Opening very shortly, the 71ST FESTIVAL DE CANNES has Oscar-winning actors as jury presidents, an iconic celebration and some great looking premieres making up its programme this year.

We’re back at the Croisette for the 71ST FESTIVAL DE CANNES! From Tuesday 8th until Saturday 19th May, one of the world’s most important and prestigious film festivals will once again be rocking the south of France. As it’s director Thierry Fremaux states, each year they are “celebrating cinema at an international level”.

Having reached a milestone of 70 years of festivals in 2017, this year’s CANNES looks like it will have just as good a collection of premieres and celebrations in its programme. Here are some of my highlights…

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in Everybody Knows

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in Everybody Knows

The festival’s opening film EVERYBODY KNOWS (Todos Lo Saben) is the latest from the award-winning director Asghar Farhadi. His hugely successful and lauded movies to date include A Separation, The Past, and The Salesman, which was awarded the 2016 Oscar for ‘Best Foreign Language Film of the Year’. Farhadi’s new film sees Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Ricardo Darin head the cast of a drama about long-buried secrets coming back to haunt a family. Looks ace.

My favourite actress Marion Cotillard returns to CANNES this year with the drama ANGEL FACE (Gueule d’ange) which is part of the Un Certain Regard selection. Writer/director Vanessa Filho has cast the Oscar-winning Cotillard as Marlene, a wayward mother who walks out on her daughter Elli for a relationship with a man she’s just met. As with all of Cotillard’s performances, this will be one to see.

Other notable premieres include BLACKKKLANSMAN from Spike Lee who was last at the festival in 2002, DOGMAN from Matteo Garrone a Cannes award-winner for Gomorrah in 2008 with the ‘Grand Prize of the Jury’, COLD WAR (Zimna Wojna) from Pawel Pawlikowski the BAFTA award-winning British writer/director of Ida and Last Resort, and THE WILD PEAR TREE (Ahlat Agaci) from Nuri Bilge Ceylan who’s previously won both the top prize of the ‘Palme d’Or’ for his 2014 film Winter Sleep (Kis Uykusu) and the ‘Grand Prize of the Jury’ in 2011 for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da).

Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote - Photo c/o Bleeding Cool

Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Wrapping up the festival as this year’s closing film is the long-awaited labour of love from actor/writer/director and Monty Python alumni Terry Gilliam THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE. Taking a mind-blowing 17 years to reach the screen due to various misfortunes that impacted production, the movie stars actor-of-the-moment Adam Driver, and Gilliam’s star of his masterpiece Brazil, Jonathan Pryce. Can’t wait to see this!

I also mentioned there’s an iconic celebration in this year’s programme. As part of the event Cannes Classics, the peerless writer/director Christopher Nolan will be introducing 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY turning 50. An evening to honour Stanley Kubrick’s seminal film, this will be quite something.

And in the Rendez-vous with… series, four incredible artists will be the subjects of masterclasses at CANNES 2018. Christopher Nolan, Ryan Coogler, John Travolta, and Gary Oldman will all discuss their acclaimed careers to date on afternoons throughout the festival. Wow.

Finally to the all-important juries who will decide the winners this year. The president of the 2018 main jury is the Oscar-winning Cate Blanchett and joining her are an equally illustrious group of award-winners. There are writer/directors Denis Villeneuve, and Andrey Zvyagintsev, actresses Lea Seydoux, Chang Chen, and Kristen Stewart, singer-songwriter/composer Khadja Nin, and writer/director/producers Ava DuVernay and Robert Guediguian. And over in the Un Certain Regard jury is the Oscar-winning Benicio Del Toro as its president this year.

With a programme like this, I’ll certainly be keeping up-to-speed with all the daily 71ST FESTIVAL DE CANNES news. So watch out for any posts recommending ‘the movies I think you should see‘ on their release. Allez CANNES!