Cannes Film Festival 2024: All Of Deadline’s Movie Reviews

The 2024 Cannes Film Festival is underway with Quentin Dupieux’s The Second Act starring Léa Seydoux and Louis Garrel serving as the opening-night film.

This year’s lineup includes major Hollywood premieres like Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth, Kevin Costner’s first film of a planned four-part series Horizon: An American Saga, Francis Coppola’s long-gestating Megalopolis, Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds of Kindness in a reteam with Emma Stone, Paul Schrader’s Oh, Canada and Andrea Arnold’s Bird to name a few.

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They are joined by new films from stalwart auteurs including David Cronenberg, Jacques Audiard, Ali Abbasi, Jia Zhang-Ke, Christophe Honoré, Paolo Sorrentino, Gilles Lellouche, Mohammad Rasoulof, Michel Hazanavicius, Guy Maddin, Noémie Merlant and Oliver Stone.

Read all of Deadline’s takes below throughout the festival, which runs May 14-25. Click on the title to read the full review and keep checking back as we update the list.

Anora

‘Anora’
‘Anora’

Section: Competition
Director: Sean Baker
Cast: Mikey Madison, Mark Eydelshteyn, Yuriy Borisov, Karren Karagulian, Vache Tovmasyan
Deadline’s takeaway: Sean Baker is no stranger to comedy, and Anora is his broadest to date. The nudity doubtless will be controversial, but it will be especially interesting to see what audiences make of the film’s heartbreaking ending — a subtle rebuttal to the allegations of exploitation that surely will ensue.

The Apprentice

'The Apprentice' movie review
‘The Apprentice’

Section: Competition
Director: Ali Abbasi
Cast: Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Strong, Maria Bakalova, Martin Donovan, Charlie Carrick, Mark Rendall
Deadline’s takeaway: Donald Trump has never seemed so, well, human, as his own early years show a man trying desperately for his father’s approval while at the same time trying to come out from under his shadow. Will it sell, and will it be released before November’s election? We shall see, but this is not a hit job on Trump.

Armand

‘Armand’
‘Armand’

Section: Un Certain Regard
Director: Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel
Cast: Renate Reinsve, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Thea Lambrechts Vaulen, Endre Hellesveit, Øystein Røger, Vera Veljovic
Deadline’s takeaway: Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel’s lineage should give you a fair idea of what’s in store here, but, surprisingly, Armand doesn’t dig especially deep into the human psyche, finally falling into a strange no man’s land between intense character drama and jet-black comedy.

The Balconette (Les Femmes au Balcon)

‘The Balconette’
‘The Balconette’

Section: Midnight Screenings
Director: Noémie Merlant
Cast: Noémie Merlant, Sanda Codreanu, Souhelia Yacoub
Deadline’s takeaway: The bulky shade of Pedro Almodóvar looms over all these shenanigans, which could be read as “Women on the Verge of Heat Exhaustion” if there were more sense of it actually being hot, one of several flavors missing from Merlant’s confection of genres.

Being Maria

‘Being Maria’
‘Being Maria’

Section: Cannes Premieres
Director: Jessica Palud
Cast: Anamaria Vartolomei, Matt Dillon, Giuseppe Maggio, Céleste Brunnquell, Yvan Attal, Maddie Cyllain
Deadline’s takeaway: The familiar kind of biopic moments put all this squarely in the Lifetime TV Movie of the Week formula, but fortunately, it is all lifted tremendously by its talented and intriguing star, Anamaria Vartolomei, who is utterly convincing in the role of Maria without turning it into an impression.

Bird

‘Bird’
‘Bird’

Director: Andrea Arnold
Section: Competition
Cast: Nykiya Adams, Barry Keoghan, Jason Buda, Jasmin Jobson, James Nelson Noyce, Frankie Box, Franz Rogowski,
Deadline’s takeaway: Andrea Arnold knows just how to get under our skin. She embellishes the film with fantastical elements, but whether they’re really happening or part of Bailey’s childlike desperation to believe in anything magical, the film doesn’t make clear. But Arnold certainly wants us to know one thing: Bailey will be OK.

Caught By the Tides

Caught by the TIdes movie
‘Caught By the Tides’

Section: Competition
Director: Jia Zhangke
Cast: Zhao Tao, Zhubin Li
Deadline’s takeaway: Jia Zhangke leads his partner and muse, Zhao Tao, on a decades-long romantic odyssey in Caught By the Tides, which tries too hard to play with time and form for the connection between its leads to be its central preoccupation.

Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point

‘Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point’
‘Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point’

Director: Tyler Taormina
Section: Directors’ Fortnight
Cast: Matilda Fleming, Michael Cera, Chris Lazzaro, Elsie Fisher, Gregg Turkington
Deadline’s takeaway: It’s hard to categorize Taormina’s film, and, for some, its freewheeling, indie American Graffiti vibe might take a little getting used to. But Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point is a trip for anyone willing to roll with it, and more than cements Taormina as a talent to watch.

Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes

‘Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes’
‘Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes’

Director: Nanette Burstein
Section: Cannes Classics
With: Elizabeth Taylor
Deadline’s takeaway: The tapes recorded in 1964 weren’t actually lost, but it all makes for a satisfying journey through one of Hollywood’s most memorable careers. There is the feeling of intimacy that makes this one special, if not exactly full of new revelations.

Emilia Pérez

Emilia Perez
‘Emilia Perez’

Director: Jacques Audiard
Section: Competition
Cast: Adriana Paz, Edgar Ramirez, Mark Ivanir, Zoe Saldaña, Karla Sofía Gascón, Selena Gomez
Deadline’s takeaway: None of this ever seems ridiculous, because Audiard leans into the musical genre’s conventions; rather than bending his provocative story to fit it, he bends the form itself. It may be too soon to call the Palme d’Or with a week of the Cannes Film Festival left to run, but Emilia Pérez looks very much like a winner.

Ernest Cole, Lost and Found

Ernest Cole: Lost And Found
‘Ernest Cole: Lost and Found’

Director: Raoul Peck
Section: Special Screening
Narrator: Lakeith Stanfield
Deadline’s takeaway: The documentary stands is a necessary tribute that ensures the South African photographer’s life, work and contributions will be remembered for generations. It is a reminder of the spirit required to confront and document injustice and the personal cost that often accompanies such commitment.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

‘Furiosa’
‘Furiosa’

Director: George Miller
Section: Out of Competition
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke, Alyla Browne, Lachy Hulme, Matuse, Goran Kleut, Charlee Fraser
Deadline’s takeaway: With Furiosa, George Miller, now seemingly ageless at 79 (he was 34 when the first Mad Max came out), has perhaps given birth to the greatest Max yet, a wheels-up, rock-and-rolling epic that delivers on the origin story.

Faye

Director: Laurent Bouzereau
Section: Cannes Classics
With: Faye Dunaway
Deadline’s takeaway: You will find yourself with renewed respect for this great star after watching this documentary on her life. Time for a Faye Dunaway retrospective, and this fine film is perfect reason to do it.

Ghost Cat Anzu

Directors: Yôko Kuno, Nobuhiro Yamashita
Section: Directors’ Fortnight
Voice cast: Munetaka Aoki, Noa Goto, Mirai Moriyama
Deadline’s takeaway: Ghost Cat Anzu would have made an excellent 30-minute short. As a feature-length film, it struggles with pacing and coherence, leaving too many questions unanswered and failing to introduce stakes until it’s almost too late. But the film is entertaining when it finally gets going.

Ghost Trail

‘Ghost Trail’
‘Ghost Trail’

Director: Jonathan Millet
Section: Critics’ Week
Cast: Adam Bessa, Tawfeek Barhom, Julia Franz Richter, Shafiqa El Till
Deadline’s takeaway: On the surface, Ghost Trail uses the traditional tropes of the spy movie, but it isn’t exactly thrilling, certainly not in the manner of a John le Carré novel. Closer in spirit to Spielberg’s Munich, it’s a quietly profound character study about the need for a closure that may never come.

The Girl with the Needle

‘The Girl with the Needle’
‘The Girl with the Needle’

Director: Magnus von Horn
Section: Competition
Cast: Vic Carmen Sonne, Trine Dyrholm
Deadline’s takeaway: It is because this story’s truths are so stark that this high-wire work succeeds. Magnus von Horn is a masterful talent, and there is plenty of prize potential within his film. It’s an unequivocal and beguiling triumph.

Grand Tour

Director: Miguel Gomes
Section: Competition
Cast: Crista Alfaiate, Gonçalo Waddington, Cláudio Da Silva, Tran Lang-Khê
Deadline’s takeaway: The push-pull dynamic of the man terrified of commitment and a woman in pursuit is mildly entertaining. Fans of Gomes’ deadpan style no doubt will respond to its eccentricity, its wry irony and its undoubtedly striking monochrome cinematography. Less enlightened viewers may wish to take a pillow.

Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1

'Horizon: An American Saga'
‘Horizon: An American Saga’

Director: Kevin Costner
Section: Out of Competition
Cast: Kevin Costner, Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson, Michael Rooker, Will Patton, Owen Crow Shoe, Tatanka Means, Wase Winyan Chief, Jamie Campbell Bower, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jon Beavers
Deadline’s takeaway: Horizon: An American Saga is an impressive beginning for Costner, who is just trying to keep the American Western alive. But he may, with this innovative roll of the dice, also be trying to keep theaters alive at the same time, that is if there is still an appetite for Westerns. Hopefully there is.

Jim Henson Idea Man

‘Jim Henson Idea Man’
‘Jim Henson Idea Man’

Director: Ron Howard
Section: Classics
Deadline’s takeaway: Howard’s documentary brings fresh energy to the subject through the skillful use of animations based on Henson’s impressive drawings and wonderful archival rarities that go beyond what has been seen in previous treatments of Henson’s life.

Kinds of Kindness

‘Kinds Of Kindness’
‘Kinds Of Kindness’

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Section: Competition
Cast: Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau
Deadline’s takeaway: Kinds of Kindness is about a ubiquitous interdependence between ruthless power and willing submission that crops up everywhere, which implies that we are all in its thrall. That makes it their gloomiest film yet. Of course, it is also very funny.

Limonov: The Ballad

Ben Whishaw interview
‘Limonov: The Ballad’

Director: Kirill Serebrennikov
Section: Competition
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Viktoria Miroshnichenko
Deadline’s takeaway: A boundary-blasting biopic that simply drips with punk-rock energy, revealing everything and nothing about a slippery character whose modus operandi was reinvention from the get-go and for whom consistency really was the hobgoblin of small minds.

Lula

Luis Ignacio Lula de Silva in Lula documentary
‘Lula’

Directors: Oliver Stone, Rob Wilson
Section: Special Screenings
Deadline’s takeaway: Stone has combed through the existing record very effectively to tell a good story, one that may provoke questions among Americans complacent about the work of their security services, including during the Obama years. And in a democracy, as shown in this film dealing with a country where democracy has often been on shaky ground, raising those questions cannot be a bad thing.

Marcello Mio

'Marcello Mio' review
‘Marcello Mio’

Director: Christophe Honoré
Section: Competition
Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Fabrice Luchini, Nicole Garcia, Benjamin Biolay, Melvin Poupaud, Hugh Skinner, Stefania Sandrelli
Deadline’s takeaway: Christophe Honoré seems to enjoy patching together magical realism and real lives in creating this BonBon of a film. Wonderfully funny and completely original, it manages to keep the tone in place but juggles a dramatic moment as well.

Megalopolis

Adam Driver and Nathalie Emmanuel in 'Megalopolis'
‘Megalopolis’

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Section: Competition
Cast: Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Aubrey Plaza, Jon Voight, Shia LaBeouf
Deadline’s takeaway: Watching Anthony Mann’s The Fall of the Roman Empire and eating cheese afterwards would be the only way to replicate Megalopolis‘ fever-dream grandeur, a series of stunning images, carried along by the loosest of plots, that pontificate on the self-destructive nature of humankind, the only species capable of civilizing itself to death.

Mongrel

Mongrel movie
‘Mongrel’

Director: Chiang Wei Liang
Section: Directors’ Fortnight
Cast: Wanlop Rungkumjad, Daniel Hong Yu-hong, Lu Yi-ching, Kuo Shu-wei
Deadline’s takeaway: Director Chiang has won prizes for his documentary and VR work, but this is his first feature. It is bleak beyond belief, set in a milieu constructed of verifiable fact but so dreadful that it feels like a sci-fi dystopia. It is also an absolutely brilliant piece of filmmaking.

Motel Destino

'Motel Destino' review Cannes Film Festival
‘Motel Destino’

Director: Karim Aïnouz
Section: Competition
Cast: Iago Xavier, Nataly Rocha, Fabio Assunção, Renan Capivara, Fabíola Líper, Isabela Catão, Yuri Yamamoto, Davi Santos, Jupyra Carvalho, Bertrand de Courville, Katiana Monteiro, Vanessa Cardoso, Jan Moreira, Edglê Lima Moreira
Deadline’s takeaway: Despite its gripping start and lush cinematography, the film ultimately loses its way, bogged down by a sluggish middle act and narrative inconsistencies. By the time the story reaches its conclusion, the audience is left with a sense of anticlimax, questioning the purpose of the prolonged buildup.

My Sunshine

Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard movie My Sunshine
‘My Sunshine’

Director: Hiroshi Okuyama
Section: Un Certain Regard
Cast: Sosuke Ikematsu, Keitatsu Koshiyama, Kiara Nakanishi
Deadline’s takeaway: Okuyama does not attempt to hit us over the head or engage in the tropes of this kind of story revolving around the growing pains of youth. There is no melodrama here. Instead he moves his camera (he is also cinematographer) as gracefully as his young dancers, shot in such a way, quietly joyous at times, that it resembles a mood piece.

Oh, Canada

Richard Gere and Uma Thurman in Oh, Canada movie
‘Oh, Canada’

Director: Paul Schrader
Section: Competition
Cast: Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Jacob Elordi, Michael Imperioli, Zach Shaffer, Kristine Froseth, Jake Weary
Deadline takeaway: Oh, Canada is made up of pieces of a life put under a cinematic microscope at different periods, all moving in and out of the mind of a man who is dying but still lucid enough to tell the truths of his life as time is running out, some revealed for the first time as he grapples with both morality and mortality.

On Becoming a Guinea Fowl

On Becoming a Guinea Fowl movie
‘On Becoming a Guinea Fowl’

Director: Rungano Nyoni
Section: Un Certain Regard
Cast: Susan Chardy, Henry B.J. Phiri, Elizabeth Chisela
Deadline’s takeaway: In Nyoni’s sophomore film, the focus is the rub between tradition and modernity, using the occasion of a family funeral as the jumping-off point for a slow-burn drama that builds, rather stealthily, to an unexpectedly emotional climax.

Parthenope

Paolo Sorrentino movie 'Parthenope' acquired by A24 ahead of Cannes World Premiere.
‘Parthenope’

Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Section: Competition
Cast: Celeste Dalla Porta, Gary Oldman, Stefania Sandrelli, Luisa Ranieri, Silvio Orlando, Peppe Lanzetta, Isabella Ferrari, Daniele Rienzo, Dario Aita
Deadline’s takeaway: Overall it is the memories of youth in Naples and Capri that drive this narrative, the moments to cherish in our lives, and that is no different for Sorrentino as he creates the missing youth he never had. Fortunately he gets to live it in the movies.

Rendez-vous avec Pol Pot

Director: Rithy Panh
Section: Premiere
Cast: Irène Jacob, Grégoire Colin, Cyril Gueï
Deadline’s takeaway: The journalists in Rithy Panh’s film aren’t superheroes; their quest for that truth has its own motivations. Yet the importance of their journey to find it cannot be understated. The film might not walk totally fresh ground for Panh, but there is real power in one filmmaker’s dedication to re-examining real world horror from many angles over many years.

Rumours

Rumours movie
‘Rumours’

Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson
Section: Competition
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Roy Dupuis, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Charles Dance, Takehiro Hira, Denis Ménochet, Rolando Ravello, Zlatko Buric, Alicia Vikander
Deadline’s takeaway: Anyone with a fascination for political process and the idiocies of bureaucracy will find one joke after another hitting the bullseye in Rumours, a more explicitly satirical work that we have come to expect from Canadian director Guy Maddin. For anyone else, it is mild fun at best.

The Second Act

Léa Seydoux and Louis Garrel in The Second Act movie
‘The Second Act’

Director: Quentin Dupieux
Section: Out of Competition
Cast: Léa Seydoux, Louis Garrel, Vincent Lindon, Raphaël Quenard
Deadline’s takeaway: Maybe Quentin Dupieux should have paid more attention when he was writing; maybe he should have spent longer in the editing suite. But if the results are always a bit ragged, does it matter? Dupieux might never make a masterpiece, but his slapdash, wild entertainments are irresistible.

The Shrouds

‘The Shrouds’
‘The Shrouds’

Director: David Cronenberg
Section: Competition
Cast: Vincent Cassel, Diane Kruger, Guy Pearce, Sandrine Holt
Deadline’s takeaway: By the last half-hour, various plot threads are whipping around dangerously like loose electric cables in a storm. Whatever else you may expect of David Cronenberg, the doyen of body horror, as a distinctive auteur – wry humor, a measured pace, exultant wallowing in foul goo  – you’re not expecting the narrative to explode into bits.

The Substance

The Substance
‘The Substance’

Director: Coralie Fargeat
Section: Competition
Cast: Demi Moore, Margaret Qualley, Dennis Quaid
Deadline’s takeaway:  Imagine David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive fused in a telepod with David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, add the unbelievably dynamic pairing of Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley, process it through the ultra-vivid color palette that is Fargeat’s hyper-saturated imagination, sprinkle a bit of J.G. Ballard on top, and you have the perfect breakout genre movie of the year.

The Surfer

'The Surfer' review
‘The Surfer’

Director: Lorcan Finnegan
Section: Midnight Screenings
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Julian Mcmahon, Nic Cassim, Miranda Tapsell, Alexander Bertrand, Justin Rosniak, Rahel Romahn, Finn Little, Charlotte Maggi
Deadline’s takeaway: Nic Cage as a surfer dude? Unlikely, but who cares? The Surfer is an object lesson in how to make a film economically by using a single location, a bunch of surfing extras and some stock footage of lizards. Which is the grindhouse ethic at work, for sure.

Three Kilometers to the End of the World

Three Kilometers to the End of the World movie
‘Three Kilometers to the End of the World’

Director: Emanuel Parvu
Section: Competition
Cast: Bogdan Dumitrache, Ciprian Chiujdea, Laura Vasily
Deadline’s takeaway: Parvu is careful to show the complexity of these characters as well as of their weave of betrayals, mistakes and wrongdoing. The actors bring to their portraits the naturalistic ease combined with intensity that is a hallmark of Romanian New Wave cinema, each one a whole person with their own reasons.

When the Light Breaks

When the Light Breaks movie
‘When the Light Breaks’

Director: Rúnar Rúnarsson
Section: Un Certain Regard
Cast: Elín Hall, Katla Njálsdóttir, Ágúst Wigum, Mikael Kaaber, Baldur Einarsson, Gunna Hrafn Kristjánsson
Deadline’s takeaway: As an opening-night choice for Cannes‘ Un Certain Regard, When the Light Breaks sets a standard for the original and specific vision that is expected of films in this section.

Wild Diamond

‘Wild Diamond’
‘Wild Diamond’

Director: Agathe Riedinger
Section: Competition
Cast: Malou Khebizi, Andréa Bescond, Idir Azougli, Ashley Romano
Deadline’s takeaway: Riedinger’s debut feature approaches her subject with remarkable empathy, taking Liane on her own terms and seeing her surroundings largely through her eyes.

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