping performances from Sakura Ando and Eita Nagayama. 

Warwick Thornton’s The New Boy

Indigenous filmmaker Warwick Thornton is among the list of women whose works will be presented in this year’s Cannes. Her film The New Boy stars Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett (who just recently won a slew of accolades for her exceptional performance in Tár), and rising talent Aswan Reid.

A first-look at Thornton’s The New Boy/Photo via Instagram @cate_blanchettofficial

Blanchett will be playing a renegade nun in 1940s Australia, who’s quiet life in a remote monastery is upended by the sudden visit of a young Aboriginal orphan in dire need of assistance. 

Vogue UK described the upcoming movie as a “rousing religious saga” that confronts the realities of colonialism amidst spiritual struggles and a fight for survival. 

Jessica Hausner’s Club Zero 

Another talented female filmmaker in Cannes’ list is Austrian director and screenwriter Jessica Hausner. Her psychological thriller Club Zero stars Mia Wasikowska, who plays a teacher at an elite school. The bond that she forms with five students takes a turn for the worse as she manipulates them into taking extreme dieting measures and isolating themselves from loved ones. 

Mia Wasikowska in the upcoming Club Zero/Photo from Club Zero‘s official IMDb page

Wasikowska has showcased her knack for playing haunted and wounded characters, having starred in Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak and the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre, so audiences can expect a disturbingly good performance from the actress in Hausner’s dark tale.

Banner Photo from the Asteroid City trailer via Focus Features’ official website.

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