The biggest question surrounding the Cannes72 lineup was answered today as Quentin Tarantino’s 9th feature ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD officially made it (apparently last-minute) into the competition lineup. Clocking in at an epic 2h45m, the film is “a love letter to the Hollywood of his childhood, a rock music tour of 1969, and an ode to cinema as a whole”. It stars, among many others, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell and is shot by three-time Oscar winner Robert Richardson.
Needless to say, this has instantly become the hottest ticket on the Croisette this year (insert shudder at the thought of that queue), with or without the added fanfare of the film likely being screened on the exact 25th anniversary of PULP FICTION’s Cannes debut. It also marks the third time Tarantino competes in Cannes and the first time since INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS 10 years ago, which won Christoph Waltz the best actor prize and eventually his first Oscar.
Obviously all filmmakers dream of going to Cannes, but kudos to Sony for having the faith in this film – their awards season hopeful and a major financial investment by all acounts – to send it to the most discerning and often merciless critics in the world. It’s a risky move that could really boost or hurt a film’s prospects (look no further than last year’s UNDER THE SILVER LAKE for an example of Cannes casualties).
Meanwhile, as suspected, former Palme d’Or winner Abdellatif Kechiche (BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR) will also compete again with the second part of his 90’s youth trilogy MEKTOUB, MY LOVE: INTERMEZZO. This writer was not terribly enamored with the first entry of the series MEKTOUB, MY LOVE: CANTO UNO, which premiered in Venice 2 years ago. But we shall see if the French-Tunisian filmmaker can get his groove back this time around. With a runtime of four hours (how about that for an interlude?), he sure is making us work for it though.
These two late entries round out an already crowded competition lineup of 21 films. As always, it’s impossible to tell how the diverse jury will respond to any particular film. How do you think HOLLYWOOD will fare with a group that includes Yorgos Lanthimos, Paweł Pawlikowski, Kelly Reichardt, chaired by the first-ever Latin American jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu? Which titles are you most excited about? Who do you think has the best chance of winning the Palme?
The festival also added the following films to the sidebar sections:
LUX ÆTERNA by Gaspar Noé (Midnight)
LA FAMOSA INVASIONE DEGLI ORSI IN SICILIA by Lorenzo Mattotti (Un certain regard)
ODNAZHDY V TRUBCHEVSKE by Larissa Sadilova (Un certain regard)
CHICUAROTES by Gael García Bernal (Special Screenings)
LA CORDILLERA DE LOS SUEÑOS by Patricio Guzmán (Special Screenings)
ICE ON FIRE by Leila Conners (Special Screenings)
5B by Dan Krauss (Special Screenings)
The 72nd Cannes Film Festival runs May 14-25.