20 Shocks and Surprises From the 2019 Cannes Lineup, From Werner Herzog to Xavier Dolan

IndieWire | 4/18/2019 | Staff
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The 2019 Cannes Film Festival lineup has arrived, and with it, the most exciting crop of cinema unveiled so far this year. For over seven decades, Cannes has been the most anticipated film event on the calendar for a reason: No other gathering of cinephiles puts the art form on such a dazzling pedestal, with thousands of discerning members of the media and industry scrutinizing the contents of its program from every possible angle. The latest edition is no exception.

While film festivals have proliferated around the globe, Cannes has maintained its status as the most discerning of highbrow movie havens. Over the years, the festival’s stature has been threatened by a number of complications, as American studios have grown wary of the risk involved in subjecting a movie to Cannes hype, and Oscar hopefuls tend to hold out for fall slots at Venice and Telluride. Cannes has also contended with the changing entertainment landscape, only acknowledging a handful of television shows in recent years, and scaring off Netflix with a rule that makes its titles ineligible for competition without a theatrical release in France.

Hurdles - Cannes - Lineup - Lot - Promise

Setting aside all of those hurdles, however, the 2019 Cannes lineup shows a lot of promise. After a lower-profile 2018, the latest edition features a return for many of the festival’s most reliable auteurs alongside a handful of up-and-comers overdue for a slot in the festival’s venerated Competition. From elder statesman Ken Loach with the British “Sorry We Missed You” to Brazilian critic-turned-director Kleber Mendoza Filho’s “Aquarius” followup “Nighthawk,” many of the names in the Competition will be familiar to Cannes audiences.

That section’s jury president, Alejandro G. Iñarritu, will have plenty of compelling options when wading through the Palme d’Or contenders. But the Cannes Official Selection also includes its Un Certain Regard sidebar and other slots where...
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