Cannes Critics Week Lineup

Not as grand as the Official Selection, or as popular as the Director’s Fortnight, Cannes’ Critics Week can sometimes get left by the wayside in appraisals of the festival, yet it remains an essential, vibrant showcase for new work on the Croisette. Picking 10 films to screen in-competition, the Week selects only debut or sophomore efforts from promising directors and has long been a breeding ground for such talents as David Robert Mitchell and Alejandro González Iñárritu. With last week seeing its line-up released, here are our picks:

The Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg starring Vivarium is the obvious choice for ‘one to watch’. With the most recognisable stars and a plot that reads like ‘possible mindfuck’, Lorcan Finnegan’s sophomore effort casts the stars as a couple who move into a mysterious housing development only to find that things aren’t quite what they seem…


A White, White Day, Hlynur Pálmason’s follow-up to his acclaimed Winter Brothers also looks to have much promise. With a classic revenge plot, and an unconventional director, here’s hoping that the film can go off the rails to become more than the standard procedural.

A White, White Day

Another tantalising offering is Jérémy Clapin’s I Lost My Body, an animated tale about an amputated hand which traverses Paris to find its rightful owner – which sounds, well, nuts. London Student also looks forward to catching Amin Sidi-Boumédiène’s Abou Leila, a drama about two men looking for a terrorist in the desert but finding themselves contemplating their own violent acts under the burning heat of the African sun.

Abou Leila

Although we don’t know much about any of these films, or their directors, the history of Critics Week has demonstrated that works of the highest quality from the most exciting young talents make the cut, and so it’ll be exciting to see which gems emerge from the rough. In tandem with an Official Selection and Director’s Fortnight that are already being called vintage, 2019’s Cannes offering just keeps getting better and better. Stay tuned for rundowns on other sidebar selections – including Cannes Classics – and our festival preview launching before we hit the Croisette on the 14th.

The full selection for Critics Week, including short films, can be found here:

London Student will be reporting from Cannes May 14th-23rd.

James is an undergraduate law student at UCL, and London Student's Chief Arts Editor/Film Editor. He wants you to know that Christopher Nolan is overrated.

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