The 2018 Cannes Film Festival competition lineup is already memorable for featuring less starry auteurs and focusing more on rising international filmmakers, but it turns out the battle for the Palme d’Or could’ve been a lot more glamorous. Variety confirms that Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut “A Star Is Born” and Luca Gaudagnino’s “Suspiria” were two of “several high-profile projects” that rejected Cannes’ invitation to attend.
Per the report from Variety writers Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh: “According to insiders, many independent filmmakers have been told if they want an Oscar, Cannes falls too early on the calendars. Venice, Telluride and Toronto, where critics are kinder and premieres are closer to voting season, have cemented their status as the best routes to golden statuettes.”
Cannes’ influence in launching Oscar contenders has become hit or miss in recent years. Films such as Jeff Nichols’ “Loving,” Bennet Miller’s “Foxcatcher,” and Todd Haynes’ “Carol” and “Wonderstruck” all launched at Cannes to Oscar buzz, but the studios couldn’t maintain awards momentum as the onslaught of fall film festival premieres took center stage in the conversation. The last Oscar winner for best picture to debut at Cannes was “The Artist” in 2011. Every winner of Oscar’s highest honor in the last six years has debuted at Venice, Telluride, or Toronto. Expect “A Star Is Born” and “Suspiria” to set up world premieres at one of the three.
Both titles impressed critics at CinemaCon in Las Vegas last month. Warner Bros. debuted the first official trailer for Cooper’s directorial debut, which co-stars Lady Gaga in her first film performance, and the footage earned rave reviews from critics, with many agreeing the studio has an awards hopeful on its hands. “Suspiria,” meanwhile, set press into a tizzy during Amazon’s presentation. The first footage from Guadagnino’s horror film was so gruesome that the film instantly became the talk of the horror community.
Amazon will release “Suspiria” in theaters this fall. “A Star Is Born” already has an assigned October 5 release date. IndieWire has reached out to representatives from Warner Bros. and Amazon for further comment.