As far as the critics were concerned, 2016 boasted Cannes Film Festival’s best crop in about 20 years. With that in mind, I take a look at the 5 most interesting prospects that were on show, based on critical opinion and personal taste.
The latest project from auteur Jim Jarmusch, Paterson was critically adored at the Festival and is a film I’m looking out for after I loved his vampire flick Only Lovers Left Alive. It stars Adam Driver as, in a casting choice some are finding hilarious, a bus driver named Paterson who aspires to be a poet. It sounds like one of those plotless odysseys which finds beauty in the everyday. Sign me up.
Toni Erdmann has been mooted as belonging to a genre you don’t hear about often – a German comedy – and was one of the favourites for the Palme d’Or until Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake took the crown. Telling the tale of a man who dresses up as the titular character to both prank and emotionally bond with his workaholic daughter, Maren Ade’s third feature has won praise for its richness and detail, and for how affecting it eventually becomes.
The latest work from acclaimed British director Andrea Arnold, this nearly three hour epic concerns the trials and tribulations of a group of disaffected American youths on one long road trip. Newcomer Sasha Lane leads the cast of this Jury Prize winner, and everyone’s favourite loose cannon Shia LaBeouf also features.
If the critical hype is to be believed, Loving continues indie filmmaker Jeff Nichols’ hot streak after 2012’s Mud and this year’s eerie yet heartfelt sci-fi Midnight Special. This much-praised film boasts Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple in 50s Virginia who choose to get married and face terrible consequences.
Reuniting director Olivier Assayas with actress Kristen Stewart after they worked together on Clouds of Sils Maria, this sees Stewart play Maureen, who is working as a personal shopper to a celebrity in Paris when events take a decidedly supernatural turn. The film, for which Assayas jointly won the Cannes Best Director prize with Cristian Mungiu, has divided critics but looks an interesting prospect nonetheless.