Cannes kicks off Tuesday with Ukraine in the backdrop

(Paris) Parade of stars including Mads Mikkelsen and Tom Cruise, cult filmmakers like Cronenberg or James Gray: the Cannes Film Festival opens its 75and edition, where the gratin of world cinema throngs, with the war in Ukraine as a backdrop.

Posted at 10:41 a.m.

Francois BECKER
France Media Agency

After an edition under the July sun last year, due to COVID-19, festival-goers are back in May, and without health restrictions for the first time since the start of the epidemic.

Tom Cruise therefore, for the new Top GunIdriss Elba and Tilda Swinton at George Miller, Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen at David Cronenberg, or the promising Austin Butler, who will play the “King” in a biopic by Baz Luhrman: the red carpet awaits its share of stars.

The actor Forest Whitaker, prize of interpretation in 1988 for his incarnation of the jazzman Charlie Parker in bird by Clint Eastwood, will also be there, for an honorary Palme d’Or.

The actress Virginie Efira (present in See Paris again, out of competition, which addresses the painful memory of the attacks in the capital) will animate the opening ceremony on Tuesday evening. Then place at the cinema, with Cut!bloody parody of zombie comedy and ode to cinema made with a lot of love and bits of string, signed Michel Hazanavicius — the king of Oscar-winning pastiche for The Artist.

On the competition side, 21 films are in the running to succeed TitaniumPalme d’or gore and uncompromising from the Frenchwoman Julia Ducournau, the second crowned director in the history of Cannes.

When the jury and parallel sections are now tending towards parity, the competition still only offers a limited place to female directors: five are in the running, including Claire Denis who is reuniting with Robert Pattinson for Stars at noon.

Among the filmmakers expected, from 30 to 84 years old: David Cronenberg (Crash), which once again promises to shake the public with The crimes of the future or James Gray (Ad Astra) which will present Armageddon Timein 1980s New York, on the rise of the Trump family.

Several already crowned directors are in the running: the Belgians Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Rosetta) with Tori and Lokitathe grittier of Swedish filmmakers, Ruben Östlund (The Square), with Triangle of Sadnessthe Japanese Hirokazu Kore-eda (A family matter), which this time turned broker with the South Korean star of ParasiteSong Kang-ho, and the Romanian Cristian Mungiu (4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days), with his latest film, NMR.

Free Serebrennikov

Beyond the competition, still not open to platforms, fans and moviegoers alike should enjoy dozens of highly anticipated works: a new film by George Miller, very far a priori from his madmax (Three thousand years waiting for you with Idriss Elba and Tilda Swinton), Marco Bellocchio’s return to the lead years in Italy, the Spanish thriller ace Rodrigo Sorogoyen or the passages to the production of Lee Jung-jæ, star of Squid Game and Jesse Eisenberg (The social network).

On the French side, Léa Seydoux, Louis Garrel or Sandrine Kiberlain will climb the steps several times.

This whole program will have the war in Ukraine as a backdrop, inevitably “in everyone’s mind”, underlined the general delegate Thierry Frémaux.

Two generations of Ukrainian filmmakers will be present, with regular Sergei Loznitsa for The Natural History of Destructionon the destruction of German cities by the Allies during the Second World War, but also the young Maksim Nakonechnyi for Bachennya Metelyka (In some perspective).

Cannes should welcome for the first time on its steps Kirill Serebrennikov, who has become a symbol of Russian artists breaking with the regime since he was able to join Europe legally after the outbreak of the war.

The director had not been able to leave his country for his previous films in competition, Leto and Petrov feverbut is now free to come and defend Tchaikovsky’s wifethe first film screened in the competition.

Sign that everything is not yet back to normal on the planet cinema, it was only three weeks before its opening that the Festival finally succeeded in constituting the jury, chaired by the French actor Vincent Lindon, prize of interpretation in 2015 and actor in Titanium. He takes over from American director Spike Lee.

At his side, the British-American actress and director Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Swedish Noomi Rapace, (Millennium) or the directors Asghar Farhadi, Ladj Ly (Wretchedjury prize 2019) and Joachim Trier (Julie in 12 chaptersBest Actress Award in 2021).

The title of the closing film is not yet known.

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Cannes kicks off Tuesday with Ukraine in the backdrop