Matt writes: The 74th Cannes Film Festival came to a close this past Saturday, and RogerEbert.com was there every step of the way to provide readers with in-depth dispatches on the numerous enticing selections. You can find links to all of the written reviews by Jason Gorber, Ben Kenigsberg, Lisa Nesselson, Barbara Scharres and Brian Tallerico in our official Cannes 2021 table of contents, as well as Chaz Ebert’s video reports directed and edited by Scott Dummler of Mint Media Works. You can watch her eighth dispatch embedded below in which she reveals this year’s winners of the major prizes led by the Palme d’Or (it turns out Chaz’s prediction, which she vocally made earlier in the ceremony, came true).
Memoria (2021). Written and directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Starring Tilda Swinton, Elkin Díaz, Jeanne Balibar. Synopsis: A woman from Scotland, while traveling in Colombia, begins to notice strange sounds. Soon she begins to think about their appearance. US release date is TBA.
Nitram (2021). Directed by Justin Kurzel. Written by Shaun Grant. Starring Caleb Landry Jones, Judy Davis, Essie Davis. Synopsis: Events leading up to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre on Tasmania in an attempt to understand why and how the atrocity occurred. US release date is TBA.
Paris, 13th District (2021). Directed by Jacques Audiard. Written by Jacques Audiard, Céline Sciamma, Léa Mysius and Nicolas Livecchi (based on the short stories by Adrian Tomine). Starring Noémie Merlant, Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba. Synopsis: Émilie meets Camille who is attracted to Nora, who crosses paths with Amber. Three girls and a boy – They’re friends, sometimes lovers and often both. US release date is TBA.
Blue Bayou (2021). Written and directed by Justin Chon. Starring Justin Chon, Alicia Vikander, Mark O’Brien. Synopsis: As a Korean-American man raised in the Louisiana bayou works hard to make a life for his family, he must confront the ghosts of his past as he discovers that he could be deported from the only country he has ever called home. US release date is TBA.
Where is Anne Frank (2021). Written and directed by Ari Folman (based on the diary of Anne Frank). Starring Emily Carey, Ruby Stokes, Nell Barlow. Synopsis: The film follows the journey of Kitty, the imaginary friend to whom Anne Frank dedicated her diary. A fiery teenager, Kitty wakes up in the near future in Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam and embarks on a journey to find Anne, who she believes is still alive, in today’s Europe. While the young girl is shocked by the modern world, she also comes across Anne’s legacy. US release date is TBA.
France (2021). Written and directed by Bruno Dumont. Starring Léa Seydoux, Juliane Köhler, Benjamin Biolay. Synopsis: A celebrity journalist, juggling her busy career and personal life, has her life over-turned by a freak car accident. US release date is TBA.
Cryptozoo (2021). Written and directed by Dash Shaw. Starring Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Zoe Kazan. Synopsis: Cryptozookeepers try to capture a Baku, a dream-eating hybrid creature of legend, and start wondering if they should display these beasts or keep them hidden and unknown. US release date is TBA.
Eyimofe (2021). Directed by Arie Esiri and Chuko Esiri. Written by Chuko Esiri. Starring Emmanuel Adeji, Mary Agholor, Kemi Lala Akindoju. Synopsis: In Lagos, Nigeria, tragedy and fate intervene as two people try to better the lives of their families. US release date is TBA.
The East (2021). Directed by Jim Taihuttu. Written by Jim Taihuttu and Mustafa Duygulu. Starring Martijn Lakemeier, Marwan Kenzari, Jonas Smulders. Synopsis: A young Dutch soldier deployed to suppress post-WWII independence efforts in the Netherlands’ colony of Indonesia finds himself torn between duty and conscience when he joins an increasingly ruthless commander’s elite squad. US release date is TBA.
Naked Singularity (2021). Directed by Chase Palmer. Written by Chase Palmer and David Matthews (based on the book by Sergio De La Pava). Starring John Boyega, Olivia Cooke, Tim Blake Nelson. Synopsis: When a successful New York public defender loses his first case, his life begins to unravel. US release date is TBA.
The Meaning of Hitler (2021). Directed by Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker. Synopsis: An inquiry into decades of cultural fascination with the Nazi leader, and the ramifications of such a fascination on present day politics. US release date is TBA.
Pray Away (2021). Directed by Kristine Stolakis. Synopsis: Former leaders of the “pray the gay away” movement contend with the aftermath unleashed by their actions, while a survivor seeks healing and acceptance from more than a decade of trauma. Debuts on Netflix on August 3rd, 2021.
Julia (2021). Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West. Synopsis: Julia tells the story of the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women. US release date is TBA.
John and the Hole (2021). Directed by Pascual Sisto. Written by Nicolás Giacobone. Starring Charlie Shotwell, Michael C. Hall, Taissa Farmiga. Synopsis: A coming-of-age psychological thriller that plays out the unsettling reality of a kid who holds his family captive in a hole in the ground. US release date is TBA.
Flee (2021). Written and directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen. Synopsis: The extraordinary true story of a man, Amin, on the verge of marriage which compels him to reveal his hidden past for the first time. US release date is TBA.
Habit (2021), red-band trailer. Written and directed by Janell Shirtcliff. Starring Bella Thorne, Libby Mintz, Josie Ho. Synopsis: A street smart party girl gets mixed up in a violent drug deal and finds a possible way out by masquerading as a Nun. Debuts in the US on August 20th, 2021.
Ema (2021), red-band trailer. Directed by Pablo Larraín. Written by Pablo Larraín, Guillermo Calderón and Alejandro Moreno. Starring Mariana Di Girólamo, Gael García Bernal, Santiago Cabrera. Synopsis: A couple deals with the aftermath of an adoption that goes awry as their household falls apart. Debuts in the US on August 13th, 2021.
Turning Red (2022). Written and directed by Domee Shi. Starring Sandra Oh, Rosalie Chiang. Synopsis: A 13-year-old girl turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited. Debuts in the US on March 11th, 2021.
Robert Downey Sr. (1936-2021)
Matt writes: Robert Downey Sr., the enormously influential director of such underground classics as 1969’s “Putney Swope,” passed away at age 85 on July 7th and was eulogized beautifully by Sergio Mims.
Richard Donner (1930-2021)
I Became a Criminal (1947). Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti. Written by Noel Langley (based on the novel by Jackson Budd). Starring Sally Gray, Trevor Howard, Griffith Jones. Synopsis: After WW2, former RAF airman Clem Morgan joins a gang of black-market smugglers-thieves but when a robbery goes wrong, Clem is caught , framed for a policeman’s murder, and is sent to prison where he plots his escape and revenge.
Olga’s House of Shame (1964). Directed by Joseph P. Mawra. Written by Joseph P. Mawra and George Weiss. Starring Audrey Campbell, Judy Young, W.B. Parker. Synopsis: After having been run out of New York City’s Chinatown, brothel owner Madame Olga moves her ring of prostitutes and criminals to a deserted ore mine and starts over.
The Gun and the Pulpit (1974). Directed by Daniel Petrie. Written by William Bowers (based on the novel by Jack Ehrlich). Starring Marjoe Gortner, Slim Pickens, Estelle Parsons. Synopsis: A young gunslinger on the lam impersonates a preacher, brings hope to his parishioners and law-and-order to a town terrorized by a strongman’s bunch.