2024 Cannes Film Festival Preview

From George Miller's Mad Max prequel and a Kevin Costner Western to new films from Paul Schrader, Francis Ford Coppola, and Yorgos Lanthimos, here's what we're looking forward to the most at Cannes.

by | May 15, 2024 | Comments


Nicolas Cage in The Surfer (2025)

(Photo by Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival)

Today, the French Riviera once again welcomes international filmmakers and industry professionals as students, journalists, and cinema enthusiasts flock to le Palais des Festivals for another edition of the Cannes Film Festival. We will be on the ground to cover every Red Carpet, standing ovation, and first review. Be sure to check back for our daily coverage, Cannes Film Festival Scorecard, and the first word from critics on all the major premieres.

This year’s fete is already a tense endeavor, as many expect some collective action from the Cannes Film Festival workers. In addition, as has been the case for most Hollywood events this year, event organizers expect protests on the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza to disrupt events throughout the festival. But as it has been throughout the history of the storied festival, the show will undoubtedly go on.

This year chases a banner year in 2023, when three of the 10 eventual Oscar Best Picture nominees premiered on the Croisette. It was a high-water mark that is unlikely to be topped by this year’s selection. Still, films like George Miller’s Furiosa, Sean Baker’s Anora, and Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis will give Cannes a fighter’s shot at it.

As is the case with every film festival, some titles have already captured the attention of film fans, and we have highlighted the most anticipated narrative features set to premiere this week. Read on for our most anticipated films at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

Are you buzzing about a film we missed? Let us know in the comments.


Director: George Miller
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke, Lachy Hulme, Nathan Jones, Angus Sampson

Official Synopsis: Snatched from the Green Place of Many Mothers, young Furiosa falls into the hands of an excellent biker horde led by the warlord Dementus. Sweeping through the Wasteland, they come across the Citadel, presided over by The Immortan Joe. As the two tyrants fight for dominance, Furiosa soon finds herself in a nonstop battle to make her way home.

Why We Want to See It: George Miller’s return with a new entry in the Mad Max Saga is more than enough to recommend the film., and the presence of jaw-dropping talents in Chris Hemsworth and Anya Taylor-Joy is an incredible bonus. The fact that it will feature one of the longest action sequences ever committed to film makes it feel so fantastical that we might have thought we dreamt it into existence.


Jeremy Strong and Sebastian Stan in The Apprentice (2025)

(Photo by Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival)

Director: Ali Abassi
Cast: Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Strong, Maria Bakalova

Official Synopsis: The Apprentice is a dive into the underbelly of the American empire. It charts a young Donald Trump’s ascent to power through a Faustian deal with the influential right-wing lawyer and political fixer Roy Cohn.

Why We Want to See It: There’s no denying that Donald Trump, one of our time’s most influential and polarizing figures, has forever changed American politics; a peek into his beginnings would be cinematic. Considering the incomparable talents of Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Strong, and Maria Bakalova, this one will for sure be talked about, and we can’t wait to see what is in store.


Margaret Qualley in The Substance (2025)

(Photo by Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival)

Director: Coralie Fargeat
Cast: Margaret Qualley, Demi Moore, Dennis Quaid

Official Logline: Have you ever dreamt of a better version of yourself?
You, only better in every way.
You should try this new product; it’s called The Substance.
With The Substance, you can generate another you: younger, more beautiful, more perfect.
You just have to share time — one week for one, one week for the other.
An ideal balance of seven days each…
Easy, right?
If you respect the balance… what could possibly go wrong?

Why We Want to See It: Did you read that logline? That’s what sold us. The chance to live a young fantasy version of yourself so long as you keep balance is an intriguing premise. Based on that and some first-look images, this may be some epic wish-fulfillment cinema for women of a certain age. Knowing that things will likely turn sinister only gives us even more to look forward to.


Mikey Madison in Anora (2025)

(Photo by Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival)

Director: Sean Baker
Cast: Mikey Madison, Mark Eydelshteyn, Yura Borisov, Karen Karagulian, Vache Tovmasyan

Official Synopsis: A young sex worker from Brooklyn gets her chance at a Cinderella story when she meets and impulsively marries the son of an oligarch. Once the news reaches Russia, her fairytale is threatened as the parents set out for New York to get the marriage annulled.

Why We Want to See It: Sean Baker is a director who seems to be able to get the most out of unknown actors and has always managed to film sex workers in interesting and cinematic ways. Considering what he’s achieved with Tangerine, Red Rocket, Starlet, and even The Florida Project, we feel safe with whatever he has in store here.


Selena Gomez in Emilia Perez (2025)

(Photo by Shanna Besson courtesy of Cannes Film Festival)

Director: Jacques Audiard
Cast: Karla Sofía Gascón, Zoe Saldana, Selena Gomez, Edgar Ramirez

Official Synopsis: Mexico, today. Lawyer Rita receives an unexpected offer. She has to help a feared cartel boss retire from his business and disappear forever by becoming the woman he’s always dreamed of being.

Why We Want to See It: If you, by chance, are one of the unlucky people who missed Jacques Audiard’s criminally underseen The Sister Brothers, we pity you and beg you to rectify it immediately. Upon doing so, you will instantly understand why we are looking forward to his latest effort, which stars Selena Gomez, Zoe Saldana, and Edgar Ramirez alongside Karla Sofía Gascón in the lead.


Director: Kevin Costner
Cast: Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Owen Crow Shoe, Tatanka Means, Ella Hunt

Official Logline: Oscar-winning director Kevin Costner chronicles the incredible epic journey of the expansion of the American West, before and after the Civil War. Between the Native Americans who saw their lands getting colonized and those who were determined to settle there, sometimes at any cost, history is being written. In a flamboyant fresco where multiple destinies intertwine, dreams and hopes face obstacles and cruelty to offer a cinematic spectacle of exceptional scope and emotional depth.

Why We Want to See It: Kevin Costner has made another Western. Kevin Costner of Silverado, Dances with WolvesWyatt Earp, Open Range, and Yellowstone? We are sat!


Image from Rumours (2024)

(Photo by Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival)

Director: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Charles Dance, Alicia Vikander

Official Synopsis: The leaders of seven wealthy democracies get lost in the woods while drafting a statement on a global crisis, facing danger as they attempt to find their way out.

Why We Want to See It: The premise alone is enough, but the fact that it’s coming from three avant-garde filmmakers recommends it even more. Cate Blanchett has made a name for herself in recent years as an actor with discerning taste, as she often picks interesting directors to work with for little pay, so her inclusion here with Guy Maddin and his frequent short-film collaborators Evan and Galen Johnson makes us think the script must be special.


Richard Gere and Uma Thurman in Oh, Canada (2025)

(Photo by Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival)

Director: Paul Schrader
Cast: Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Michael Imperioli, Jacob Elordi

Official Synopsis: Leonard Fife, one of 60,000 draft evaders and deserters who fled to Canada to avoid serving in Vietnam, shares all his secrets to de-mythologize his mythologized life.

Why We Want to See It: The Cast of Elordi, Thurman, Imperioli, and the rest have had us signed up, but the return of Richard Gere to our screens had us stopping down for this one almost instantly.


Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Cast: Adam Driver, Shia LBeouf, Nathalie Emmanuel, Giancarlo Esposito, Aubrey Plaza

Official Synopsis: Megalopolis is a Roman epic set in an imaginary modern America in full decadence. The city of New Rome absolutely must change, which creates a significant conflict between Caesar Catilina, a genius artist with the power to stop time, and the arch-conservative mayor Franklyn Cicero. The first dreams of an ideal utopian future, while the second remains very attached to a regressive status quo protective of greed, privilege, and private militias. The mayor’s daughter and jet-setter Julia Cicero, in love with César Catilina, is torn between the two men and will have to discover what seems best for the future of humanity.

Why We Want to See It: Francis Ford Coppola sold part of his uber-profitable winery to finance this long-simmering passion project, and we must confess we are more than a little intrigued by the audacity of it. Working outside the studio system to fund his dream project is the definition of cinematic boldness, and a newly released first-look trailer has only increased our anticipation.


Nicolas Cage in The Surfer (2025)

(Photo by Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival)

Director: Lorcan Finnegan
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Julian McMahon, Nicholas Cassim

Official Synopsis: A man returns to the idyllic beach of his childhood to surf with his son but is humiliated by a group of powerful locals and drawn into a conflict that rises with the punishing heat of the summer and pushes him right to his breaking point.

Why We Want to See It: Nicolas Cage in a man-out-for-revenge plot? If Mandy or Pig or much of the Oscar winner’s filmography are any indication, we’ll certainly be on board with Cage playing a wronged man on a mission. Will it rise to the masterful work he did with Panos Cosmatos or Michael Sarnoski? We are more than signed up to find out.


Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Hunter Schafer, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chao, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie

Official Synopsis: A triptych fable following a man without choice who tries to take control of his own life; a policeman who is alarmed that his wife, who was missing at sea, has returned and seems a different person; and a woman determined to find a specific someone with a special ability, who is destined to become a prodigious spiritual leader.

Why We Want to See It: The synopsis for this film doesn’t clarify a whole lot for us, but Emma Stone dancing from that synth-pop trailer has us signed up. The whispers that say it harkens back to the earlier work in Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos’ filmography have us doubly anxious to see it.

Thumbnail image by ©Warner Bros.

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