Cannes 2022

Cannes 2022 Lineup

Léa Seydoux, Viggo Mortensen, and Kristen Stewart in David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future (2022)

Claire Denis, David Cronenberg, Kelly Reichardt, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and Cristian Mungiu are among the filmmakers heading into the main competition at the seventy-fifth Cannes Film Festival. That’s fantastic news, but hardly surprising, given the flurry of predictions in the days and weeks leading up to this morning’s announcement of the official selection by artistic director Thierry Frémaux and outgoing president Pierre Lescure.

But who knew that Jerzy Skolimowski, the great Polish director of Le départ (1967) and Deep End (1970)—who, by the way, will turn eighty-four in a few weeks—was quietly completing a feature? Eo—cowritten with Ewa Piaskowska, who worked with Skolimowski on Four Nights with Anna (2008) and Essential Killing (2010)—is a contemporary retelling of Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar (1966). In Skolimowski’s version, premiering in competition, the defenseless donkey travels from a circus in Poland to a slaughterhouse in Italy.

For the moment, eighteen films have been selected for the competition, fifteen for the more aesthetically adventurous Un Certain Regard program, and four for the second year of the new Cannes Premiere section. The lineup also includes special and midnight screenings (three each) and six splashy out-of-competition titles such as Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick, which will come packaged with a tribute to Tom Cruise.

Frémaux says he will “fine tune” the lineup next week, adding films, announcing the jury, and presenting the official poster. He’s running a little late this year, which is perfectly understandable, since he and his team have been putting together the 2022 edition during what we hope are the waning days of the pandemic. It’s encouraging, though, to see Cannes back in its regular slot on the calendar after being, for all practical purposes, cancelled in 2020 and delayed in 2021. Cannes 2022 will run from May 17 through 28.


As Kate Erbland points out at IndieWire, only three films by women directors have been selected to compete for the Palme d’Or, which Julia Ducournau won last year with Titane. Percentage-wise, that’s zero improvement over 2021 “and an overall downturn in total inclusion from previous years,” notes Erbland. Again, though, Frémaux is still considering possible additions.

Claire Denis returns to the competition for the first time since her debut feature Chocolat was selected in 1988. Based on Denis Johnson’s 1986 novel, The Stars at Noon features Margaret Qualley as Trish, a struggling American journalist turning tricks in Nicaragua to get by when she meets and falls for Daniel (Joe Alwyn). He says he’s working for an NGO, but he’s being secretly paid by a big oil company. Denis and cinematographer Éric Gautier are working together again after their first collaboration on this year’s Fire.

Michelle Williams plays Lizzie, an artist frantically preparing for a major exhibition, in Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up. Distributed by A24 and billed as “a vibrant and sharply funny portrait,” Showing Up also features Hong Chau, Judd Hirsch, John Magaro, André Benjamin, Amanda Plummer, and Larry Fessenden. Yesterday, the Locarno Film Festival announced that it will present an honorary Golden Leopard to Reichardt on August 12.

Les Amandiers, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s fifth feature as a director, stars Louis Garrel as Patrice Chéreau, the director of La reine Margot (1994) and Intimacy (2001) and the cofounding artistic director of the Théâtre des Amandiers in Nanterre. In the late 1980s, young students—one of them played by Léna Garrel, Louis’s half sister—prepare for the exams that they hope will grant them entrance to the prestigious school at Chéreau’s theater.

Another French entry is Arnaud Desplechin’s Brother and Sister, starring Marion Cotillard and Melvil Poupaud as estranged siblings reunited by the death of their parents. From neighboring Belgium come the Dardennes’ Tori and Lokita, the story of two young Africans who team up to start new lives in Europe, and Lukas Dhont’s Close, which focuses on the troubled friendship between two thirteen-year-old boys.

James Gray looks back to the early 1980s when he was growing up in Queens in Armageddon Time, starring Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins, and Jeremy Strong. The Guardian’s Catherine Shoard describes Cristian Mungiu’s R.M.N. as “a long-awaited multi-strand drama set in contemporary Romania,” and so far, that seems to be all we know.

Broker, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s first Korean-language feature, stars Song Kang Ho (Parasite) and Bae Doona (Air Doll) and centers on a baby box where parents can drop off infants they cannot raise. In Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave, a detective played by Park Hae-il (Memories of Murder) investigates a mysterious death in the mountainous countryside and finds himself drawn to the widow (Tang Wei of Lust, Caution).

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