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Cannes 2018 Wish List: 37 Movies We Hope Make the Cut, From Barry Jenkins to Claire Denis

The May cinephile gathering is just around the corner, so get your auteur scorecard ready. Here are some of the most anticipated international offerings we hope will make the cut.

“Girls of the Sun”

Director: Eva Husson
Cast: Golshifteh Farahani
Husson’s breakout second feature, “Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story),” was a hit on the 2015 festival circuit, though it never played at Cannes, instead hopscotching through other heavy hitters like TIFF, London, and New York’s own Rendezvous with French Cinema. She’s ready for a big, splashy bow on the Croisette, and her ambitious next feature sounds like just the ticket. Golshifteh Farahani stars in the film as the commander-in-chief of a Kurdish female battalion known as the titular “The Girls of the Sun.” As she and her fellow soldiers prepare to storm the same town where she was first captured by extremists, she also bonds with an embedded journalist, played by Cannes best actress winner Emmanuelle Bercot. —KE

“High Life”

Director: Claire Denis
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche
The beloved French auteur is a Cannes regular — she’s screened four of her features at the festival, plus she led the Un Certain Regard jury back in 2010 — so to say that Cannes is a natural fit for her spacey new film is an understatement. This is where “High Life” belongs, and should our prediction out, the film (Denis’ first English-language feature!) will likely be one of the more talked about offerings on the Croisette. Starring Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche, the film follows a group of criminals who are sent on a space mission straight into a black hole, all under the assumption that the mission will ultimately lead to their freedom. That’s weird enough, but the film also reportedly builds in a subplot about sexual experimentation that makes it even more out there. Pattinson himself has already called the project “definitely nuts,” and that’s saying something. –KE

“The House That Jack Built”

Director: Lars von Trier
Cast: Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman, Riley Keough

"The House That Jack Built"

“The House That Jack Built”

Trust Nordsick/Chris Geisnaes

Cannes’ very own enfant terrible could very well make a controversial return to the Croisette in 2018, seven years after receiving backlash for comments he made about Hitler during the “Melancholia” press conference. (He was declared “persona non grata” at the festival, but Fremaux has forgiven him.) Von Trier has already warned fans that “The House that Jack Built,” will be his most gruesome effort to date. The film stars Matt Dillon as a serial killer and chronicles the murderers rise by focusing on five of his most life-changing kills. Uma Thurman and Riley Keough play two of the women Jack encounters on his road to becoming a serial killer. —ZS

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

Director: Barry Jenkins
Cast: Regina King, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal, Diego Luna, and Dave Franco
Following up a masterpiece is never easy, but cinephiles the world over are eager to see what the “Moonlight” director has up his sleeve. Continuing in the vein of adapting black literary greats, Jenkins crafts his third feature from James Baldwin’s fifth novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk.” The novel follows a pregnant woman whose boyfriend is imprisoned for a rape he did not commit, having been accused by a racist cop. Annapurna is producing with Plan B, and the movie stars Regina King, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal, Diego Luna, and Dave Franco. Jenkins served on the shorts jury for the 2017 festival, but has never had a movie at Cannes before. —JD

“Keep an Eye Out”

Director: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: Benoit Poelvoorde, Gregoire Ludig, Anaïs Demoustie
Dupieux’s wacky, surrealist style has gained a significant following in recent years with “Reality,” “Wrong Cops,” “Wrong,” and “Rubber,” aka the killer tire movie. For his latest genre-bending satire, he returns to the investigative context of “Wrong” with a story set around circumstances at a police station and a murder case. Dupieux spent the last two years making music under the pseudonym Mr. Oizo, so here’s hoping his hiatus was worth the wait. “Wrong” broke out of the Critics’ Week section, but Dupieux seems overdue to graduate to the main selection, and would certainly look right at home in the Cannes midnight lineup. —EK

“Lazzaro Felice”

Director: Alice Rohrwacher
The young Italian filmmaker cracked Cannes Competition in 2014 with her sophomore effort “The Wonders,” and has spent several years developing her third feature. Shot in the central Italian countryside, the story is said to focus on the experiences of a man – “almost a saint,” according to one description — who travels through time and lives on the outskirts of civilization. Resurrecting the rural themes of her previous entry with a fantastic premise, this intriguing new effort suggests a whole new level of ambition for a filmmaker whose talent was evident from her very first feature, “Corpo Celeste,” and it seems like a strong contender for Competition even in a year with several Italian features vying for contention. —EK

“The Picture Book”

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Look, if a new Godard movies is ready to go, it’s going to Cannes. (The reclusive Godard, however, probably won’t make the trip.) This followup to the legendary New Wave director’s boundary-breaking 3D effort “Goodbye to Language” is said to be another experimental essay film, this one stretched across five chapters and explore revolutionary ideas. Of course, that last bit could describe nearly every Godard movie since 1960, though his journeys into abstract storytelling continue to veer in unpredictable directions that mean “The Picture Book” is likely to baffle, anger and energize cinephiles all over again. The octogenarian filmmaker has spent years hammering this one out (it was rumored to be in contention for Cannes last year). If you’re a Godard junkie, get excited. —EK

“The Little Stranger”

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Charlotte Rampling
Three years have passed since Abrahamson’s Oscar-nominated “Room,” and now the versatile filmmaker is back with a very different kind of project: This Focus Features-produced supernatural thriller focuses on a country doctor in 1947 hired to help an affluent family and drawn into a haunting that involves his own family history as well. Adapted from Sarah Waters’ novel, the movie looks like a creepy gothic experience that blends its horror components with an elegant style. It might be a stretch to assume it’s a lock for Competition, but should come as no surprise if “Little Stranger” finds its way into some part of the Cannes lineup. —EK

“Loro”

Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Toni Servillo

"Loro"

“Loro”

Italy’s Sorrentino has been a revered auteur for years, and usually leaves a mark at Cannes with his capricious, Fellini-esque explorations of wistful men. “The Great Beauty” won the foreign language Oscar, and while his English language “Youth” didn’t fare quite as well, it did set the stage for his fascinating HBO series “The Young Pope.” The long-form approach seemed to sit well with the filmmaker, who has reported broken “Loro” into two separate features. This look at the life of tyrannical Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should bring Sorrentino back to the terrain of corrupt governmental forces he last explored in “Il Divo,” and couldn’t be more timely as Berlusconi gears up for another election. Cannes hasn’t shied away from programming long-form projects before (think Soderbergh’s two-part “Che”) so there’s a strong chance “Loro” will surface at the festival even if it doesn’t land a Competition slot. —EK

“The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”

Director: Terry Gilliam
Cast: Jonathan Pryce, Adam Driver
“We should be here in Cannes next year with the finished film,” Terry Gilliam told press at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival about his passion project “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” While production problems delayed the film, Gilliam should finally be ready to unveil the film this May after 19 years spent trying to get it made. “Don Quixote” stars Jonathan Pryce as a deluded older man who is convinced he’s the famous knight. Adam Driver plays an advertising executive who mistakingly becomes his squire, Sancho Panza. The two embark on an adventure that will somehow cross the gap between the 21st and 17th centuries. —ZS

“The Mountain”

Director: Rick Alverson
Cast: Jeff Goldblum
Alverson’s unique form of cringe-comedy experiments have been largely released to the American scene, with both “The Comedy” and “Entertainment” dividing Sundance audiences to delectable effect. Few directors amplify the discomfort of the solipsistic male id better than Alverson, who’s long overdue to apply that skill to bigger names. Goldblum, still a treasured character actor after all these years, was born to play within the confines of Alverson’s distinctive neurotic explorations. However, even Goldblum has said in interviews that Alverson’s unnerving approach isn’t for everyone, and this would be a daring selection for the Official Competition. However, it’s exactly the sort of outrageous gamble that could make a big dent down the road at Directors’ Fortnight. —EK

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