It may be personified by three-hour movies made up of extreme close-ups and Hollywood stars traipsing up the red carpet as some minor scandal gets blown out of proportion, but Cannes isn't just a pretentious backslapping fest. The films that premiere there often go on to major mainstream success, from box office surprises to big Oscar winners, meaning these two weeks in May can wind up defining the cinematic year.
The 2016 entrants were announced yesterday and it's a very good selection; there's a lot of Cannes regulars in competition for the Palme d'Or, which means we're guaranteed some great discussion at the very least (after all, experience does not automatically infer quality). Away from that, the Out of Competition slate is also strong, with some of the summer's most interesting releases getting their glitzy debut on the Croissette.
Of course, with so many great movies on offer, it's hard to keep track of them all, so, in preparation, let's run through the ten most anticipated films you can expect to be hearing a lot about next month.
10. The Nice Guys
Playing: Out of Competition
What Is It? Now recovered from his great MCU foray, Shane Black returns to hard-boiled detective comedies with The Nice Guys. Private eye Ryan Gosling and enforcer Russell Crowe are the unlikely double-act this time, teaming up to solve the case of a dead porn star.
The film is playing Out Of Competition, likely because its US release is during the festival, meaning most journalists will still get to see it.
Why It Should Be Great: Iron Man 3 may have divided Marvel fans, but it was a major success as a Shane Black film (Kiss Kiss Clang Clang, if you will). If he can bring his unique stylings to a big studio tentpole, imagine what he'll do here. The trailers have all been great too (although you should probably stop watching now lest they spoil all the good jokes), so it'll be rather surprising if this one stinks.
When's It Out Elsewhere? 20th May (US), 3rd June (UK)