From queer Westerns to Wes Anderson – Here are HUNGER’s most anticipated Cannes Film Festival picks

There’s plenty to be excited about at this year’s events, which kicks off in France this evening.

It’s that time again for every film buff’s favourite event of the year, Cannes Film Festival. The red carpets are being rolled out, champagne is on ice, and the biggest names in international cinema will converge on France once more. With the festival finally returning to full form following last year’s success, the industry’s most prominent event is all set to deliver another selection of the year’s best (or at least we hope) films.

This year’s festival includes new efforts from some of cinema’s biggest names, including Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, Todd Haynes and Ken Loach. Meanwhile, big studio flicks will also be on show, such as Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Elemental. There’s also plenty of controversies already, too, with Johnny Depp’s Jeanne du Barry acting as the festival’s opener while The Weeknd and Sam Levinson’s contentious new series The Idol also makes an appearance. With a lineup set to offer just about everything from cheers to laughs to tears, we’ve selected the films you need to be excited for this Cannes Film Festival.

Asteroid City

Set in a fictional American desert town but shot against the sand-dusted expanses of Chinchón, Spain, Asteroid City takes us back to a Junior Stargazer convention in 1955. There, students and parents from across the country gather together in the middle of nowhere to look up and see what they can find in the night sky (judging by the trailer it’s probably aliens). With a star-studded cast that features Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie, Tilda Swilton and Jason Schwartzman, Anderson’s return to the big screen is one you won’t want to miss.

Killers of the Flower Moon

There’s arguably no more heavily anticipated flick at Cannes than Martin Scorse’s latest three hour epic. And it’s for good reason too – for the first time ever, the filmmaker’s go-to stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro will be united on screen. The duo will play uncle and nephew in a tragic 1920s American saga adapted by Oscar winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) from David Grann’s non-fiction best seller of the same name.

Strange Way of Life 

Pedro Almodóvar’s second English-language film tells the story of two middle-aged men, a sheriff (Ethan Hawke) and a rancher (Pedro Pascal) who meet again after drifting apart for 25-years. “This is a queer Western,” Almodóvar revealed on the Dua Lipa: At Your Service podcast. “There are two men, and they love each other, and they behave in that situation in an opposite way. It has a lot of the elements of the Western. It has the gunslinger. It has the ranch. It has the sheriff. But what it has that most Westerns don’t have is the kind of dialogue that I don’t think a Western film has ever captured between two men.”

Jeanne du Barry 

At the height of his high profile courtroom battles with his ex-wife Amber Heard, the future of Johnny Depp’s movie career appeared to be in jeopardy. But three years after he was dropped from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, his big screen return as Louis XV in Jeanne du Barry will open the Cannes festival. Depp speaks French in the movie which tells the story of the daughter of an impoverished seamstress who became the French King’s last official mistress. The title character is played by Maïwenn, the French actress who has also written and directed the French-language movie.

How to Have Sex

In this British title, a group of besties expect to have the time of their lives on the party town of Malia in Crete, Greece. Unfortunately for the trio of long term friends, they were born into a movie that looks to examine that world of hedonism a little more closely. Their whirlwind, out of control drinking tests their lives, friendships and even their own self-identities. Directed by Molly Manning Walker in what will be her debut feature, How to Have Sex looks to be a direct representation of those anxiety ridden days after one too many where every decision throughout your life seems like it was the wrong one.

May December

May December stars Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in this drama about the ripple effect of a tabloid romance that once gripped the nation. Now, 20 years after the romance sparked, Hollywood star Gracie Atherton-Yu (Moore) and her husband Joe (Charles Melton) are preparing for their twins to graduate high school. Meanwhile, a less-veteran Hollywood actress, Elizabeth (Portman), comes to their Southern home to better understand Gracie before playing her in a film. However, the women’s identities become oddly entangled as family dynamics begin to rip apart. 


Brazilian filmmaker Karim Ainouz’s first English-language film stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) as Catherine Parr, the sixth and last wife of Henry VIII (Jude Law). Based on the 2013 novel The Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle, this feminist psychological thriller follows Parr, who is romantically entangled with Thomas Seymour (Sam Riley) when she catches the eye of the king, still desperately seeking a male heir. But, after she marries him, Parr helps to make Princesses Mary and Elizabeth eligible to inherit the throne.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Harrison Ford’s final turn as the whip-toting archaeologist Indiana Jones is among the most highly anticipated of the film festival. In the world premiere of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the 80-year-old action hero will be reunited with his trusty leather jacket and fedora for a fifth and final time. His co-stars include Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was born four years after the first in the franchise, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Dial of Destiny is also the first Indiana Jones film not to be directed by Steven Spielberg – though he does have an executive producer credit.

WriterChris Saunders
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