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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 2

5 films from Cannes 2019 to get really excited about

It was a top-notch year at the grand old festival, as these upcoming releases will prove

By Phil de Semlyen and Dave Calhoun

This year’s Cannes Film Festival was a cracker, with an array of brilliant films that should make any cinephile sweaty with excited anticipation for the year ahead. From Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’ to the return of Terrence Malick with his film ‘A Hidden Life’, the festival pulled out the big guns to go with the usual sea of stars and filmmaking greats. 

Picking up the festival's prestigious Palme d’Or, however, was Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his social-satire-cum-home-invasion-drama ‘Parasite’, while the talk of the town was Quentin Tarantino’s ode to Tinseltown, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ (which received a seven-minute standing ovation).

But which of the many movies playing this year should you add to your ‘To Watch...’ list. Here’s five must-see films from this year’s fest. 

Recommended: the most anticipated films of 2019

Andrew Cooper

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Film Comedy

Quentin Tarantino brought this super-playful love letter to ’60s Hollywood to Cannes 25 years after he launched ‘Pulp Fiction’ in the very same room. It takes the real-life murder of actress Sharon Tate by Charles Manson’s cult and weaves in an entirely made-up angle, with Leonardo DiCaprio as an ageing TV star and Brad Pitt as his volatile stuntman. Fact and fiction collide thrillingly.

The Lighthouse
Photograph: A24

The Lighthouse

Film Thrillers

It was a great fortnight for the former R-Patz and possible future Batman, Robert Pattinson. He headlined the fest’s breakout sensation, director Robert Eggers’s formidable period chiller ‘The Lighthouse’. In it, he and Willem Dafoe star as a pair of beacon bros who slowly lose their minds on a remote outcrop – which is where the queue to get into the festival screenings started.


Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Film Drama

French filmmaker Céline Sciamma (‘Girlhood’) steps into the big league with this gorgeously crafted and intelligent drama, set in eighteenth-century France, about a painter striking up an intriguing friendship with a young woman she’s been commissioned to paint. It’s a masterclass in how to make a period drama feel totally timely and like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Pain and Glory

Film Drama

A glorious ode to the past, Pedro Almodóvar’s latest wowed us with its nostalgia, romanticism and a stellar performance from Antonio Banderas as an ageing filmmaker based on Almodóvar himself. Its scenes of heroin use have had people wondering just how autobiographical it all is (answer: not that autobiographical).



Film Drama

Korean director Bong Joon-ho (‘The Host’, ‘Okja’) reaches deep into his movie toolbox for this wild story about a poor Seoul family who, one by one, infiltrate the household of an extremely rich and glamorous young family in a stylish neighbourhood. It throws up all sorts of questions about inequality and aspiration while offering laughs and scares, and also moving effortlessly between light and dark.


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