2017’s Cannes Film Festival is over and done, but it was easily a festival to remember as they managed to step up their game this year with a wider variety of representation and diverse content.
The 70th annual edition—which occurred between May 17-28—welcomed a phenomenal selection of thought-provoking films. Since this is Cannes after all, also known as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, we expect nothing less than the best of the best.
In order to properly assess this year’s event, it would be inappropriate to not discuss the more notable projects among the pack that made their debut at the festival.
Press Pass LA created a list of the 10 best films to premiere at this year’s festival, but this was not an easy task by any means. While some films on this truly peaked our radar more than others, our list does not rank the films that we’ve selected.
Directed/Written by Sofia Coppola
Starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice, Addison Reicke, Wayne Peré, Emma Howard
While Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” was panned by Cannes moviegoers in 2006, that wasn’t the case for her triumphant return to the festival with “The Beguiled.” Adapted from Thomas Cullinan’s story of the same name, the flick is set at a Virginia-based boarding school with a group of sheltered women. The women find an attractive injured enemy soldier that they ultimately decide to provide shelter for. In time, the house is overtaken by sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.
Directed by Todd Haynes
Written by Brian Selznick
Starring Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Millicent Simmonds, Michelle Williams, Jaden Michael, Tom Noonan, James Urbaniak, Amy Hargreaves
Adapted from Brian Selznick’s bestselling children’s novel of the same name, comes a heartwarming film about two deaf 12-year-olds that are living 50 years apart. It falls under the limited category of children’s films that are also perfect for adults to watch.
3.“The Florida Project”
Directed by Sean Baker
Written by Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch
Starring Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince, Willem Dafoe, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera, Caleb Landry ones, Macon Blair, Karren Karagulian, Sandy Kane
“Tangerine” filmmaker Sean Baker focuses on the joy and devastation within childhood in his latest film, “The Florida Project.” Set at in Orlando, the film revolves around a six-year-old girl and her group of friends as they enjoy an adventurous summer break.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Written by Bong Joon-ho and Jon Ronson
Starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, An Seo Hyun, Byun Heebong, Steven Yeun, Giancarlo Esposito, Lily Collins, Yoon Je Moon, Shirley Henderson, Daniel Henshall, Devon Bostick, Woo Shik Choi
Visual effects take center stage in Bong Joon-ho’s latest venture with Netflix. The film follows the story of a young girl named Mija that does what it takes to save her best friend—Okja—from being kidnapped by a powerful corporation. Okja is a very large mammal.
5. “Happy End”
Directed/Written by Michael Haneke
Starring Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz, Fantine Harduin, Franz Rogowski, Laura Verlinden, Aurelia Petit, Toby Jones, Hille Perl, Hassam Ghancy, Nabiha Akkari, Joud Geistlich
Contrary to its title, filmmaker Michael Haneke’s film does not have a happy end. The film centers around a family from Calais, France that becomes emotionless following the European refugee crisis.
6. “The Rider”
Directed/Written by Chloé Zhao
Starring Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Lane Scott, Cat Clifford
Chloé Zhao, who made her Cannes debut two years prior, is back with an emotion-packed story about a young cowboy (Brady Jandreau) that is hit with a practically fatal head injury. Consequently, he goes on a journey to discover who he is as a person and the true meaning of being a man in America.
7.“You Were Never Really Here”
Directed/Written by Lynne Ramsay
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov, Alessandro Nivola, Alex Manette, John Doman, Judith Roberts
Adapted from a novel of the same, the film explores a war veteran’s (Joaquin Phoenix) desire to save a young girl from the sex trafficking business. Naturally, it wouldn’t be a movie if everything along the way didn’t go terribly wrong. The film is scored by Jonny Greenwood, lead guitarist and keyboard pianist of Radiohead.
8. “The Meyerowitz Stories” (New and Selected)
Directed/Written by Noah Baumbach
Starring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Marvel, Grace Van Patten, Judd Hirsch, Rebecca Miller, Adam Driver, Matthew Shear, Candice Bergen
Netflix’s second film within the Cannes lineup— The Meyerowitz Stories—received a four-minute standing ovation from audience members during its premiere at the festival. The story follows an estranged family that comes together in New York to celebrate their father’s artistic work. Naturally, sibling rivalries, father issues, and the let-down that is life itself take center stage in this flick.
Directed by Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie
Written by Josh Safdie and Ronald Bronstein
Starring Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Barkhad Abdi, Buddy Duress, Taliah Webster, Peter Verby, Gladys Mathon, Necro
As Robert Pattinson stars in what critics are calling the best film of his career, he plays a New York-based criminal whose goal is to retrieve his brother from prison after a failed bank robbery scheme. Over the span of a night, Constantine Nikas (Pattinson) finds himself having trouble avoiding people that are searching for him.
Directed/Written by Eugene Jarecki
Starring Eugene Jarecki, Alec Baldwin, James Carville, Rosanne Cash, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, Van Jones, Ashton Kutcher, Greil Marcus, Mike Myers, Dan Rather, Luc Sante, David Simon
Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki uses Elvis Presley’s career and influence to his advantage in this intriguing documentary. The famed musician is used as a tool to help make sense of where the American Dream went to die and how the world in general has transformed into what we know it to be today. With research to back up his argument, Jarecki’s documentary is not something to pass up.