Hollywood Reporter critics pick Cannes Film Festival favorites – The Hollywood Reporter



A Chiara
(Directors’ fortnight)
Jonas Carpignano ends his trilogy on a Calabrian town where African refugees, Roma community and Mafia meet, focusing for the first time on a young female protagonist: a teenage girl (Swamy Rotolo) absorbing shocking discoveries about her beloved father. The result (winner of the first prize at the Directors’ Fortnight) is a film of captivating intimacy. – DAVID ROONEY

After Yang
(In some perspective)
Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith play a couple whose family harmony suffers when the android brother they bought for their Chinese adopted daughter breaks down in writer-director Kogonada’s exquisite and meditative sci-fi drama. The stealthy emotional power of the film overwhelms you. – DR

Ahed’s knee
Co-winner of the Third Jury Prize, Israeli author Nadav Lapid’s film is a cinematically daring self-fiction about a director (Avshalom Pollak) battling personal, professional and political demons on a trip to present one of his films. The dazzling cry of hearts represents a step towards something even more provocative than Lapid’s 2019 Gold Bear winner, Synonyms. – JORDAN MINTZER

(Cannes premieres)
Perhaps the most ambitious work to date by Japanese animator Mamoru Hosoda alternates between a quiet little town where his painfully precarious heroine lives and an exciting virtual universe where people take refuge in idealized avatars to escape pain. of the real world. The film is technically spectacular, but anchored in human emotion. – YOUNG DEBORAH

Bergman Island
A couple of screenwriters (Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth) go through love and career crises on the Swedish island made famous by Ingmar Bergman in Mia Hansen-Love’s aerial but deeply personal film. Delicate, funny and imbued with a bewitching and discreet melancholy, the film wears its many layers with lightness. – JON FROSCH

Clara sola
(Directors’ fortnight)
Shot in a remote corner of Costa Rica, Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s richly imagined first film revolves around the sexual awakening of a sheltered 40-year-old woman (Wendy Chinchilla Araya, on a wild bend). Tinted with magical realism and immersed in the sensory world, the film is a vivid reminder that even a matriarchy can be paternalistic. – SHERI lime tree

Compartment n ° 6
Finland’s Juho Kuosmanen follows his debut, The happiest day of Olli Mäki’s life, with this melancholy Grand Prix-winning film about a Finnish student (Seidi Haarla) sharing her sleeping car with a rude Russian miner (Yuriy Borisov) on a train journey through rural Russia. The narration has a generosity of spirit, tender but not sentimental. – DR

(Cannes premieres)
Andrea Arnold (American honey) returns with its first feature documentary, impressively recounting several years in the life of a dairy cow in England. In collaboration with cinematographer Magda Kowalczyk, Arnold immerses us directly into his subject’s point of view and never leaves it until the brutal and bitter end. – JM

The French dispatch
Bill Murray plays the role of editor-in-chief of an American magazine in France whose team is preparing the latest issue of Wes Anderson’s beautiful valentine for literary journalism. Boasting handcrafted visual delights and charming tricks from Benicio Del Toro, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet and Jeffrey Wright, it’s the cinematic equivalent of a fine collection of short stories. – DR

Great freedom
(In some perspective)
Franz Rogowski (Transit) plays a German homosexual who was repeatedly arrested for “deviant practices” in the decades following World War II in the intense and complex drama of Sebastian Meise. Chronicle of a dark chapter in queer history, the film is also a contemplative study of the effects of incarceration and a tender, unconventional love story. – DR

A hero
Asghar Farhadi (A separation) returns to his native Iran with this artful and finely crafted drama – which shared the Grand Prix – about a prisoner (Amir Jadidi) who becomes, through an unexpected chain of events, a local hero. Plunging us into the depths of the evils of Iranian society, it is a complex story of half-truths and lies that plague those who traffic in it. – DY

Take the road
(Directors’ fortnight)
Panah Panahi (son of Iranian author Jafar Panahi) makes his feature film debut with this exciting and inventive family road movie. Channeling the slow-burning realism of Iran’s New Wave, it also concocts a subtle and surprising story about a young man severing ties with his family to find his own path. – JM

(In some perspective)
Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snær Guonason play Icelandic sheep herders who make a surprising discovery during lambing season as a way to heal their pain in Valdimar Jóhannsson’s wild, weird and horror-tinged debut feature. It’s a surprisingly confident film that should put the director on the map in a similar way to Robert Eggers. The witch. – DR

Lingui, the sacred bonds
Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s beautiful and touching drama centers on a single mother and her pregnant teenage daughter as they seek an abortion in a country where it is technically legal but impossible to access. The filmmaker probes the depths of the bonds between women, gradually revealing how far they will go to protect themselves and each other. – LOVIA GYARKYE

Prayers for the stolen
(In some perspective)
In her sensitive and disturbing narrative debut feature, documentary filmmaker Tatiana Huezo explores the devastating toll of the drug wars in Mexico through a coming-of-age drama centered on three rural girls. The film is highly watched, with moments of breathtaking emotion delivered by the six first-time performers who play the trio of friends at two different ages. – SL

The Remembrance Part II
(Directors’ fortnight)
This stunning sequel to Joanna Hogg’s 2019 feature film about a young woman drawn into a damaging relationship with a Caddish charmer finds the British filmmaker at the height of her power. In another surprisingly emotionally straightforward performance, Honor Swinton Byrne plays the protagonist as she dismantles the wreckage of her tragic romance and brings the pieces together. – DR

The history of cinema: a new generation
(Special sessions)
Having surveyed the first century of cinema with his The history of cinema: an odyssey, Mark Cousins ​​turns his restless and passionate gaze on the 10 years since the series’ release in 2011 – up to and including these last few months of closed theaters. The resulting inspired document sometimes has an unhurried flow and sometimes rushes headlong into corners, where jaw-dropping surprises await. – SL

In his impetuous and cheeky follow-up to a cannibalistic drama Raw, French director Julia Ducournau adds body-horror and female revenge thriller genre conventions with queerness and sex-bending themes. It’s a punk and oddly touching film about two royally screwed human beings who, despite the odds, share a father-son bond. – BOYD VAN HOEIJ

(Cannes premieres)
In their enriching and unconventional documentary, Leo Scott and Ting Poo capture subject Val Kilmer’s reflections with unsupervised intimacy, embracing his many facets: star, actor, cancer survivor, spiritual warrior, parent. To that list, they add the director of photography, tapping into Kilmer’s vast personal archive of film and video to create a moving portrait of resilience. – SL

The velvet metro
(Out of competition)
Todd Haynes delves deeply into the history of the influential group led by Lou Reed, making ingenious use of split screens, experimental montages, and densely layered images and sounds during two fabulously entertaining hours. It is a work that could almost have been born from the same artistic explosion that it celebrates. – DR

A version of this story first appeared in the July 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.


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