What to expect from the Cannes Film Festival this year
There's more to it than just fancy gowns, you know
Back for its 70th year, Cannes Film Festival returns to the French Riviera for more glamour, star-studded parties and, of course, a showcase of the best upcoming films.
Here’s ELLE’s guide for everything you need to know about Cannes 2017, from which celebrities will be gracing the red carpet to where they’ll be partying.
WHEN: May 17-28. Preparation for the festival is underway.
This year, Chopard will unveil a diamond-set edition of the coveted Palme d’Or to celebrate the festival’s 70th Anniversary. The stakes just got higher.
LOCATION: On the famous Boulevard de la Croisette. Home to luxury boutiques, hotels and the best beaches in Cannes. A-list stars shore up their super-yachts at the exclusive Pierre Canto Marina.
WHO’S WHO: President of the Jury is Volver director Pedro Almodóvar.
He’ll be joined by Miss Sloane actress Jessica Chastain, the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith, X-Men: Days of Future Past actress Fan Bingbing, French actress Agnès Jaoui, The Great Beauty director Paolo Sorrentino, German writer-director Maren Ade, South Korean director Park Chan-wook and composer Gabriel Yared, who won an Oscar and a Grammy for his work on The English Patient.
Meanwhile, Pulp Fiction actress Uma Thurman takes the helm as President of Un Certain Regard, a parallel competition focusing on indie cinema.
Word on the Street
Queen of cool Sofia Coppola is set to release her new film The Beguiled. Based on the novel by Thomas P. Cullinan, Colin Farrell is a wounded soldier taken in by an all-female boarding school in the American south, during the Civil War. The film also stars Nicole Kidman and Coppola-favourites Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning.
Coppola is one of 12 female directors represented this year, including Lynne Ramsay for her film You Were Never Really Here, Jane Campion for the second television series of Top of the Lake: China Girl and Vanessa Redgrave for her documentary on the refugee crisis, Sea Sorrow.
The biggest controversy in the week leading up to Cannes 2017 was the selection of two Netflix films for the competition. The US streaming giant backed Bong Joon-Ho’s fantasy film Okja and Noah Baumbach’s comedy-drama about estranged siblings, The Meyerowitz Stories, starring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman.
This sparked outcry from cinema purists, who protested that films for the internet were not really films. On May 10, the festival gave into pressure from French cinema operators and announced that from 2018 only films set to be released on the big screen would be considered.
The Cannes 2017 line-up has been announced and, in the wake of the fiery French presidential election, it’s suitably political. The refugee crisis dominates the 49-film selection but if you haven’t reviewed the full list, here’s ELLE’s top five to watch.
Don’t miss Isabelle Hupert, fresh from the success of Elle, in Happy End, from two-time Palme d’Or winner Michael Haneke. The film looks at a wealthy family in Calais against the backdrop of the migrant crisis.
Kristen Stewart makes her directorial debut with a surreal film, Come Swim. The 17 minute short tells the story of one man’s emotional interior in one day.
Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams star in Wonderstruck, from the director of Carol, Todd Haynes. The drama, which is based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Brian Selznick, focuses on two runaway children, Ben and Rose, in different time periods.
You can also catch Carol alumni Tilda Swinton in sci-fi flick Okja, a film about animal exploitation which is set to be a strong contender for the Palme d’Or.
And We Need to Talk About Kevin director Lynne Ramsey brings You Were Never Really Here, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as a war veteran who attempts to save a young girl from a trafficking ring.
Cannes may be a film festival but, with a host of gala events, lunches and after-parties on the schedule, there’s some killer parties too (find ELLE’s 2016 coverage here).
The American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) gala, held at the iconic mansion Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, in nearby Antibes, is the biggest night of Cannes’ social calendar. It’s renowned for its wildly extravagant auction (last year a stay Leonardo DiCaprio’s Palms Springs pad was up for grabs), and was the site of Diane von Furstenberg’s disco runway show.
New this year, pop up restaurant Versini is setting up on the rooftop of the Five Seas Hotel. The latest venture from Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini (yes, that’s Cheryl Cole’s ex-husband) will be the go-to spot around the clock.
And to top it all off, Ri-Ri makes her Cannes party scene debut on May 19 as co-host of Chopard’s annual bash at Port Pierre Canto. Diana Ross performed last year but we’re yet to find out if Rihanna will take to the stage. Bruno Mars is expected to attend… perhaps we’ll be hearing some Uptown Funk instead?
Obsessed with the procession of red carpet gowns at the Oscars? Cannes Film Festival showcases nearly a fortnight of beautiful fashion, with the couture being every bit as important as the films. Cannes veteran Sonam Kapoor returns this year with Deepika Padukone for company.