The films competing at the Cannes Film Festival

Agence France-Presse - Agence France-Presse
The films competing at the Cannes Film Festival
Actor Michael Douglas delivers a speech after he received the Honorary Palme d’or of the 76th Cannes Film Festival
AFP / Antonin Thuillier

PARIS, France — The Cannes Film Festival returns from May 16 to 27, bringing a huge number of stars and celebrated filmmakers to France's Cote d'Azur. 

Here is a list of the 21 films competing for the top prize Palme d'Or, as well as a selection of other movies premiering out of competition.

In competition

  • "Asteroid City" by Wes Anderson
    • The king of quirky, Anderson divides audiences and almost never wins awards, but is loved by actors. His latest — about American space cadets — stars Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, and Edward Norton, to name but a few.
  • "The Zone of Interest" by Jonathan Glazer
    • Based on a book by Martin Amis about a romance in the Auschwitz concentration camp, the long-awaited return of this British director ("Under the Skin", "Sexy Beast") has arthouse fans salivating. 
  • "May December" by Todd Haynes
    • Haynes wowed Cannes with lesbian drama "Carol" in 2015 starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. His latest pairs two more big-hitters, Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, for the story of an actress meeting the couple at the heart of a tabloid scandal. 
  • "Monster" by Hirokazu Kore-eda
    • Japan's Kore-eda won the Palme for his touching family drama "Shoplifters" in 2018. "Monster" unfolds multiple viewpoints, "Rashomon"-style, to explain a child's disturbing behavior.
  • "The Old Oak" by Ken Loach
    • The 86-year-old Brit is one of cinema's most politically engaged directors, and has won the Palme twice, for Irish civil war drama "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" in 2006 and "I, Daniel Blake" 10 years later. Possibly his final film, this focuses on Syrian refugees in Britain.
  • "Firebrand" by Karim Ainouz
    • Jude Law and Alicia Vikander star as English king Henry VIII and his sixth wife Catherine Parr in a period drama from Brazilian director Karim Ainouz. 
  • "Black Flies" by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire
    • A young paramedic (Tye Sheridan) learns the ropes from a grizzled New York veteran (Sean Penn). There is much interest in the supporting role for Mike Tyson.

Related: Johnny Depp period film to open Cannes fest 

  • "Homecoming" by Catherine Corsini
    • Dogged by controversy over an underage sex scene, this got a delayed competition slot. It follows an African family returning to Corsica years after a tragedy on the French island.  
  • "Perfect Days" by Wim Wenders
    • Wenders made two of the most iconic 1980s films in "Paris, Texas" and "Wings of Desire", winning the Palme and best director at Cannes. Since then, his features have gained less attention than his documentaries such as "Buena Vista Social Club". His new, Japan-set film charts a toilet cleaner's unexpected past. 
  • "About Dry Grasses" by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
    • The Turkish filmmaker's meditative tales require patience but have scooped up many prizes in Cannes, including the 2014 Palme for "Winter Sleep". His new film follows a frustrated teacher in a remote village.
  • "Fallen Leaves" by Aki Kaurismaki
    • The Finnish director, now on his 19th film, is a fixture of the arthouse circuit, known for darkly funny looks at marginalized groups. This is billed as a gentle tragicomedy about two lonely hearts at a Helsinki nightclub.
  • "A Brighter Tomorrow" by Nanni Moretti
    • Moretti is another past winner (for "The Son's Room" in 2001). Here, the Italian stars as a 1950s director.
  • "Club Zero" by Jessica Hausner 
    • The Austrian directs Mia Wasikowska as a teacher in an elite school who forms a dangerous bond with students engaged in protesting the climate crisis. 
  • "Four Daughters" by Kaouther Ben Hania 
    • The Tunisian director received an Oscar nomination for "The Man Who Sold his Skin." Her follow-up mixes documentary and fiction in the story of a woman whose daughters suddenly disappear.
  • "Anatomy of a Fall" by Justine Triet
    • A thriller about a woman with a blind son suspected of her husband's murder.

Related: Scorsese, DiCaprio to premiere new film at Cannes 

  • "La Chimera" by Alice Rohrwacher
    • Isabella Rossellini stars in the story of a group of archaeologists working in the black market for historical artefacts.
  • "Shanghai Youth" by Wang Bing 
    • A rare documentary in the competition, it follows the lives of China's migrant workers. 
  • "Banel et Adama" by Ramata-Toulaye Sy
    • The debut feature from the French-Senegalese director looks at the difficulties of young love in a Senegalese village.
  • "Rapito" by Marco Bellocchio
    • The 83-year-old Italian cineaste returns with the true story of a Jewish boy taken from his family to be raised as a Catholic by Pope Pius IX.
  • "The Pot-au-Feu" by Tran Anh Hung
    • The Vietnamese-French director adapts a classic 1920s French novel about fictional foodie Dodin Bouffant.
  • "Last Summer" by Catherine Breillat
    • Known for her sexually transgressive films, Breillat has remade critically-acclaimed 2019 Danish film "Queen of Hearts" about a woman's affair with her stepson.

Out of competition

These films are also being premiered, but are not competing for the Palme d'Or:

  • "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" by James Mangold
  • "Killers of the Flower Moon" by Martin Scorsese
  • "Occupied City" by Steve McQueen
  • "The Idol" by Sam Levinson
  • "Cobweb" by Kim Jee-woon
  • "Kennedy" by Anurag Kashyap
  • "Kubi" by Takeshi Kitano
  • "Anselm" by Wim Wenders

RELATED: Philippine cinema gets its share of spotlight at Cannes filmfest

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