The Best of the Best at Cannes 2023

The 76th annual Cannes Film Festival runs from May 16 to 27, with broadcasts in both French and English on, Culturebox, Brut. (with no geo-blocking), the Festival de Cannes’ official website, and YouTube.

This year’s opening flick is Jeanne du Barry, which was shot on 35mm film and stars Johnny Depp. Directed by and starring French actor Maïwenn, the film follows the story of a working-class woman (Maïwenn) who becomes a favourite of King Louis XV (Johnny Depp). Other actors in the period drama include Benjamin Lavernhe, Melvil Poupaud, Pierre Richard, and Pascal Greggory. India Hair plays Adelaide, the king’s daughter, and Stephen Warbeck (Polisse, Mon Roi) did the soundtrack for the movie.

The Peter Sohn-directed film, Elemental, will close out the festival.

Chiara Mastrioianni will host the festival and serve as Master of Ceremony. The Palais des Festivals’ Grand Théâtre Lumière the Jury, which will award the best of the best on May 27, is led by Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund, (who won the 2022 Palme d’Or, the festival’s top honour, for Triangle of Sadness), Maryam Touzani, Denis Ménochet, Rungano Nyoni, Brie Larson, Paul Dano, Atiq Rahimi, Damian Szifron, and Julia Ducournau.

On the red carpet, you can expect to see stars like Natalie Portman, Leonardo Dicaprio, Sean Penn, Scarlett Johannson, and Abel Tesfaye (formerly known as The Weeknd).

Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford will each receive the honorary Palme d’Or during the opening ceremony.

Special shoutouts to Martin Scorsese’s Killers of Flower Moon, which features Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro and landed a $200 million production deal with AppleTV+, as well as James Mangold’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which marks Harrison Ford’s final performance as the beloved adventure character.

The festival is sponsored by BMW, Mastercard, HP, L’Oréal, Kering, and Chopard.

Here’s more of what to expect.


The film is comprised of 16 segments which respond to the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that saw the U.S. Supreme Court strike down a Texas statute banning abortion, with each segment directed by a different female filmmaker. Health and human rights are in sharp focus in this anthology that stars Alyssa Milano, Virginia Madsen, Gina Torres, Miana Vayntrub, and Jennifer Holland, among others. The directors include Natasha Halevi, Meg Swertlow, Danin Jacquay, and Caitlin Hargraves, among others. According to Deadline, the film started its principal photography in July 2022 and had its first international screening last month at Brazil’s Fantaspoa.


Assassination details the 48-hour period before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The film stars Courtney Love, Viggo Mortensen, Shia LaBeouf, Al Pacino, and John Travolta. It will be presented to buyers at Cannes, with production kicking off in Vancouver come September, according to Deadline.

The Idol

Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) joined forces with HBO and Sam Levinson (Euphoria) to create this new drama centred on an aspiring pop star and her fast-paced life. He stars alongside Lilly Depp, who plays the pop star (Jocelyn). The film was selected to screen at Cannes as part of the out-of-competition entries. It will premiere to the public come June 4, according to IMDB.

21 films will compete for the coveted Palme d’Or award, seven of which are women filmmakers. Below are the ones that struck us.

Asteroid City

The seven-time Oscar winner returns to Cannes for the third time to premiere Asteroid City, his new rom-com film. The trailer opens with pan of a place called Asteroid City, which according to the film’s synopsis is a fictional American desert town set in the 1950’s. Jason Schwartzman’s character is seen calling his father Tom Hanks, explaining that his car has broken down in this weird place, all while the town is partaking in a stargazing competition honouring Asteroid Day. But things go awry after an asteroid hits the town, so people must quarantine and learn to live in small confines with one another (and aliens). Pandemic vibes, maybe? Anderson’s film comes with a star-studded cast which in addition to Hanks and Schwartzman, includes Tilda Swinton, Willem Dafoe, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Live Schreiber, Hope Davis, Matt Dillon, Margot Robbie, Adrien Brody, and Jeff Goldblum, among others. The film opens to the public on June 16.

Club Zero

Starring Mia Wasikowska, Club Zero follows a teacher (Wasikowska) as she connects with her boarding school students and instructs them to eat less healthily. The film was written and directed by Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner (Little Joe), who makes her sixth appearance at Cannes. Shot in Oxford, UK and Austria, the film is backed by BBC Film.

La Passion De Dodin Bouffant

Starring Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel, the film is an adaptation of the 1924 French novel La Vie et la passion de Dodin-Bouffant gourmet by Marcel Rouff. Set in 1885, the film follows “an exceptional cook and the famous gastronome Dodin” and their love story premised on gastronomy and the passion of cooking. The film was written and directed by Tran Anh Hung and produced by Olivier Delbosc. It will premiere at Cannes on May 24.


This will mark Wang Bing’s third time at Cannes. His new documentary film dives into the lives of young Chinese workers in the town of Zhili, known as a textile manufacturing town. The doc looks at the promise of work and the types of people that gravitate to the opportunity.

The Old Oak

Another film backed by BBC Film, Ken Loach’s The Old Oak takes us to a village in northeast England after a mine has been closed. People are desperate, alone, and the last pub in the area, The Old Oak, serves as melting pod where those who are left can come together. Soon there is an influx of Syrian refugees, which causes friction but also a newfound friendship between the pub’s landlord TJ Ballantyne (Dave Turner) and a Yara, a young Syrian played by Ebla Mari. Loach, a double Palme d’Or winner, returns to Cannes for the 18th time for the 2023 season.

IL’ Ete Dernier (Last Summer)

French director Catherine Breillat returns for the first time in a decade. Known for her sexual awakening films like The Last Mistress, Breillat’s new entry, which is a remake of the 2019 Danish film called Queen of Hearts, follows a lawyer who helps struggling teenagers and soon begins an affair with her 17-year-old stepson.

May December

Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Carol, Wonderstruck) makes his fifth appearance at Cannes in 2023. The two-time winner at Cannes brings with him a film focused on a married couple whose relationship is tested after an actress arrives to do research on them for a movie. Scandal is revisited is this entry, which stars Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, and Charles Melton.

Sources: Festival de Cannes; Festival de Cannes YouTube; IMDB; International Film Festival; The Canadian Press; Deadline; Los Angeles Times; The Hollywood Reporter; Indiewire; BBC Film; Variety; Billboard