This year’s Cannes has come to a close, but its knock-on effects will be felt throughout the rest of the year, as the 2023 edition of the ultra-prestigious festival hosted a profound and stunning series of premieres from some of the world’s biggest artists filmmakers, many of whom have debuted new work for the first time in the better part of a decade (or more).
In most cases, the wait has been worth it. “The Zone of Interest” director Jonathan Glazer stunned the Croisette with his long-awaited follow-up to 2013’s “Under the Skin,” while the likes of Aki Kaurismäki, Catherine Breillat, Tran Anh Hung and Martin Scorsese — whose epic “Flower Moon Killers”. sense as if forever in the making – all returned with grand triumphs that reminded us of their singular brilliance (apologies to Victor Erice, whose eagerly received but inconveniently timed “Close Your Eyes” escaped our team on the field). Even Cannes mainstays like Hirokazu Kore-eda, Wes Anderson and Palme d’Or winner Justine Triet seemed to be reinvigorated and forced to push beyond their comfort zones than ever before, while newcomers like the House winner golden Thien An Pham (“Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell”) and relatively unknown talent like Anthony Chen (“The Breaking Ice”) have unveiled films that could easily stand side-by-side with those of the giants of the medium. There may not have been another ‘Aftersun’, but it’s no use complaining in the wake of a festival giving us the first ‘Robot Dreams’.
Here are the 14 best films we saw at Cannes 2023.
This article includes contributions from Siddhant Adlakha, Christian Blauvelt, Ben Croll, Sophie Monks Kaufman, Eric Kohn, and Josh Slater-Williams.