Cannes 2021: Many stars make their comeback on the Croisette

Cannes 2021
Many stars making their comeback on the Croisette

Jury President Spike Lee on the official poster for the Cannes International Film Festival.

© imago images / PanoramiC

The 74th Cannes Film Festival starts on July 6, 2021. After a year without a competition, stars like Jodie Foster are expected again.

He had to wait more than a year, but now Spike Lee (64) will be the first African American in the history of the Cannes Film Festival to lead the jury as president from July 6, 2021. The director (“Da 5 Bloods”) should already have the chairmanship in 2020, but due to the corona pandemic there was no regular competition.

In addition to Lee, eight other filmmakers will decide on the Palme d’Or, which will be awarded on July 17th. The jury includes the actresses Maggie Gyllenhaal (43) and Mélanie Laurent (38, “Inglourious Basterds”) as well as the South Korean actor and “Parasite” star Song Kang-ho (54).

A total of 61 films will be shown, 24 of which will be competing for the Palme d’Or. Since the festival organizers were able to choose from two film years due to the cancellation in 2020 – 2200 films were available, 500 more than in “normal” years – the “Cannes Première” series will be launched for the first time in 2021 alongside the main competition. Some directors held back their films for a year in order to be able to celebrate a premiere in Cannes.

Star-studded competition

The 74th Cannes International Film Festival will be opened by Leos Carax ‘(60) “Annette”. The script and the songs for the musical were written by the cult band Sparks, with Adam Driver (37) and Marion Cotillard (45), two of the currently most sought-after stars, playing the leading roles.

In general, the competition this year is top-class. Wes Anderson (52) once again brings up an illustrious group of actors in his contribution “The French Dispatch”: Timothée Chalamet (25), Frances McDormand (64), Bill Murray (70), Christoph Waltz (64) and many more play the staff of an American magazine in post-war France. The film should compete for the Palme d’Or as early as 2020.

Hollywood star Sean Penn (60) presents his latest film “Flag Day” in the competition. In the drama about the difficult relationship between a cheater and his daughter, he plays under his own direction for the first time, his film daughter embodies his real daughter Dylan Penn (30).

In addition, old Cannes friends and international festival favorites have a chance of winning the main prize: Nanni Moretti (67), Jacques Audiard (69), Asghar Farhadi (49), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (50). Of the 24 films in the competition, four were by women directors, making Cannes its record for women in 2019 and 2011. A total of 17 percent of the films shown in Cannes were made by women, compared to 19 percent in 2019.

The thriller “Stillwater” with Matt Damon (50), who plays an American father who wants to help his daughter accused of murder in Marseille, is also running.

Honorary award for Jodie Foster

It is traditionally difficult to identify favorites for the Palme d’Or before the start of the festival. One winner has already been determined: Jodie Foster (58) will be awarded the honorary award for her life’s work. Her breakthrough film as an actress, “Taxi Driver”, won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 1976. Several of her directorial work ran out of competition here.

In addition to Foster, Marco Bellocchio (81) also received an honorary award. The controversial Italian director (“Teufel im Leib”) will receive his award at the closing gala on July 17th, and Jodie Foster will open the festival on July 6th.

Return to normal

For the film world, the Cannes Film Festival, which actually traditionally takes place in May, marks a return to business as usual. The cinemas should be fully occupied again, the stars should be allowed to float over the red carpet as usual. But of course there are still safety measures, every two days visitors, if they are not fully vaccinated, have to prove a current test.