Thirty-five thousand people are expected to descend on the French Riviera this week for the crown jewel of international movie culture: the 75th Cannes Film Festival, an 11-day celebration of directorial vision, high fashion and endless standing ovations. It’s expected to be the largest turnout since Bong Joon Ho’s genre-smashing “Parasite” nabbed the top prize three years ago.
Twenty-one films are vying for the coveted Palme d’Or, including provocative new work from Park Chan-wook (“Oldboy”), David Cronenberg (“Videodrome”) and Kelly Reichardt (“Certain Women”). But dozens of other films are screening outside the festival’s main competition, including a trio of movies about rock gods David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
Here’s a look at some of the major Cannes premieres that could make their way to American multiplexes, art-house theaters and streaming services later this year. (NBC News will update this article as more information about release dates becomes available.)
James Gray is one of the great cinematic poets of outer-borough New York City, skillfully training his lens on the criminal underworlds of Brooklyn (“Little Odessa,” “We Own the Night”) and the gritty pockets of the Bronx and Queens (“The Yards”). In his latest, Gray returns to the 1980s Queens of his teenage years for a coming-of-age tale featuring Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins and “Succession” star Jeremy Strong. (The film is rumored to feature a character inspired by real estate developer Fred Trump, father of Donald. But plot details are under wraps.)
How to watch: Focus Features will release the film sometime this year. (Focus Features is a unit of NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)
Hirokazu Kore-eda, who specializes in humanist tales about average people in his native Japan, won the Palme d’Or in 2018 for “Shoplifters,” a moving drama about an impoverished family of petty thieves. Kore-eda is back with “Broker,” a story set in South Korea that centers on “baby boxes” — places where people can anonymously drop off infants. The cast includes South Korean star Song Kang Ho (who played the working-class father in “Parasite”) as well as Bae Doona (“Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance”) and the singer Lee Ji-eun, known as IU.
How to watch: The film will debut in South Korea in June. The independent distributor Neon announced Friday that it is picking up up North American rights to the film.
"Crimes of the Future"
David Cronenberg is modern film’s maestro of body horror, shocking audiences with queasy cult oddities like “The Brood,” “Scanners,” “Videodrome” and “The Fly.” The director, whose last feature release was the pitch-black Hollywood satire “Maps to the Stars” in 2014, returns to the Cannes main stage with “Crimes of the Future,” a dystopian thriller starring Viggo Mortensen as a performance artist who can grow new synthetic organs. (Body horror indeed.) Léa Seydoux and recent Oscar nominee Kristen Stewart round out the cast.
How to watch: Neon will release the film June 3.
"Decision to Leave"
Park Chan-wook is one of the masters of modern South Korean cinema, best known for brutal and darkly comic provocations such as “Thirst,” “Stoker,” “The Handmaiden” and the outrageously violent “Oldboy,” the second chapter in his unofficial “vengeance trilogy.” Park’s latest throat-grabber is “Decision to Leave,” a detective saga starring Tang Wei (“Lust, Caution”) and Park Hae-il (“Memories of Murder”). It is safe to assume the murder mystery at the center of “Decision” will be as twisty as it is savage.
How to watch: The streaming service MUBI acquired North American distribution rights, but a U.S. release date has not been announced.
Baz Luhrmann makes sugar-rush cinema: pictorially extravagant and thematically operatic movies like “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge!” Luhrmann’s latest, one of 11 movies screening in Cannes’ “out of competition” section, puts a decidedly lavish spin on the conventional rocker biopic. The film centers on the relationship between Elvis Presley (Austin Butler) and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks, buried under facial prosthetics) — but the main draw is the all-out visual spectacle, according to critics who saw a sneak preview.
How to watch: Warner Bros. Pictures will release the film in the U.S. on June 24.
"Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind"
In recent years, the Coen brothers — the filmmaking duo behind “Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski” and other modern American classics — tinkered on their own projects. Joel Coen made his solo directorial debut last year with “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” a black-and-white adaptation of Shakespeare’s cursed play. Ethan Coen now steps out on his own with “Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind,” a documentary portrait of the free-wheeling rock “wild man” whose career nearly went off the rails after he married his 13-year-old cousin in the late ‘50s. (Lewis is still kicking at 86.)
How to watch: The independent distributor A24 acquired worldwide distribution rights, but a U.S. release date has not been announced.
The third high-profile rock-and-roll profile on the Cannes docket is “Moonage Daydream,” an up-close look at the late David Bowie drawn partly from a cache of never-before-seen 35mm and 16mm footage. “Moonage Daydream” is the latest documentary project from Brett Morgan, who previously directed nonfiction biographies of “The Godfather” superproducer Robert Evans (“The Kid Stays in the Picture”), Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain (“Montage of Heck”) and beloved primatologist Jane Goodall (“Jane,” released in 2017).
How to watch: Neon acquired U.S. distribution rights, and the film will also stream on HBO Max sometime in the spring of 2023.
Kelly Reichardt, one of the most distinctive voices in modern American independent cinema, makes thoughtful movies at a deliberate pace. She is drawn to social outsiders who dwell in small, off-the-beaten-path communities across the U.S., particularly Oregon, the setting for her celebrated dramas “Old Joy,” “Wendy and Lucy,” “Meek’s Cutoff” and “First Cow.” “Showing Up,” Reichardt’s eighth feature, reunites her with frequent collaborator Michelle Williams, who plays an artist preparing to stage a high-stakes exhibition.
How to watch: A24 plans to distribute the film, but a U.S. release date has not been announced.
"The Stars at Noon"
The revered French filmmaker Claire Denis is out with two films this year. The first, the romantic drama “Both Sides of the Blade,” premiered at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival in February. The second, “The Stars at Noon,” debuts at Cannes, where Denis was first nominated for the Palme d’Or 34 years ago. “The Stars at Noon,” adapted from a novel by Denis Johnson, revolves around a British businessman (Joe Alwyn) and an American journalist (Margaret Qualley) trying to flee Nicaragua during that country’s revolution.
How to watch: No word yet on a U.S. release date.
"Three Thousand Years of Longing"
George Miller’s filmography is in a class by itself. In the last four decades, Miller has alternated between the gleefully high-octane “Mad Max” franchise (including the Oscar-winning reboot “Mad Max: Fury Road,” released in 2015) and kid-friendly confections, such as “Babe” and “Happy Feet.” Miller’s latest has been billed as an epic fantasy starring Idris Elba and art-house mainstay Tilda Swinton. Plot details were scarce ahead of the Cannes rollout, but admirers of Miller’s work know to expect the unexpected.
How to watch: MGM will release the film in the U.S. on Aug. 31.
"Triangle of Sadness"
Sweden’s Ruben Östlund broke out with the dark comedy “Force Majeure” in 2014 and earned the Palme d’Or three years later with “The Square,” a riotous satire set in the world of high art. Östlund is in the running for the Palme d’Or yet again with “Triangle of Sadness,” starring Harris Dickinson (“Beach Rats”) and Charlbi Dean (“Don’t Sleep”) as a celebrity couple who board a luxury yacht for the wealthy elite. Woody Harrelson co-stars as the ship’s captain.
How to watch: No word yet on a U.S. release date.