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Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard will open this year’s Cannes festival

Leos Carax’s ’Annette’ is the festival opener

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

No one is quite sure exactly what this year’s Cannes Film Festival will look like. We do know it will be a huge improvement on last year’s cancelled event, especially if its newly-announced opening film is anything to go by.

The curtain raiser on July 6 is Annette, the latest from maverick auteur Leos Carax, which packs plenty of star power in Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. French film royalty meets Hollywood stardom? It’s a whole episode of Call My Agent! in one evening.

‘Every Leos Carax film is an event,’ say Cannes president Pierre Lescure, ‘and this one delivers on its promises! Annette is the gift that lovers of cinema, music and culture were hoping for, one that we have been yearning for during the past year.

Carax’s first Cannes entry since the majestic, mercurial Holy Motors in 2012, Annette is set in modern-day LA and follows stand-up comedian Henry (Driver) and famous singer Ann (Cotillard). They seem to have it all: happy and successful – and with a child, Annette, on the way. According to this ’ere synopsis, Annette has ‘an exceptional destiny’ and will change their lives forever. Alt rock heroes Sparks are providing the soundtrack.

Annette will be released in French cinemas on the same day. Amazon is distributing in the US, and release dates there and in other countries are still TBC. 

‘Carax’s cinema is an expression of these powerful gestures, these mysterious alchemies that makes the secret of cinema’s modernity and eternity,’ says Thierry Frémaux, general delegate of the festival.

Cannes is bullish about the chances of hosting physical festival this summer, having delayed from its usual May timeframe: ‘Mindful of the evolution of the public health situation in Europe and across the world, and the reopening of cultural venues mid-May, the Festival de Cannes continues with confidence and determination the planning of its next edition.’

Cannes’ 74th International Film Festival runs from Jul 6-17. Spike Lee will be jury president and the line-up of big-screen treats will be long and glorious.

What are the 40 most beautiful outdoor cinemas in the world? Spoiler: Cannes’s famous beach screen makes the list.

Baftas 2021: ‘Nomadland’ and ‘Promising Young Woman’ win big.

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