by OC

2017's Cannes Festival came to a perfect ending on the 28th of May. Its feature film contenders wonderfully drew in shades of interest and empathy, delving deep into the human soul and psyche. Three selections in particular from Andrey Zvyagintsev, Sofia Coppola, Bong Joon-ho have already set the industry abuzz, each a promising competitor in their own right, though with vastly different plot machinations.


This year, Andrey Zvyagintsev returned to the Cannes screens with Loveless, a bleak yet captivating film in the vein of his previous works such as The Return with its absent parents, and Leviathan with the corrupt politician that drives the plot and its backdrop of economic struggle and mistrust. When the young boy at the heart of this film vanishes to escape his divided parents' bitter arguments, themes of abandonment and betrayal bob to the surface once more. Look to Loveless to deliver an unflinching glimpse into the depths of the everyday and everyman, with a contemporary Russian twist, of course.

The Beguiled

Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning, as well as a passionate Colin Farrell in a central role. Playing out within the confines of an insular boarding school for girls, the film's tension and dawning horrors are carefully meted out to keep audiences engaged throughout. The trio's three southern belles are capable of unspeakable, violent acts, a chilling thread woven through a story of unrequited love and Southern Gothic lust. Beguiled won Sofia Coppola Best Director at this auteurist temple, who is the second female director to win the prize.
While just as invested in the intricacies of human interactions as the other cinematic contenders, Bong Joon-Ho's Okja arrived to add a unique touch of believable fantasy to the mix. The plot revolves around a rural farm girl's journey to save her titular oversized and skillfully-CGI'd porcine companion from an evil livestock corporation along with the help of an intense animal rights group. Make no mistake, while it may seem closer to a children's film than a stage for gritty introspection on the food industry, this selection doesn't sugarcoat the action or the violence along the way. Okja goes straight to Netflix without a theatrical release in most countries on June 28, which resulted in...

Netflix Vs Cannes

As befits what is largely considered a dramatic competition, this year Cannes wasn't without its own drama, either. Members of the festival's own grand jury, as well as organizations such as the French Exhibitors Association, have decried Cannes' allowance of contenders sans theatrical releases. The common belief, however, is that France is behind the times in protesting this modern move - the deep pockets of producers like Netflix aren't going anywhere, and legitimizing their feature films with a place at Cannes is a smart step.