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10 films we can't wait to see at the Cannes Film Festival

From Sofia Coppola's 'The Beguiled' through a Noah Baumbach film starring Adam Sandler.
The Beguiled
Visitors to the Cannes Film Festival will be the first to see Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled," starring Nicole Kidman. Credit: Focus Features

The Cannes Film Festival turns 70 this year, and when it kicks off today it will do what it always does: Play host to some of the biggest, most interesting films we’ll be talking about this year. Here are the 10 we can’t wait to get our eyes on, though we’re only sticking to competition titles. Otherwise we’d be here all day. 

‘The Beguiled’

Sofia Coppola wound up bouncing from “The Little Mermaid,” but this is definitely a better fit: A remake of the 1971 scorcher “The Beguiled,” in which Clint Eastwood plays a Union soldier during the Civil War who finds himself in a house filled with women, most of whom want to bang him. Colin Farrell takes over for Clint, and the hot and bothered women include Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning. Say what you will about Coppola (and we generally mostly love her), she has one of the most unique and eccentric voices in movies, and she’s bound to make a remake that feels like an original.

‘The Meyerowitz Stories’
Adam Sandler is happy in his little rut, cranking out lazy comedies for Netflix that score record streaming numbers. Every now and then he ventures into the outside world, stretching his legs for bold filmmakers. With his new Noah Baumbach film, there’s every reason to expect something close to, maybe even greater than, his Paul Thomas Anderson whatzit “Punch-Drunk Love.” Sandler joins the likes of Emma Thompson, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman and Candice Bergen for a family gathering that, this being Baumbach, is bound to be prickly and strained and hilariously unpleasant.

‘Wonderstruck’
Todd Haynes claims his newest is his most ambitious film to date, which is saying something. His breakthrough, “Poison,” featured three different stories told in three very different ways; “I’m Not There” gave us the life of Bob Dylan with six different actors, including Cate Blanchett. This one “only” jumps between 1927 and 1977, both featuring stories of kids running away from home. Julianne Moore plays two roles, while Michelle Williams and “Pete’s Dragon”’s Oakes Fegley round out the top cast.

‘Ismail's Ghosts
Marion Cotillard tries to steal an old flame (Mathieu Amalric) from his current one (Charlotte Gainsbourgh). That should be enough enticement, but then there’s this: It’s the latest from Arnaud Desplechin, the ever-enthralling French filmmaker of jam-packed greats like “Kings and Queen,” “A Christmas Tale” and last year’s “My Golden Days.”

‘Okja’
Finally following up 2013’s “Snowpiercer,” South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho brings us another international cast bounding through the director’s very personal twist on an action film. Tilda Swinton returns for another round of Bong, which this time finds government agents trying to steal a mysterious, massive animal from a little girl. Paul Dano, Jake Gyllenhaal and Giancarlo Esposito mix it up with a bevy of South Korean actors, and no doubt have a ton of fun. 

‘Good Time’
We swear Robert Pattinson is nearly as fascinating an actor as Kristen Stewart these days, partly because he keeps lending his name and increasingly refined talents to terrific filmmakers. After two David Cronenberg films and James Gray’s recent “The Lost City of Z,” he headlines the latest from New York’s great brothers Ben and Josh Safdie. When last we saw these filmmakers, they gave us the head-spinning young junkies saga “Heaven Knows What.” This time they have RPatz try to break his brother out of jail. Barkhad Abdi and Jennifer Jason Leigh co-star.

‘You Were Never Really Here’
Lynne Ramsay has been about as unlucky as any first-rate filmmaker has been, with a near-decade gap between her incredible “Morvern Callar” and the Tilda-led “We Need to Talk about Kevin.” There’ve been projects that fell apart at the last minute, including the ill-fated Natalie Portman Western “Jane’s Got a Gun,” which wound up made by another director. So we’re just happy she’s back, this time with Joaquin Phoenix and Alessandro Nivola headlining a tale of sex trafficking.

‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’
We’ll follow Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos anywhere, thanks to “Dogtooth” and last year’s hilariously bleak “The Lobster,” which even we’re shocked made a ton of art house money. Colin Farrell reunites with the filmmaker for a movie whose premise doesn’t sound insane on its face: It’s about a surgeon whose friendship with a suicidal boy goes south. But we’re sure this will make our head spin. Nicole Kidman and Alicia Silverstone join the Lanthimos camp this time.

‘The Day After’
We never miss a film from South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo, which is something considering how prolific he is. The minimalist filmmaker has two films at Cannes, actually, one of them playing out of competition (“Claire’s Camera,” starring Isabelle Huppert). The one in competition, “The Day After,” sounds like classic Hong, with shy, insecure characters bumbling about and some monkeying with time and fiction. That, and hopefully some classic Hong Soju binging, too.

‘The Square’
It’s about time Sweden’s Ruben Ostlund became a name director, and 2014’s hilarious “Force Majeure” seems to have done the trick. This time, he’s scored some big names, including Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West, for a story that sounds pretty crazy: A group of people gather at a square, where there are no rules and where anything goes. Surely it will make Moss’ post-“Mad Men” life even more impressive, given her two Alex Ross Perry films (“Listen Up Philip” and “Queen of Earth”) and “The Handmaid’s Tale” still unfolding every week.

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge

 

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