Once Upon a Time in Cannes

Once Upon a Time in Cannes

Quentin Tarantino’s penultimate film is likely to headline the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

Quentin Tarantino’s penultimate film is likely to headline the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

Text: Emma Li

This year’s Cannes Film Festival will be returning to the Croisette, Cannes’ iconic seaside boardwalk in France. The invitation-only festival will feature documentaries and films of all genres along with its iconic red carpet looks. Included in the lineup is the world premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” – that is, if the director completes the finishing touches in time for the festival.

Tarantino has consistently asserted on retiring as a filmmaker after completing ten movies. That makes “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” his penultimate film, following his previous feature “The Hateful Eight” which was released in 2015.

The star-studded cast features Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, and more. The story takes place in the late 1900s, following a television actor (DiCaprio) and his stuntman (Pitt) as they make their way into the film industry. They live next door to actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) who becomes one of the victims of the Manson murders. In 1969, the Manson family murdered five people in Los Angeles. Among them was Sharon Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski. The violent backdrop of the Manson murders will align well with Tarantino’s characteristically provocative repertoire of films. Even so, the historical reference won’t be its sole focus. Instead, Tarantino hopes to bring back the Hollywood scene that has disappeared since his childhood.

In 1994, Tarantino’s premiere of “Pulp Fiction” at Cannes won the Palme d’Or, the festival's highest prize. Then, in 2009, he premiered “Inglourious Basterds” which won Christoph Waltz the Best Actor prize for playing the villain Hans Landa. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” will bring the director back to the festival on the 25th anniversary of “Pulp Fiction”’s premiere.

The 2018 Cannes Film Festival saw Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay, Denis Villeneuve, and Lea Seydoux on the jury. Many American outlets believed the festival was amiss due to a lack in abundance of English-language films. Fortunately, extraordinary foreign language films made up the line of winners. Japanese drama film “Shoplifters” took home the Palme d’Or and “Cold War” director Pawel Pawlikowski was given the prize for Best Director. Spike Lee's “BlacKkKlansman” was also awarded the Grand Prix.

Some patterns are being transferred into this year’s festival, with Netflix boycotting Cannes for the second year in a row. Last year, artistic director Thierry Frémaux decided that Netflix’s titles were ineligible to compete for the Palme d’Or. After that, Netflix promptly removed all of their entries from the festival. Instead, the streaming platform’s films such as “Roma” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” were awarded the Golden Lion and Best Screenplay Award respectively at the 75th Venice International Film Festival.

The 72nd Festival de Cannes will take place at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in France from May 14th to the 25th with Mexican film director Alejandro González Iñárritu presiding as the Jury President.

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