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The Jinx
Atsushi Nishijima. Courtesy of Searchlight Picture

ALTHOUGH I do not believe that 2023 will go down as a stellar year for anyone – I asked six friends and they all agreed – there is something I cannot stop thinking about: Cannes 2023. We got The Zone of InterestAnatomy of a FallMay DecemberHow to Have SexPerfect Days. There was Killers of the Flower Moon. There was that gay Western with Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal. And best of all – and yes, I really mean best – we got our first peak at The Idol, The Weeknd’s HBO critical darling (ha, ha) gone too soon. If the Oxford English Dictionary ever need to update their definition of “halcyon” – is that something they do? – they could just use two words: Cannes 2023.

Which leads us to the 2024 festival, its 77th edition, which takes place in a few weeks. This year’s jury is headed up by Greta Gerwig, former indie darling who last year managed to turn a toy franchise into an Oscar-nominated film (though missed actual gold: shame!). It’s probably not going to be quite as starry as last year’s affair – though, as evidenced by my introduction, what chance did it have? – but there are a few promising projects.

You can read the full list of in-competition and out-of-competition films here, but we have picked some highlights.

Sebastian Stan and Jeremy Strong in The Apprentice

All eyes are on Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis, about an architect who rebuilds New York following a disaster. The film, which Coppola has been working on since the early Eighties, stars Adam Driver, Nathalie Emanuel and Aubrey Plaza. More information on the film here.

Barry Keoghan dropped out of Gladiator II (led by Esquire cover star Paul Mescal) to star in Bird, directed by Andrea Arnold (American HoneyFish Tank) alongside the recent star of gay open relationship drama Passages, Franz Rogowski. And his Saltburn co-star and erstwhile Elvis, Jacob Elordi, will star in Paul Schrader’s Oh, Canada, which is based on 2021 novel Foregone. It’s about a an American leftie who heads to Canada to avoid being drafted for the Vietnam War.

Yorgos Lanthimos, fresh from a victory run with Poor Things, is back with Kinds of Kindness, an anthology film starring Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, possible tortured poet Joe Alwyn and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it turn from Hunter Schafer. Tortured politician Donald Trump is the subject of The Apprentice, directed by Ali Abbasi, which follows the businessman turned politician’s early years. The dubious honour of playing the former president goes to Sebastian Stan and Succession’s Jeremy Strong co-stars.

Sean Baker, the American director behind the heart-stealing The Florida Project, returns with Anora, a New York rom-com about… well, who knows actually? Details are under wrap apart from the cast which includes Mikey Madison (Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood). Elsewhere Italian director Paolo Sorrentino returns with Parthenope, starring Gary Oldman. We don’t know much about that one either though the film’s title takes its name from a siren in Greek mythology (could be helpful to know for a pub quiz?).

David Cronenberg is premiering The Shrouds, a horror film with Vincent Cassel, Guy Pearce and Diane Kruger. Cassel plays a widower who invents a machine to connect with the dead. If movies have taught us anything, that will surely have zero consequences. Another horror, Coralie Fargeat’s The Substance, sounds interesting thanks to its cast alone: Demi Moore, Dennis Quaid and Margaret Qualley.

The biggie premiering out of competition is George Miller’s Fury Road prequel, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. Anya Taylor-Joy takes on the lead role while Thor’s younger brother, Liam Hemsworth, joins in on the desert fun. Will Kevin Costner’s western, Horizon: An American Saga, be as fun? Who knows but its cast, which includes Costner, Sienna Miller and Luke Wilson, will surely give it a go.

And what will follow up Molly Manning Walker’s How To Have Sex in the Un Certain Regard category? By title alone, I am excited by On Becoming a Guinea Fowl from Zambian-Welsh director Rungano Nyoni. It is a family comedy-drama set in Africa and has already been picked up by A24 for international sales.

A version of this story originally appeared on Esquire UK.


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