Ahead of the official lineup announcement on Thursday, were banking on Quentin Tarantino, Terrence Malick, Kelly Reichardt and Leos Carax making the final cut

Last year, Cannes did not cover itself in glory. Yes, there were some wonderful films (Zama, Happy as Lazzaro), but there was also a pronounced lack of buzz and awards glory due largely to the Netflix spat meaning the likes of Roma went elsewhere.

This impasse is still present, so no Netflix films this year either. Already announced are Rocketman, the Elton John biopic, and opening-night zombie comedy The Dead Dont Die. Here are 20 key titles we expect to feature in Thursdays official programme announcement.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

About as dead cert as it gets, provided Tarantino finishes it in time. QT has amassed a big name cast DiCaprio, Pitt, Margot Robbie for a 60s-set thriller set against the backdrop of the Manson murders, focusing on an actor and stuntman trying to reinvigorate their careers.

Pain and Glory

The new one from Spanish maestro Pedro Almodvar is billed as the directors answer to Fellinis self-referential masterwork 8. Longterm collaborator Antonio Banderas plays a sixtysomething film-maker looking back over his life; another longterm collaborator, Penelope Cruz, puts in an appearance as his mum, Jacinta. Its already been released in Spain, to middling reviews, but thats not likely to deter Cannes perennial auteur worship.

The Truth

It looks like a swift return to Cannes for the winner of last years Palme dOr, Hirokazu Kore-eda, with the path made even smoother with a French-language film starring Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche. They play a movie-star mother and scriptwriter daughter whose relationship disintegrates after the latter publishes a no-holds-barred memoir.

Against All Enemies

Since Clouds of Sils Maria, Kristen Stewart has been a Cannes fixture, so her biopic of Jean Seberg herself a French cinema icon since A Bout de Souffle is primed for a slot. Directed by Benedict Andrews, this focuses on Sebergs harassment by the FBI.

Ad Astra


Director James Gray has been a long-term favoured son of Cannes, and will be even more so since Lost City of Z made him a Hollywood player of sorts. This mid-budget sci-fi stars Brad Pitt as a soldier on a space mission to find his lost father, a renegade scientist. Its due for general release during the festival, so could well feature in the first few days.

A Hidden Life

Terrence Malick still maintains a near-impenetrable veil over the status of his films, so theres no way of knowing if the (as ever) long-gestating project will be done in time . A drama about the Austrian anti-Nazi conscientious objector Franz Jgersttter who was executed in 1943, the festival will bend over backwards if theres a chance of it getting in.

Sorry We Missed You

Rumours of Ken Loachs retirement have clearly been exaggerated. The two-time Palme winner could be back in Cannes with his latest, a gig-economy drama about a delivery driver (played by Kris Hitchen) trying to keep head above water. Loachs regular partner Paul Laverty scripts.


Reviews of the Dardenne brothers last film, The Unknown Girl, were uncharacteristically middling, but as Cannes fixtures they are sure to be up for consideration. Their subject here is radicalisation: a Belgian teen plans to kill his teacher after succumbing to religious extremism.

Matthias and Maxime

Francophone Canadian director Xavier Dolan returns to his Montreal roots with what is described as an homage to the family dramas of the 90s, with Dolan featuring on screen alongside his Mommy star Anne Dorval.


Bong Joon-hos last film, Okja, was one of the triggers for Cannes Netflix row, but since the streaming giant is not involved with this one, there should be no barrier to the festival selecting it. Parasite is a creepy-looking thriller about a hard-up family who infiltrates another, richer one; Song Kang-ho (Snowpiercer, The Host) stars.

True History of the Kelly Gang

Justin Kurzels last film, Assassins Creed, was a blip in a thus far faultless career. His next, an adaptation of the Peter Carey novel, looks like a wise return to the Aussie true-crime scene he so brilliantly mined in debut Snowtown. George MacKay is Ned; Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult and The Babadooks Essie Davies support.


Aquarius director Kleber Mendona Filhos new one stars Jonny Mars and Sonia Braga and tells of a documentarian travelling to the heart of Brazil. But the locals arent quite what they seem and may harbour dangerous secrets. Given that Udo Kier is also in the cast, horrific acts likely await.

First Cow

Kelly Reichardts latest is the story of a cook for a gang of fur trappers in 1820s Oregon niche for most; standard issue for the Meeks Cutoff and Old Joy director. This one also involves a trip to China and back again, as our heroes team up with a refugee. No big stars are attached, but this still looks like essential and singular film-making.



Discreet and humane domestic dramatist Ira Sachss latest film is a family vacation saga set in Sintra, Portugal and starring Isabelle Huppert, alongside Brendan Gleeson, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear and Jrmie Renier. Sachs is overdue a breakthrough; his first film shot outside the US might just be the one to do it.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Tomboy and Girlhood director Cline Sciamma looks all but certain to return to the Croisette with this intense, 18th-century romance between a painter and the woman she is commissioned to paint for a wedding portrait, starring longtime muse Adele Haenel. The inferno isnt just metaphorical; IMDbs scant cast list includes Woman near fire.

Little Joe

Dormant for five years, Jessica Hausner returns with a promisingly topical and faintly Lanthimos-ish sci-fi featuring Ben Whishaw, Emily Beecham, Lindsay Duncan and Kerry Fox. A genetically engineered plant scatters its seeds and seems to cause uncanny changes on living creatures, runs the blurb. The afflicted appear strange, as if they were replaced especially for those who are close to them. Ooh-er.


Matt Damon returns to space for this work/life balance drama about a female astronaut (Eva Green) who learns her one-year mission is approaching faster than anticipated. Matt Dillon also features in the latest from young Cannes darling Alice Winocour.


Leos Caraxs first film since Kylie-featuring work of genius Holy Motors stars Adam Driver as a standup and Michelle Williams as his dead opera-singer wife. Their two-year-old has surprising gifts apparently, which were interpreting as quasi-supernatural powers, rather than a random selection from Poundsaver.


Clammy-handed anticipation surrounds the second feature from Hereditary director Ari Aster. This one has Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor heading off to join Will Poulter at a special Scandinavian Wicker Man-style festival that looks like a less relaxing holiday than anticipated.


Remember Benh Zeitlin? All the way back in 2012, Beasts of the Southern Wild catapulted him to the top of the film-makers to watch list, only for him to deliver nothing. Belatedly, hes back, with the Montserrat-set story of a young girl who is kidnapped and taken to a destructive ecosystem where mystical pollen breaks the relationship between ageing and time.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/apr/17/cannes-2019-20-films-we-hope-will-be-at-the-film-festival