Cannes 2019 | This year’s 10 hottest films

Robbie Collin shares his pick of the best movies at the world’s biggest film festival

PREMIUM


Even in a world where Avengers: Endgame can break the 2 billion box office barrier in 11 days, the Cannes Film Festival in France remains the centre of the cinematic universe.
The festival’s 72nd edition opened last Tuesday with a line-up of 154 features, a notable 10 of which are detailed below. The festival ends on Saturday.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
The jewel in Cannes’s 2019 programme almost slipped down the back of the sofa, thanks to an unexpectedly cumbersome editing process that left writer-director Quentin Tarantino scrambling to meet the Cannes deadline.
Set in 1969 on the eve of the Manson murders, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as a Burt Reynolds-esque hunk and his trusty stunt double blundering through the dying days of golden age Hollywood.
Sorry We Missed You
Social-realist firebrand and two-time Palme d’Or winner Ken Loach is among the hardiest of Cannes perennials.
After the surprise triumph of I, Daniel Blake in 2016, he returns with what is likely his last film. Sorry We Missed You is an English drama about a struggling father who turns to delivery driving in the gig economy.
Rocketman
The early PR push around Dexter Fletcher’s Elton John biopic seems determined to distance it from Bohemian Rhapsody in a few key respects – not least with a franker approach to its subject’s sexuality and repeated assurances that star Taron Egerton sang the songs himself.
The Dead Don’t DieThis ensemble zombie comedy from Jim Jarmusch stars Bill Murray and Adam Driver as two small-town cops leading the motley resistance against a rising tide of the living dead. Tilda Swinton features as a sword-fighting mortician.
The Lighthouse
This hotly anticipated horror film comes from US director Robert Eggers, whose 2015 period piece The Witch was one of the most auspicious debuts in years. His follow-up stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as wiry and sullen lighthouse keepers in New England in the 1890s. Shot in black-and-white on cameras from the 1920s and 1940s, it has been compared by its producer Rodrigo Teixeira to Kubrick’s The Shining: safe to say this one is aiming high.
Wounds
A busy year for British filmmaking talent continues with this horror from Babak Anvari, whose 2016 breakthrough was the Tehran-set ghost story Under the Shadow.
Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson bring movie-star wattage to this story of a bartender who snoops through a discarded phone, only to be sent text messages, images and sounds that freeze his blood.
Pain & Glory
The 21st film from Pedro Almodóvar sounds like the Spanish maestro’s most autobiographical work since 2009’s Broken Embraces. Antonio Banderas is an ageing director who reflects on his earlier successes in the hope it will restore his creative mojo.
Too Old to Die Young
Cannes’s feud with Netflix might be continuing, but the festival insists it is neither anti-television nor anti-streaming.
The 2019 case for the defence: a prestigious out-of-competition slot for two episodes of Nicolas Winding Refn’s forthcoming Amazon series, a Los Angeles-set cop show that channels the brooding, neon-noir spirit of Drive, the Danish provocateur’s 2011 breakthrough hit.
Too Old to Die Young stars Miles Teller and Billy Baldwin, and will premiere on Amazon Video on June 14.
Rambo V: Last Blood
Sylvester Stallone and Cannes go together like ris de veau topped with a cheeseburger: festival-watchers may fondly recall his last appearance in 2014 to promote The Expendables 3, when he drove up the Boulevard de la Croisette in a tank. At a late-night event at Cannes, he shared images from the forthcoming Rambo V, in which the Vietnam war vet takes on a Mexican cartel.
Diego Maradona
After his Senna and Amy rewrote the bio-documentary rule book, Britain’s Asif Kapadia submerged himself in this passion project about the Argentine football icon.
It centres on his time at SSC Napoli in the 1980s, but looks back to his shanty town beginnings and to the personal and professional turmoil to come. – © Telegraph Media Group Limited 2019

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