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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.

“Non-Fiction”

Director: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Guillaume Canet
A Cannes regular, Oliver Assayas is one of the most internationally recognized French filmmakers working today. Following recent successes like “Personal Shopper” (for which he won Best Director at the 2016 festival) and “Clouds of Sils Maria,” Assayas returns to working with Juliette Binoche for his highly-anticipated satire. “Non-Fiction” finds irony in the rapidly changing book publishing world, following the relationship between editor (Guillaume Canet) and author (Vincent Macaigne) as they both struggle with mid-life crises and the changing needs of their wives. Assayas is so beloved by international critics, and this project’s so distinctly French, that you had better believe the movie will score a spot somewhere in the Official Selection. —JD

“The Other Side of the Wind”

Director: Orson Welles
Cast: Oja Kojar, Peter Bogdonavich, Dennis Hopper, John Huston

Orson Welles never completed "The Other Side of the Wind" in his lifetime.

John Huston, Orson Welles, and Peter Bogdanovich on the set of “The Other Side of the Wind”

Steven Jaffe/The Welles-Kodar Collection, University of Michigan, Special Collections Library

Despite Netflix’s run-in with French distributors at Cannes 2017, Netflix chief content czar Ted Sarandos has stated that he wanted to world premiere producers Filip Jan Rymsza and Frank Marshall’s completed version of Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind” for Cannes 2018. Welles co-wrote the screenplay with Oja Kodar, who co-starred alongside Peter Bogdanovich, Robert Random and Dennis Hopper in the Hollywood satire, which follows a revered filmmaker (John Huston) attempting to mount his comeback with a new picture called “The Other Side of the Wind.” Bogdanovich was charged by Welles with finishing the film in the event of his death. Finally, with Bogdanovich as executive producer, Netflix backed the needed restoration/editing feats required by Oscar-winning editor Bob Murawski, sound mixer Scot Millan and negative cutter Mo Henry (“Jaws,” “The Dark Knight,” and “Mulholland Drive.”). The streaming service will also release a companion documentary by Oscar-winner Morgan Neville. Welles won Best Actor at Cannes in 1958 for “Compulsion,” and two of his films won Cannes prizes: 1952’s “Othello” and “Chimes at Midnight” in 1966. “Wind” could be the highest profile get for the venerable Cannes Classics section. —AT

“Overgod”

Director: Gabriel Mascaro
Brazilian filmmaker Mascaro developed fascinating documentaries for years before breaking out on a somewhat larger scale with “Neon Bull,” a remarkable portrait of rodeo men and women traveling through the country’s rural communities. The expressionistic narrative brought an elevated poetry to exploring its characters’ lives, with a distinctive quality that proved Mascaro had more stories to tell (his first narrative feature, the lush “August Winds,” is also worth checking out). Buzz is strong for “Overgod,” which focuses on a Christian woman who runs a religious swingers club and believe her baby may be the new Messiah. Once again, Mascaro seems poised to explore the interplay of sensuality and religious convictions in unexpected places sure to bring fresh vision to Cannes audiences. —EK

“Paul Sanchez is Back!”

Director: Patricia Mazuy
Cast: Laurent Lafitte, Zita Harnet, Idris Chender
Mazuy has been a recurring presence in French cinema for nearly 30 years, and her latest feature seems like an ideal fit for an out of competition slot. This one’s a comedy-thriller about a criminal who reappears after vanishing for 15 years, and stars “Elle” breakout Laurent Lafitte. Mazuy may not be known by U.S. audiences, but she’s certainly a name in France, and this potential crowdpleaser could easily wind up at Cannes in advance of its national release. —EK

“Peterloo”

Director: Mike Leigh
Cast: David Bamber, Alastair Mackenzie, Christopher Eccleston
Mike Leigh has been at Cannes for his last two features, “Another Year” in 2010 and “Mr. Turner” in 2014, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be back in contention for the Palme d’Or in 2018 with the Amazon-backed “Peterloo.” The big-budget historical drama recounts the events that led to the Manchester Massacre, in which 15 people were killed and up to 700 wounded during an 1819 protest to extend voting rights. Leigh has proven he’s a master at nailing period details in “Mr. Turner” and “Topsy Turvey,” but “Peterloo” sounds like it will be a chance for the director to operate on an epic scale he never has before. —ZS

“Radegund”

Director: Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick has teased that his new historical drama “Radegund” will be something of a return to narrative filmmaking following the divisive “Song to Song” and “Knight of Cups,” and what better place to premiere it than Cannes. The director won the Palme d’Or for “The Tree of Life” and took home the Cannes directing prize for “Days of Heaven,” but he’s debuted his most recent films at Berlin and SXSW. Malick said last year he was finishing “Radegund” post-production, meaning the film should be ready by May to mark his return to Cannes. The film stars August Diehl as Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector who was executed by the Nazis for refusing to fight on their behalf in World War II. —ZS

“Saint Vierge”

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Virginie Efira
No stranger to controversy, the Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven last made waves in 2016 with his rape revenge drama “Elle,” which earned Isabelle Huppert her first Oscar nomination and generated widespread debate about its sexual politics (it wouldn’t be a Verhoeven movie if there weren’t some controversy in that department). “Saint Vierge, or “The Bless Virgin” stars “Elle” actress Virginie Efira as a novice nun in 15th century Italy who, between performing miracles, begins an affair with a woman. Verhoeven worked with “Elle” producers and “Showgirls” distributors on the movie, which means “Saint Vierge” could be perfect middle ground between Verhoeven’s highbrow and lowbrow sensibilities. (It also means no mercy for conflicted feminist cinephiles). —JD

“Suspiria”

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton
There’s hardly a more hotly anticipated title this year than the “Call Me by Your Name” director’s long-gestating remake of the Dario Argento classic, which Guadagnino himself has lovingly referred to an homage to the beloved giallo genre. While the basic plot will stay the same (a young American ballerina begins training at a German dance academy and uncovers its dark secrets), the filmmaker has been adamant that this is a new beast. “Every movie I make is a step inside my teenage dreams, and ‘Suspiria’ is the most remarkably precise teenage megalomaniac dream I could have had,” Guadagnino said last year. “I saw the poster when I was 11 and then I saw the film when I was 14, and it hit me hard. I immediately started to dream about making my own version of it.” The Amazon-produced feature clocks in at two-and-a-half hours and with a fall release could hold off on the Cannes platform, but rest assured the festival will want to premiere it if it’s available. —KE

“Under the Silver Lake”

Director: David Robert Mitchell
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Sydney Sweeney, Riley Keough, Topher Grace, Jimmi Simpson
Four years have passed since Mitchell’s riveting horror effort “It Follows” found acclaim at Cannes’ Critics Week, and while genre fans have been clamoring for more like that, anyone familiar with Mitchell’s “The Myth of the American Sleepover” knows that his sensibilities aren’t so easy to define. So it comes as no surprise that enthusiasm for his previous outing has opened the door for this unclassifiable enigma, a sprawling L.A.-set mystery about a detective obsessed with the murder of a billionaire mogul and a kidnapping. Think “Chinatown” meets “Mulholland Drive.” This risky gamble will certainly catch audiences by surprise, and it’s exactly the sort of highbrow American storytelling that Cannes could put in a broader context by placing it in Competition. —EK

“The Quietud”

Director: Pablo Trapero
Cast: Edgar Ramirez, Bérenice Bejo, Joaquín Furriel
One of Latin America’s most exciting filmmakers, Trapero’s intense dramas wrestle with the country’s biggest themes, from religion and poverty (“White Elephant”) to organized crime (“The Clan”), typically with bursts of shocking violence realized with striking cinematic intensity. Though it has one of his bigger casts to date, “The Quietude” looks to stick to small-scale thriller territory with this story of adult sisters looking to move beyond their traumatic past. Following the box office success of “The Clan” in Argentina, “The Quietude” marks the first Sony-produced project out of the country, and it’s a safe bet that it will be a tense actors’ showcase. Trapero last came to Cannes with “White Elephant” in 2012; he has yet to crack Competition, and he’s overdue. —EK

“Sunset”

Director: Laszlo Nemes
Cast: Juli Jakab

"Sunset"

“Sunset”

Mátyás Erdély / Laookon Filmgroup

Hungarian director Nemes was one of the biggest Cannes breakouts of all time, when his 2015 debut “Son of Saul” premiered in Competition and went on to win the best foreign language film Oscar. “Sunset” is a bigger-scale effort than the concentration camp setting of Nemes’ first feature. Set in 1913, the drama centers on a woman who returns to Budapest after growing up in an orphanage, taking a job at a hat store owned by her late parents and uncovering a secret associated with her family’s past. Nemes is once again wrestling with vast historical events through an intimate lens (in this case, the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), and while Nemes reportedly just finished his first cut in February, the costly feature is angling for a Competition slot to raise its profile. If the results are strong enough and it’s finished in time, “Sunset” should be a lock. —EK

“Vision”

Director: Naomi Kawase
Cast: Juliette Binoche
Cannes has always been very good to director Kawase in the past, playing home to seven of her films (six in the aughts alone), and tapping her to serve as the president of both the festival’s forward-looking Cinefondation section and its Short Film Jury in 2016, following a stint on the Feature Film Jury in 2013. Kawase is also the youngest winner of the Camera d’or for her feature “Suzaku” back in 1997, which she followed up with a Grand Prix award ten years later for “The Mourning Forest.” In short, if Kawase has a film, Cannes will program it, and happily so. Her next one, “Vision,” stars another Cannes regular (Juliette Binoche), cast as a journalist on the hunt for a mysterious rare herb that grows every 997 years. While many Cannes critics tend to ignore her work at the festival, her allegorical fantasies have won plenty of fans over the years. —KE

“Where Life Is Born”

Director: Carlos Reygadas
Cast: Carlos Reygadas, Natalia Lopez
Every single one of Carlos Reygadas’ four features has premiered at Cannes in some capacity, with the Mexican director’s last three — “Battle in Heaven,” “Silent Light,” and 2012’s “Post Tenebras Lux” — all bowing in Competition. After a long gestation period, Reygadas wrapped production on his fifth full-length early last year, and is almost certainly ready to bring it to the Croisette. “Where Life Is Born” is poised to be yet another of the director’s emotionally punishing (yet also vaguely transcendental) relationship dramas. Starring the director and his wife, the film tells the story of a married couple in an open relationship, focusing on the husband’s struggle to accept that his wife has fallen in love with anotehr man. Set around the bullfighting ranches of Tlaxcala and supposedly pitched between tradition and modernity, “Where Life Is Born” is as close to a lock as anything could be for the Cannes 2018 lineup. —DE

“The Wild Pear”

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Turkish director Ceylan’s movies rarely find much of an audience in North America, but he revered at Cannes, where his three-hour-plus “Winter Sleep” won the Palme d’Or in 2014. Four years later, he’s got another enigmatic project in the bag, the story of a failed writer who returns to the village where he grew up and grapples with his late father’s debts. It’s a striking contrast to the protagonist of his last feature, the Chekhovian tale of a wealthy ex-actor and landowner, but suggests another complex look at Turkish society from the perspective of a man caught between its hierarchical extremes. Ceylan’s slow-burn storytelling is always a worthwhile challenge, and if “Wild Pear” is ready to go it’s safe to assume it’s a lock for Competition. —EK

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