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Cannes 2021 Could Include the New Paul Thomas Anderson Film, Plus More!


While the 2021 Cannes Film Festival won’t announce their full Official Selection until May 27th, we are getting some drips and teases of what we can expect to see on that list. 

Cannes’ artistic director Thierry Frémaux has already confirmed that the new films from Wes Anderson (The French Dispatch) and Paul Verhoeven (Benedetta) will be part of the Official Selection, after originally being intended to premiere last year, and we know that Annette, from director Leos Carax, will be the film’s opening night selection.

Variety has published an article now with several other films that are on the radar for Frémaux and the festival, surely some of which we can expect to be included as part of that announcement on May 27th – if not confirmed by Frémaux before them.

Among the biggest potentials? Soggy Bottom, the new film from Paul Thomas Anderson, is one that Variety says Frémaux has been in talks with the studio to get, although its Christmas release might make that tricky. 

More likely are The Power of the Dog, from Jane Campion, and The Card Counter, from Paul Schrader, which Variety reports have both been invited to Venice but are waiting to see if Cannes can pull off the in-person festival. As such, it seems as though if Cannes happens we’ll see the two of them there, and if not then they’ll hold for Venice. 

Both films are among the most anticipated of the year. The Power of the Dog sees the Oscar-winner Campion returning to the big screen for the first time since 2009’s Bright Star, while Schrader is following up his beloved First Reformed, one of the most acclaimed films of his lengthy career, and the film that earned him his first ever Oscar nomination. 

Also in the mix are several others films like The French Dispatch and Benedetta which were confirmed or almost confirmed for last year’s festival and will likely be held over for the 2021 fest, including Nanni Moretti’s Three FloorsKirill Serebrennikov’s Petrov’s Flu, and the Tilda Swinton-starring Memoria from beloved director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, making his English-language debut. 

Major international directors and former Palme d’Or winners Ruben Östlund (The Square), Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) and 2-time winner Jacques Audiard (A Prophet and Dheepan) all have their new films being presented to the Cannes selection committee, meaning it’ll be a big surprise not to see their films show up somewhere at the festival. 

As festivals are being pushed more and more for inclusivity of female directors, we should hopefully see a robust slate of female-directed selections at the fest, which may include Raw director Julia Ducornau’s new film Titane, the iconic Claire Denis’ new film Feu starring Juliette BinocheDe Son Vivant from Emmanuelle Bercot, and the long-awaited Bergman Island from director Mia Hansen-Løve

All of these films and more are hot in the mix to be announced as part of the Cannes Film Festival on May 27th, but of course the question above all else remains – will the festival actually happen this year? 

Frémaux remains confident, but we’ll have to wait and see. The 2021 Cannes Film Festival is currently scheduled to take place from July 6 to July 17.

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Written by Mitchell Beaupre

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