The 10 Most Anticipated Films of Cannes 2024 | Festivals & Awards

May 13, 2024 - Movies

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga”

Nine years ago, “Mad Max: Fury Road” had its grand unveiling at the Cannes Film Festival, knocking out audiences on its way to becoming one of that summer’s biggest hits and eventually winning six Oscars. Director George Miller returns to the Croisette for this prequel, which introduces us to a younger version of Charlize Theron’s Furiosa, this time played by Anya Taylor-Joy. With Chris Hemsworth and Tom Burke co-starring, “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” is the first installment of this franchise in which Max is not a main character, and the early buzz suggests viewers will hardly miss him. Honestly, this new film’s greatest challenge will be living up to its predecessor, which every action movie of the last decade has tried to as well. 

The Invasion

Sergei Loznitsa’s name may not be as familiar to world cinema fans as his starrier Cannes peers, but this Ukrainian filmmaker has been a frequent critic of Russia, his two most recent features (“A Gentle Creature” and “Donbass”) playing at the French festival and portraying Russia as nightmarish and cruel. Loznitsa’s latest is a documentary that, according to SEE NL, has been shot over the last two years of Russia’s war on Ukraine and features “funerals, weddings, scenes showing citizens filling up plastic bottles with water, shots of target practice with new army recruits and of war veterans who’ve lost limbs at the rehab center, and grim imagery showing destroyed bridges and abandoned classrooms.” There have already been superb documentaries about the invasion—“20 Days in Mariupol” won Best Documentary at the Oscars—but “The Invasion” is the one I’ve been waiting for. I can’t even imagine how this war will look through Loznitsa’s enraged eyes. 

“Kinds of Kindness”

Based on the initial teasers, it seemed that Yorgos Lanthimos’ follow-up to “Poor Things” and “The Favourite” might be a fun, almost Tarantino-esque romp. But then we found out that “Kinds of Kindness” is a whopping 165 minutes, which is just barely shorter than the two longest films in the Cannes Competition. Telling three separate stories, “Kinds of Kindness” might need the extra runtime to give each tale its due. (And the film is certainly star-studded, featuring Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Mamoudou Athie and, of course, Emma Stone, who won her second Oscar for “Poor Things.”) No question Lanthimos is on a roll—his last two films have taken home five Oscars, including two Best Actress prizes—but will this new one be too much of a good thing? What initially sounded like just a breezy lark now feels like his next big swing. 

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