6. Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Portrait of A Lady on Fire)
Director: Céline Sciamma
Screenwriter: Céline Sciamma
Starring: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino
Described by screenwriter-director Céline Sciamma herself as “so meta” because of how the film debuted at the historically male-centred Cannes Film Festival and has a subject matter that tackles the lack of representation and/or appreciation for female artists, Portrait of A Lady on Fire was one of 2019’s hottest talking points, Wendy Ide of Screendaily describing the film as “unhurried and intimate” and the film taking home the official Queer Palm (feature film) award.
7. Dolor y gloria (Pain and Glory)
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Screenwriter: Pedro Almodóvar
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Asier Etxeandia, Cecilia Roth
Described by Jordan Farley of Total Film as “Almodóvar’s most personal feature to date”, Pain and Glory follows a chronically ill filmmaker reflecting upon his childhood ahead of a screening of one of his early features. Starring the Cannes 2019 Best Actor award winner Antonio Banderas who provides a performance many have touted as an early contender for next year’s Oscars, this Almodóvar entry is said to “feel like the summation of a life’s work”.
Director: Mati Diop
Screenwriter: Mati Diop, Olivier Demangel
Starring: Abdou Balde, Aminata Kane, Ibrahima Mbaye, Amadou Mbow
Atlantics made waves at Cannes 2019 for being the first film to win an award at the festival that was directed by a Black woman. Mati Diop, the film’s French-Senegalese screenwriter and director, received the Grand Prix award for her work on this tale of desperate workers in Dakar, Senegal who plot an escape from their treacherous working and living conditions by ocean. Presenting “a lot of ideas about class, post-imperialism and spiritual values” according to Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter, Atlantics is a “lyrical, richly evocative ghost story” and a history-making victor to boot.
Directors: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles
Screenwriters: Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles
Starring: Udo Kier, Sônia Braga, Chris Doubek, Barbara Colen, Jonny Mars, Karine Teles
Described by Peter Debruge of Variety as “A bloody Brazilian riff on ‘The Most Dangerous Game'”, Bacurau is said to offer a devastating critique of contemporary Brazilian politics (a huge ongoing topic of contention in Brazil) in the form of a human safari. The joint winner of the Cannes Jury Prize, it is said that some of the more intelligent subversive moments and pointed commentary may be lost on those unfamiliar with Brazilian cinema, but of all the Cannes entries this year, Bacurau seems to be the most likely to please wider audiences.
10. Gisaengchung (Parasite)
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Screenwriter: Bong Joon-ho, Kim Dae-hwan, Jin Won Han
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-Jeong
The winner of the Palme d’Or and the most talked about movie to come out of the festival in 2019, Parasite from the director of The Host, Snowpiercer and Okja, Bong Joon-ho, is “a comedy, a social commentary, an action thriller and a blood bath all rolled into one” according to Emma Jones of BBC Culture. Following the lives of a 4-person family living beneath the breadline, Parasite is said to shockingly change pace and tone in a manner Bong Joon-ho is quickly developing a reputation for, with many touting this latest effort as his very best yet.
Which films are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!