Cannes critics picks 2019



Screen International critics select some of the best titles from the 2019 Cannes Film Festival’s Competition, Un Certain Regard, Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week sections.


Dir: Bong Joon Ho
Our critic said: “A vigorous and tightly controlled comedy that sees him back on top form, with a story that’s both rigorously achieved and very specifically Korean.”
International sales: CJ Entertainment
Read the review here

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
Dir: Quentin Tarantino
Our critic said: “It’s consistently funny, with terrific performances from Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, and that gives it a potentially wider appeal than some of the director’s recent, fast-cut, ultra-violent work.”
Worldwide distribution: Sony Pictures
Read the review here 

Mati Diop
Our critic said: “Her debut feature is an intense romance notable for the craft of the filmmaking and Diop’s original approach to complex issues of love, loss and the forces for change that can rise from the ashes of tragedy.”
International sales: MK2 Films
Read the review here 

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
Dir: Céline Sciamma.
Our critic said: “Arthouse audiences will be intrigued to discover how Sciamma has channelled the fluid energy of her contemporary work into the more constrained environment of a costume drama.”
International sales: Mk2
Read the review here 

Les Miserables
Dir: Ladj Ly
Our critic said: “For all its familiarity, Ly’s film is executed with enormous confidence and energy, building up to an apocalyptic ending that delivers on a gradual build-up of nervous tension.”
International sales: Wild Bunch,
Read the review here 

Pain And Glory
Dir: Pedro Almodovar
Our critic said: “It’s frequently a very stylish piece of filmmaking – scenes are elegantly bridged by a diegetic piece of piano music; the design, colour blocked and accented with copious use of scarlet, is arresting.”
International sales: FilmNation
Read the review here 

Out of Competition/Special screenings

'The Specials'

Source: Carole Bethuel / Quad - Ten Cinéma

‘The Specials’

The Specials
Dir: Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache
Our critic said: “The two shining stars of modern French social comedy Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache have waited a long time to make The Specials, casually dropped in as the closing film of Cannes 2019, yet one of the very best in the festival.”
International sales: Gaumont
Read the review here 

Dir: Asif Kapadia.
Our critic said: “Even despite - or because of - an abrupt ending and the sense of unfinished business, Diego Maradona is in many ways, more satisfying than Kapadia’s previous work.”
International sales: Altitude Film Sales,
Read the review here 

For Sama
Dir: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts
Our critic said: “Hardcore current affairs reporting and intimate personal testimony merge to compelling effect in For Sama, a documentary about one family’s experience of the Syrian conflict.”
International sales: Autlook Filmsales,
Read the review here 

Un Certain Regard

THE Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao

Source: Bruno Machado

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao

The Invisible Life Of Euridice Gusmao
Dir: Karim Aïnouz
Our critic said: “Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz proves in this stirring, heart-wrenching period film that melodrama can be served straight up and still work a treat.”
International sales: The Match Factory,
Read the review here 

The Climb
Dir: Michael Angelo Covino
Our critic said: “This inventive, accomplished piece is certain to be a festival crowd-pleaser, and is likely to score with international audiences who like their indie comedy with a harsh, somewhat Seinfeld-ian edge.”
International sales: Memento Films International,
Read the review here 

Dir: Maryam Touzani
Our critic said: “Adam will court buyers who can smartly market this picture as a celebration of everyday women, although strong reviews and warm festival reaction will also be crucial.”
International sales: Films Boutique, and
Read the review here 

On A Magical Night
Dir: Christophe Honoré.
Our critic said: “Unashamedly theatrical and unapologetically fanciful, it may not be for all tastes but casts a warming glow that should attract incurable romantics, nostalgic cinefiles and fans of writer/director Christophe Honoré.”
International sales: Charades
Read the review here 

Directors’ Fortnight

'The Lighthouse'

Source: Directors’ Fortnight

‘The Lighthouse’

The Lighthouse
Dir: Robert Eggers
Our critic said: “Shot in an expressionist black and white that harks back to cinema’s earliest years, The Lighthouse provides a marvellous chamber-drama platform for two actors, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, who seize the opportunity with gusto.”
International sales: A24,
Read the review here 

Give Me Liberty
Dir: Kirill Mikhanovsky
Our critic said: “This story’s quiet charms and rambunctious humour should set it apart from other festival fare.”
International sales: Wild Bunch,
Read the review here 

And Then We Danced
Dir: Levan Akin
Our critic said: “An instantly engaging tale of a young male dancer’s sexual awakening in contemporary Tbilisi, And Then We Danced is personal and political, romantic and educational.”
International sales: Totem Films,
Read the review here 

Critics’ Week

i lost my body

Source: Critics’ Week

‘I Lost My Body’

I Lost My Body
Dir: Jeremy Clapin
Our critic said: “Jeremy Clapin’s first feature — in which a severed hand with a mind of its own sets off on an odyssey though treacherous urban landscapes — seems primed to break out beyond hardcore fans of animation much as equally singular My Life as a Courgette and The Red Tortoise did before it.”
International sales: Charades,
Read the review here 

Dir: Lorcan Finnegan
Our critic said: “The second feature from director Lorcan Finnegan (Without Name) makes a virtue of its modest puzzle-box design, inspiring strong performances from Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg.”
International sales: CAA,
Read the review here 

Our Mothers
Dir: Cesar Diaz
Our critic said: “This is an appealingly dignified, humane story of the repercussions of the little-known civil war in Guatemala in the 1980s as borne by the country’s women.”
International sales: Pyramide,
Read the review here 

On A White White Day
Dir: Hlynur Palmason
Our critic said: Writer-director Hlynur Palmason (Locarno prize-winner Winter Brothers) delivers a leisurely but never boring tale of hidden feelings percolating in a splendidly varied landscape.
International sales: New Europe Film Sales (
Read the review here