The Cannes Film Festival used to be a rather exclusive place. While that rarified air is still very much in place, in the last few years the festival has opened up itself to taking in titles that have screened at Sundance earlier in the year. It’s usually one or two pictures at best, and recent Sundance-to-Cannes indies include “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Whiplash,” and “Beasts of The Southern Wild” (the latter two were also nominated the Best Picture Oscar). This year, there was only one movie from Sundance selected to play during Cannes: “Dope,” the layered hip-hop crime comedy which is part of the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar.
Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa (“Brown Sugar,” “Our Family Wedding”), “Dope” is jam packed with of-the-moment pop culture, social media, culturally relevant conversations about race, socio-economic circumstance, and zeitgeist-capturing flavor. The comedy, which we likened to “Dear White People” meets “Pulp Fiction” in our review from Sundance, hits on Bitcoin, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, ‘90s hip-hop nostalgia, and much more. Here’s the synopsis:
A critical hit and audience favorite out of the Sundance Film Festival, in DOPE, Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.
READ MORE: Watch Sundance Hit ‘Dope’ Reintroduce Itself With This New Trailer
“Dope” co-stars Tony Revolori (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”), Kersey Clemons, Kimberly Elise, A$sap Rocky, Blake Anderson, Keith Stanfield, Chanel Iman, Quincy Brown, and Zoe Kravitz. The movie also features four new songs by Pharrell Williams and a vibrant hip-hop soundtrack. “Dope” opens on June 19th. Watch the first clip from the film — which introduces us to “The Bottoms,” the economically-challenged ghetto in L.A. where the film takes place — plus a new TV spot below.