What are the best films out of this year's Cannes Film Festival? Which ones should you be taking an interest in? What films should be a priority for you to see? After 12 days at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, after 35 screenings, it's time to present my 2022 list of my Top 10 Favorite Films. This was my 12th year back to this festival, and I still enjoy being there right in the middle of all the craziness and all the crowds and all the hype about new cinema. It's a rush! Every time. And yet there's always more to see, always more to take our breath away. These ten listed below are the ones that connected with me emotionally or intellectually, and I hope you'll consider watching a few when they arrive in your neighborhood. They are worth the wait. It might not have been the best year at Cannes, most of the films were rather mediocre, but I am still glad I could discover a number of gems. This is my final recap of Cannes 2022 - don't miss any of the films below.
Reading some of the Letterboxd reviews of the films at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, I'm noticing that a growing number of people will mention the celebrity or famous person or actor/actress they were in the same room as, giddy at being near them. Yes, that's how film festivals work - the talented people involved, and tons of other talented people also attending the festival, go see films. If you're not in the same screening as them, you'll probably pass them in the street or in the hallway or catch them dining at a restaurant. But I'm worried we've entered a new era where some people are more obsessed with celebrities they are with the art or cinema they create. I'm here in Cannes for the films. I used to do some interviews, but now I don't do many unless I really, really want to talk to someone I admire. All I want to do is kick back and watch as many film as I can during these two weeks - let's see what these talented filmmakers have been working on.
As a passionate cinephile, there's nothing like the elation that comes with stumbling across a film you didn't know much about beforehand, falling completely head over heels in love with it by the end of a screening. Right from the first few ghostly frames of this film, I knew it was something special, and it became more endearing as the story went on. Now that I've seen it, I need to talk about how great this film is. Joyland is the feature debut of the Pakistani filmmaker Saim Sadiq, who has confidently and defiantly established himself with this one film as an exceptionally talented artist that we need to support as he continues making more films. For now, Joyland will be his calling card and it's an absolutely magnificent and enlightening feature about gender roles and how society is evolving across generations. It's one of the finest discoveries of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and I can't wait for audiences around the world to get their chance to see it.
Winners of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival awards, including the coveted Palme d'Or, were revealed at a glamorous ceremony in Cannes, France this weekend. The big surprise is that Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund has won his second Palme d'Or! He already won for his art world satire The Square back in 2017 (I was there that year and it was a good win), and this year he finally premiered his long-awaited follow-up titled Triangle of Sadness. The film took home the top prize in Cannes, besting Belgian director Lukas Dhont with his film Close, as well as Kelly Reichardt, the Dardennes, Albert Serra, and many other favorites among critics. Korean director Park Chan-wook also won for Best Director, and Korean actor Song Kang-ho took him the Best Actor prize – the first Korean to ever win this award which is a pretty big deal. Don't forget that Titane was the glorious Palme winner last year. All the major Cannes 2022 awards listed below.
Religion needs a reckoning. It's time to question whether it's really good for humanity or not. Part of this discussion involves looking at the irrefutable truth about how horrible religion can be. Walking in to see Ali Abbasi's new film Holy Spider at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, I had no idea what I was about to watch. I'm a big fan of Abbasi's last Cannes hit, a wacky weird Swedish trolls fantasy romance called Border. But this film is nothing like that one. Holy Spider is a based-on-a-true-story serial killer thriller that has earned comparisons to David Fincher in it's brutally realistic, unflinching look at murder in modern times. It's an unsettling film that follows both the murderer and the journalist trying to investigate – and stop him since apparently no one else will – this deranged man. But he's devout, and his neighbors like him – even these killings won't change their mind because he's doing it in honor of God. That should make everyone queasy.
Sometimes we really do need some direction in life. Wandering around without any real plans or hopes or dreams can only take you so far - wisdom for all of us to consider. One of the last films to premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival is the latest from acclaimed American indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt, her highly anticipated follow-up to the award-winning First Cow. As a huge fan of First Cow, and an admirer of her early minimal films like Old Joy and Wendy & Lucy, I was looking forward to seeing what she has been working on. Alas, Showing Up one of her worst films so far, an aimless and drab creation that is nothing more than a meandering showcase of entirely uninteresting artists who have never made anything of value but still keep going. It seems after First Cow all she could possibly think of was to film in her own backyard, walking around her neighborhood and honestly, I hope she never does this again. Please go anywhere else.
There's only so much I can really talk about with this film in a review from the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, because it's one of these vitally important works of cinema that you must see for yourself. I don't want to spoil it or discuss too much before everyone else has the opportunity to watch it, because the discussions are best once you've watched it as well. The most I can do now is talk about how beautiful this film is, how much it's a genuine work of art that exemplifies all of what cinema can and should be. How it utilizies emotional storytelling as a way to offer audiences hope to heal and understand, to empathize and sympathize with the characters. You may not even be able to realize just how this film will get stuck in your mind, how it will linger and affect you for months and years after. The power of extraordinary cinema. Close is the latest film by Belgian writer / filmmaker Lukas Dhont, who already played in Cannes back in 2018 with the film Girl.
Is there anything new I can say about the wonderful Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda that hasn't already been said by more adept film critics? Not really. He's beloved and so many critics have analyzed him in great depth already. His talent isn't in question, we know he's a master filmmaker, it's only whether each new film he makes is interesting or worthwhile. Broker is Hirokazu Kore-eda's latest feature, premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the main competition section where just 4 years ago he already won the coveted Palme d'Or (for the film Shoplifters). Broker is actually set in Korea and filmed in Korean, marking the first time that the Japanese director has made a Korean film, but it's still as wonderful as ever. Even if he's telling pretty much the same story as Shoplifters, following a pieced-together family of lonely people - most of them orphans who have found solace and comfort in their amusing renegade family they've formed.
Falling in love is unique to each and everyone one of us, indescribable and yet extraordinary. We all express our love differently, and interact with our loved ones in our own special ways. How do you capture this on camera? Filmmakers have been telling love stories on the big screen since the very beginning of cinema, and it's a vital element of its evolution. Which brings us to the newest example of cinema evolving through an exceptional love story. Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook is already well known and loved, celebrated for his iconic Vengeance series (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Lady Vengeance) from the early 2000s. As we all grow older, I believe that most people get softer and sweeter, becoming more romantic and tender as they appreciate the little things in life that continue to bring them joy and warmth day after day. It seems as if Park has evolved as well, with his latest film Decision to Leave he's made a surprisingly tender film that isn't as dark or as twisted as the rest of the features in his oeuvre, but is still as masterful and moving.
There's only one David Bowie – no one else has ever been like him, no one will ever be like him again. A one-of-a-kind artist, creator, human (maybe? maybe not?), lover, dreamer, musician. How do you tell his story? Is it even possible? Probably not. It's better to not even try - there is so much about him that can't be explained, that can't be described in words. Moonage Daydream is a documentary about David Bowie, but it's not really a biopic, and it's not really a documentary. Much like Bowie himself, it's a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience that will blow you away. It's a profound experience - one of the most moving viewings I've had at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. Emerging from the cinema it's like entering a whole new world, with a new outlook on life and fresh perspective. It's a mind-melting, cosmically existential journey through Bowie's existence & endlessly wise mind. The epitome of a cinematic experience in every way. Amazing.
There have been many films made before about what it's like to be an adopted child from a far away country, how hard it is and all the psychological challenges that come with it. But there has never been a film like this before, telling a brutally honest story of one young Korean woman who grew up in France and her struggles with emotions. Return to Seoul (originally Retour à Séoul in France) is the second feature film made by filmmaker Davy Chou, who seems to be telling a story similar to his own about being raised in France as an adoptee. It's also going under alternate the English title All the People I'll Never Be, and it's premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section. Unlike many other films about adoptees, everything doesn't get better when they go home and rediscover their original country or find their parents, it's not a feel-good story of redemption and rediscovery. It's a much harsher look at how hard it is to try and meet or find the biological parents, and how much this can mess with the minds of those struggling with it.
What does your heart truly desire? If you were asked this question on the spot, right now, would you be able to answer it? Would it be the actual, deep down truth? Or is the answer so complex and frightening that it's not easy to say without prying into the many dark twists & turns throughout our lives? George Miller's latest movie is a glorious, ambitious, one-of-a-kind creation called Three Thousand Years of Longing that explores this question (and others) by taking us on a journey with one lonely woman who is presented with this very provocation. She doesn't want to admit she is lonely, she claims to be content and satisfied being all by herself, but with time and understanding, she admits it. Deep down I wonder if it's true that we all wish for someone to be with, or something to take away that loneliness that I know we all feel. But some of us are more open to admitting this than others… And some are so afraid of always being lonely that they pretend they're totally fine with it and never confront these feelings. Perhaps meeting a Djinn could help…?