Well, the title says it all. The Palme d’Or lineup has gathered a lot of media attention, but one of the joy in Cannes is that they have varied choices beyond that, many of them take us by surprise and gain more traction as the year goes. This year is no exception as there are plenty titles worth raving about. With this list, let’s see some alternatives from the big titles that rarely get cover anywhere else, from wide range of medium, genres from all over the world.
note: there are 2 films that were originally on my watchlist but I couldn’t find the time to watch. Sight-unseen mention to The Lighthouse (Director’s Fortnight) and the animated feature The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily (Un Certain Regard)
All things considered, 2019 offers another strong lineup that stay very well in conversation for the whole year. Only 5 films make it to my “Silver Moon in Full Bloom” status, but this is a year stack full of worthy films that all bring something interesting to the table. If you look closely into this year’s lineup, you can draw some major underlying themes that lead the discussion. First, SOCIAL SATIRE becomes as relevant as ever, outlined by Parasite winning Palme d’Or that touch on the class inequality in a smartly twisted way. The Dead Don’t Die opens the Festival with its dry satire on the world that has gone mad, not unlike the real world. Bacurau and It Must Be Heaven fall into this spectrum as well with their fresh (and funny) take on social identities. Second, POLICE THRILLER roars like a lion this year, with many films, especially French titles Les Miserables, Oh Mercy, using this format to suggest the ongoing tension between the law and the suppressed citizen. Neo-noir police genre also is on the rise with The Whistlers and The Wild Goose Lake. Lastly, this is a year where movies about film-making, film-within-a-film gain some attraction with the likes of Once upon a Time in Hollywood, Sibyl, Pain & Glory and Frankie. This year also offer wide range of other subject matters, from friendship (Matthias & Maxime), to benefits (The Wild Goose Lake) to friends with benefit (Mektoub Intermezzo). Amongst serious social issues, class conflict (Parasite, Bacurau, Sorry We Missed You, Atlantique), Muslim crisis (The Young Ahmed, Les Miserables) and personal crisis (Pain & Glory, A Hidden Life, Frankie) and queer romance (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Matthias & Maxime) are hot topics.