Canceled in 2020, shifted last year to July with strict sanitary measures, the Cannes Film Festival finds, Tuesday, May 17, its traditional rhythm for a 75th edition which aims to be splendor and striking.

In total, more than 35,000 cinephiles and professionals are expected in the seaside town of the Côte d’Azur, in an atmosphere swinging between stars, the cream of auteur cinema and echoes of the war in Ukraine through several selected films.

The red carpet for this anniversary edition should be rolled out around 10:30 a.m. Just in time to welcome stars and festival-goers, as well as the members of the jury, chaired by actor Vincent Lindon who took up residence in Cannes on Monday, just like the Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi and Italian actress Jasmine Trinca.

At 7 p.m., the opening ceremony will be chaired by Virginie Efira – also expected on screen for her role as a survivor of an attack in Revoir Paris. Former television host, the actress warned Monday that she would not refrain “from making people laugh”, during the event broadcast on France 2, and by Brut. “I’ll try to keep it short,” she promised.

Honorary Palme d’Or for Forest Whitaker

But the international star of the evening will be Forest Whitaker, who at 60 will receive an honorary Palme d’Or for a career marked by an Oscar for his portrayal of Amin Dada, the Ugandan dictator, in The Last King of Scotland (2007), or his role as a killer with Jim Jarmusch in Ghost Dog (1999). The African-American actor, also at the head of a charity that fights against poverty, from South Sudan to Mexico via Seine-Saint-Denis, is a regular on the Croisette, where he won a prize. of interpretation in 1988 for Bird by Clint Eastwood.

The atmosphere then promises to change radically, with the opening screening of Coupez!, by Michel Hazanavicius, a crazy parody of zombie films, and a declaration of love for all films – even the most failed ones.

The film, which is releasing simultaneously in theaters, will act as an outlet for a world of cinema trying to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic: Cut! “is joyful, it highlights people in the cinema, and I hope it makes you want to do it,” the director of The Artist told Agence France-Presse (AFP), “very happy” to return to Cannes as an opening.

A few hours earlier, festival-goers will have been able to go back in time, and rediscover La Maman et la Putain, one of the films that made the legend of Cannes, in 1973. Some cinephiles will finally see it, and for the first time: a half -century after having caused a scandal, this major work of the New Wave signed Jean Eustache, had not been reissued, and had become difficult to view for questions of rights. The film has now been restored, and two of its performers, Jean-Pierre Léaud and Françoise Lebrun, should attend its Cannes screening with emotion, before its theatrical release on June 8.

Support for Ukraine

Cannes will enter the heart of the matter on Wednesday: on the competition side, 21 films – and 5 female directors – are in the running to succeed Titane, the gory and uncompromising Palme d’Or by Frenchwoman Julia Ducournau, second crowned director in the history of the Festival. .

A strong symbol, the official competition will begin with the screening of the latest film by Russian Kirill Serebrennikov, breaking with the regime. He will be able to come for the first time in person to defend his film, La Femme de Tchaikosvki. On the other hand, the Festival refuses to welcome “Russian official representatives, government authorities or journalists representing the official line”.

But “we are going to show absolute and non-negotiable support for the Ukrainian people”, said Thierry Frémaux, the Festival’s general delegate, on Monday, with several selected works including the posthumous film, added last week, by Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius, killed in early April in Mariupol.

On the red carpet, the cameras will be heating up for the rise of the steps of the new Top Gun team (out of competition), including Tom Cruise, present at the Festival for the first time in three decades. Many stars will follow, until the closing on May 28. Kristen Stewart, who will step on the red carpet alongside Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen for the latest film by David Cronenberg (The Crimes of the Future), the promising Austin Butler and the veteran Tom Hanks, alias Elvis and his manager in a biopic event (Elvis) or even Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton in the latest film by Mad Max director George Miller (Three thousand years waiting for you).

Among the directors, among the filmmakers in the running for the Palme, Park Chan-wook (Old boy) returns with a sulphurous investigation (Decision to leave), James Gray presents Armageddon Time, with Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway, while others , already medalists, will try to win a new trophy, including the Dardenne brothers (Rosetta) with Tori and Lokita, the squeaky Ruben Östlund (The Square), with Without filter or the Japanese Kore-eda (Une Affaire de famille), who has this time filmed Broker with South Korean Parasite star Song Kang-ho.