Tarantino is back! 10 things we learned from Cannes 2019

Tarantino has returned to his Pulpy past

Good news from Cannes for anyone who went off Quentin Tarantino when he started making westerns and war films: the director has gone back to his Pulp Fiction roots with Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, a terrific 1960s-set drama starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.

A style masterclass from Elle

In a Cannes judging panel largely made up of dress-down film-makers, The Beguiled star Elle Fanning seemed to be having a competition with herself for most stylish juror, with Gucci, Dior and Valentino all making an appearance.

Willem Dafoe, left, and Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse.


Willem Dafoe, left, and Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse. Photograph: Eric Chakeen/AP

Keep a look out for The Lighthouse

Unquestionably the festival’s most buzzed-about film is mind-bending nautical horror The Lighthouse, which features a career-best performance from Robert Pattinson. Next up for Pattinson: Batman.

Huppert failed to find usual magic

The biggest flop of the festival was Frankie, a wistful family drama starring Isabelle Huppert that the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw compared to “a late Woody Allen movie”. It can’t have been that bad, surely?

#MeToo made a statement on the red carpet

The #MeToo movement is still in the spotlight at Cannes, with actor Sand Van Roy taking to the red carpet sporting a tattoo with the words “Stop Violence Against Women”. Van Roy accused director Luc Besson of rape in 2018; the director denies the claim, and an investigation into it was dropped by French authorities.

Sand Van Roy on the red carpet before the screening of A Hidden Life (Une Vie Cachée).


Sand Van Roy on the red carpet before the screening of A Hidden Life (Une Vie Cachée). Photograph: John Phillips/Getty Images

Loach delivered another devastating drama

Three years after I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach returned to the festival with another devastating slice of social realism, this time taking aim at zero-hours contracts. Prepare to sob uncontrollably when Sorry We Missed You arrives in the UK.

Dozy Murray was Cannes’ biggest crowdpleaser

Bill Murray remains a delight. He delivered zingers in the press conference for his new zombie film The Dead Don’t Die and got laughs by appearing to doze off during the festival’s opening ceremony.

Bill Murray promotes The Dead Don’t Die.


Bill Murray promoting The Dead Don’t Die at Cannes. Photograph: VU/Haedrich/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock

Finally, a Palme for Pedro?

Might it be sixth-time lucky for Pedro Almodóvar? The Cannes veteran is being talked up for a first Palme d’Or for Pain and Glory, his deeply personal drama about love, ageing and nostalgia.

… although Sciamma’s Portrait might pip him

Almodóvar faces competition, however, from Céline Sciamma and her period lesbian romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire. The French director would be only the second woman – after Jane Campion in 1993 – to take home the Palme d’Or.

Even Cannes couldn’t escape the dragons

Thought Cannes was immune from Game of Thrones fever? Think again. Chloë Sevigny was among the famous names scrambling to try and catch the fantasy drama’s finale at the same time as the US.

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