Cannes Film Festival 2023: All Of Deadline’s Movie Reviews – Deadline

By Pete Hammond, Damon Wise, Matthew Carey, Stephanie Bunbury
UPDATED with latest: The Cannes Film Festival kicked off this year with opening-night movie Jeanne du Barry, with Deadline on the ground to watch all the key films. Here is a compilation of our reviews from the fest, which last year saw Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness win the coveted Palme d’Or on its way to an Oscar Best Picture nomination.
Check out the reviews below, click on the titles to read them in full, and keep checking back as we add more.
Section: Competition
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Screenwriters: Erbu Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Akin Aksu
Cast: Deniz Celiloglu, Ece Bagci, Merve Dizdar, Musab Ekici
Deadline’s takeaway: For Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s many fans, this is another opportunity to slip into his world, spot his sly political references and subside for a while into the life of the mind. That life isn’t an easy ride and — with three-plus hours of dense dialogue — certainly not too quick, but it is a rewarding one.

Section: Un Certain Regard
Director: Thomas Cailley
Screenwriters: Thomas Cailley, Pauline Munier
Cast: Romain Duris, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Paul Kircher
Deadline’s takeaway: It’s certainly a testament to Cailley’s spellbinding magic-realist fable that The Animal Kingdom can be enjoyed at face value without being battered over the head by subtext. Dig a bit deeper, though, and its rich and strange barrage of images and ideas just becomes more and more remarkable and compelling over time.
Section: Special Screening
Director: Wim Wenders
Cast: Anselm Kiefer, Daniel Kiefer, Anton Wenders
Deadline’s takeaway: It’s hard to imagine seeing Anselm in any format other than 3D, and if it fails in broadening the reputation of its already internationally known subject, it’s an extraordinary post-pandemic endeavor that succeeds in reminding viewers of the thrill of being in the presence of great art.
Section: Competition
Director: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
Cast: Sean Penn, Tye Sheridan, Mike Tyson, Michael Carmen Pitt, Katherine Waterston, Raquel Nave, Gbenga Akinnagbe
Deadline’s takeaway: The idea behind Black Flies is admirable. It does serve to remind us of how screwed up America can be. But despite the obvious gritty filmmaking skills of its lauded French director, something was lost in translation that keeps this from really soaring.

Section: Competition
Director: Catherine Corsini
Cast: Esther Gohourou, Suzy Bemba, Aissatou Diallo Sagna, Lomane De Dietrich
Deadline’s takeaway: There is a brisker, tougher and more succinct story buried just out of sight in Homecoming, somewhere on the beach where the jet-skis blast through the waves. Not that there isn’t plenty here to enjoy, but too much time where we feel like Farah, running sand through her fingers and wondering if there’s anything to do in this village.
Section: Un Certain Regard
Director: Molly Manning Walker
Cast: Mia Mckenna-Bruce, Lara Peake, Samuel Bottomley, Shaun Thomas, Enva Lewis
Deadline’s takeaway: The dominant theme here in Walker’s subtle but powerful deconstruction of teenage dreams and desires re is the rub between self-image and reality; everyone here, in a world without any adjacent adults and in true teenage fashion, feels themselves to be older and wiser than they really are, and the drama comes entirely from the tensions that arise whenever reality becomes too real to ignore. 
Section: Out of Competition
Director: James Mangold
Cast: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, John Rhys-Davies, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, Ethann Isidore, Mads Mikkelsen
Deadline’s takeaway: However much action swirls on the surface of this kind of film, its foundations are built of reassuring nostalgia. Just hearing John Williams’ score, yet another variant on the heroics and theatrics of the original, makes anyone of a certain age feel that everything is momentarily right with the world.
Section: Out of Competition
Director: Maïwenn
Screenwriter: Teddy Lussi-Modeste
Cast: Maiwenn, Johnny Depp, Benjamin Lavernhe, Pierre Richard, Melvil Poupaud, Pascal Greggory, India Hair
Deadline’s takeaway: The film’s pageantry can’t quite cover up the fact that there isn’t much glue to the story, which unfolds as a series of vignettes, and feels more like we’re looking at scenes from a life in retrospect than being invested in watching a wild life being lived to the fullest.
Section: Competition
Director: Hirokazu Kore-Eda
Screenwriter: Sakamoto Yuji
Cast: Ando Sakura, Nagayama Eita, Kurokawa Soya, Hiiragi Hinata, Tanaka Yuko
Deadline’s takeaway: Monster represents Kore-Eda’s first movie since his 1995 debut feature Maborosi that the director has not had a screenplay credit on, but clearly with its humanist family-centered themes is right in this master craftsman’s wheelhouse.
Section: Un Certain Regard
Director: Warwick Thornton
Cast: Aswan Reid, Cate Blanchett, Deborah Mailman, Wayne Blair
Deadline’s takeaway: Warwick hornton’s eye can find the beauty in a window frame. He is also telling — without stridency and with broad compassion for all his characters, all of them broken in their own way — a version of Australia’s founding story.  
Section: Special Screenings
Director: Steve McQueen
Text: Bianca Stigter
Narrator: Melanie Hyams
Deadline’s takeaway: We are entering a new era when few people with direct experience of the atrocities of WWII and the Holocaust remain alive. This era calls for a new kind of film about that time – a new way of preserving memory and cautioning us against a repetition of crimes against humanity driven by a racist ideology. Occupied City is that film.

Section: Special Screening
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director-screenwriter: Pedro Almodóvar
Cast: Pedro Pascal, Ethan Hawke
Deadline’s takeaway: The ghosts of John Ford, Howard Hawks, John Sturges, Anthony Mann, Raoul Walsh and Sam Peckinpah may be surprised at the twist that this 73-year-old fanboy has given Strange Way of Life. That is because though the work of those directors is liberally addressed and tributed in different ways, the plot here is something you would never find in any of their classics.
Section: Critics Week
Director: Stéphan Castang
Cast: Karim Leklou, Vimala Pons, François Chattot, Michaël Perez
Deadline’s takeaway: You can read the set-up of Vincent Must Die as an metaphor for office politics, and the rest of it as allegory for the internecine nature of social media, where the mildest of opinions can ruin lives and reputations. Most of all, though, it is a joyfully absurdist tale of everyday alienation writ large.
Section: Competition
Director-screenplay: Wang Bing
Deadline’s takeaway: Youth’s purpose isn’t to expose abuse in the clothing trade (although it may make you deeply skeptical next time you go shopping and spot a Made in China jacket, say, selling for a suspiciously cheap price). Wang’s intent is more subtly sociological – Youth explores the connections and even culture, in a sense, that can develop among people thrown together in arduous circumstances.
Section: Competition
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Christian Friedel, Sandra Huller
Deadline takeaway: Yes, Holocaust movies are virtually a genre of their own, but I can safely say I have never seen one, sans any visuals of violence and suffering, that still manages to be just as harrowing and frightening, maybe even more. The Zone of Interest takes its place among the great films made on the Holocaust and will probably haunt you long after seeing it.

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