The following annotated Table of Contents provides an in-depth look at all of the written and video dispatches from the 2022 Cannes Film Festival for RogerEbert.com. The works include, in no particular order, Chaz Ebert, our guest Justin Chang from The LA Times, Barbara Scharres, Press Conferences with the Jury, Ben Kenigsberg, Jason Gorber, Lisa Nesselson, Isaac Feldberg, Sandra Schulberg, Pamela Guest, Jewel Ifeguni, the Red Carpet, the Critics Roundtable, and more. The videos were produced with Scott Dummler of MintMediaWorks. Click on each title, and you will be directed to the full article or video.
RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert's first video dispatch from the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, made with Scott Dummler of Mint Media Works, includes commentary on the opening night screening of Michel Hazanavicius' "Final Cut," preceded by a speech from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Cannes 2022 Video #2: The Mother and the Whore, Armageddon Time, The Eight Mountains, EO by Chaz Ebert and featuring Lisa Nesselson
Our second video dispatch features a Thumbs On the Street segment, and Paris Correspondent Lisa Nesselson's reviews of Jean Eusatche's "The Mother and the Whore," James Gray's "Armageddon Time," Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch's "The Eight Mountains," and Jerzy Skolimowski's "EO."
Cannes 2022 Video #3: Triangle of Sadness, Three Thousand Years of Longing, Hunt by Chaz Ebert and featuring Jason Gorber
Our third video dispatch includes a Thumbs On the Street segment, and Canadian Correspondent Jason Gorber's reviews of Ruben Östlund's "Triangle of Sadness," George Miller's "Three Thousand Years of Longing" and Lee Jung-jae's "Hunt."
Cannes 2022 Video #4: Scarlet, Aftersun, One Fine Morning and YouMatter Studios by Chaz Ebert and featuring Isaac Feldberg and Jewel Ifeguni
Our fourth video dispatch includes a stroll along the red carpet, Isaac Feldberg's reviews of Pietro Marcello's "Scarlet," Charlotte Wells' "Aftersun" and Mia Hansen-Løve's "One Fine Morning," and Jewel Ifeguni's look at YouMatter Studios.
Cannes 2022 Video #5: Crimes of the Future, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, R.M.N. and IndieCollect's Call for Film Preservation by Chaz Ebert and featuring Ben Kenigsberg and Sandra Schulberg
Our fifth video dispatch includes Ben Kenigsberg's reviews of David Cronenberg's "Crimes of the Future," Lucien Castaing-Tayler and Véréna Paravel's "De Humani Corporis Fabrica" and Cristian Mungiu's "R.M.N.", along with IndieCollect president Sandra Schulberg's impassioned call for independent film preservation.
Cannes 2022 Video #6: Critics Roundtable by Chaz Ebert and featuring Jason Gorber, Lisa Nesselson and Ben Kenigsberg
Our sixth video dispatch from the 2022 Cannes Film Festival is our annual critics roundtable featuring insights from Jason Gorber, Lisa Nesselson and Ben Kenigsberg.
Cannes 2022 Video #7: The Winners are Revealed by Chaz Ebert
Our seventh video dispatch reveals this year's winners of the Palme d'Or and the other major awards.
Cannes 2022 Video #8: Elvis, Godland, Tori and Lokita by Chaz Ebert and featuring Justin Chang and Pamela Guest.
Our eighth and final video dispatch from the 2022 Cannes Film Festival includes Justin Chang's reviews of Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis", Hlynur Pálmason's "Godland" and Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne's "Tori and Lokita", as well as a conversation with filmmaker Pamela Guest, who started SAG-AFTRA's Sexual Harassment Prevention Committee. This year's coverage is dedicated to two special people who left us too soon and who both loved movies, Ann Lautenslager and Taylor Long.
"I get a residual charge out of the fact that I made Cronenberg laugh when I interviewed him at the Vienna International Film Festival and relayed a true story. The Viennale organizers had told me that the phone rang and a man identified himself as being from the American Embassy in Vienna. 'We hear that David Cronenberg is here for the film festival and we’d like to host a reception for him.' The Viennale staffer replied, 'That’s an incredibly generous offer. I feel I should ask—you do know that Mr. Cronenberg is Canadian?' The man mumbled something, and they were suddenly disconnected. Cronenberg told me, 'Canadians may seem like they’re just Americans who live further North, but I assure you we’re quite different. We don’t run around invading other countries much for one thing.'"
Cannes Film Festival Preview 2022 by Barbara Scharres
"Before anyone reaches for a celebratory glass of something fizzy over the increased odds, it must be remembered that Julia Ducournau, the 2021 Palme winner for 'Titane,' was only the second female winner over the past seventy-four years. It’s always tempting to interpret a subliminal message in the image the festival selects for its official poster. This year, it’s a still from 'The Truman Show,' depicting Jim Carrey ascending a staircase in the clouds. In this image, the steep stairs metaphorically evoke the long flight of steps to the festival Palais, as well as the ethereal journey up floating steps in the festival’s iconic film trailer. The poster’s aspirational figure is stretching up his arm as if to seize the sky, and, yeah, of course it’s a guy. Just sayin.’"
Cannes 2022: Final Cut by Ben Kenigsberg
"Only Bérénice Bejo, playing Duris's character's wife—an out-of-practice actress who had a habit of getting a little too intense with her roles—seems to muster any energy, although all the cast members are upstaged by a single shot of an exhausted-looking crew member covered in blood. She got the film's only laugh from me. If Cannes 2022's first night began by evoking cinema's capacity to rise to the occasion, it concluded with a movie that has no reason to exist."
Cannes 2022: Tchaikovsky's Wife, The Eight Mountains, Scarlet by Ben Kenigsberg
"There are scenes with tremendous force, as when Antonina attempts to seduce her husband only to have him begin to choke her, and another moment in which Antonina is presented with divorce papers and asked to choose between saying that she was unfaithful or that her husband was. But the power of 'Tchaikovsky's Wife' is cumulative, as Antonina spirals into affairs, self-abasement, and self-delusion. The slow pace and the chronological jumps have the effect of making time feel distended, even though online sources indicate that in reality, the spouses separated after just six weeks. Antonina is so single-minded that even as a building burns, her immediate thought is of her wedding ring inside."
Cannes 2022: Armageddon Time, Eo, Rodeo by Ben Kenigsberg
"In 'Armageddon Time,' James Gray brings together all the ideas about class, opportunity, the immigrant experience, and life in New York that have run through his films since 'Little Odessa.' It's his best movie since 'The Immigrant,' at least, and maybe his best movie, period—a forthrightly autobiographical coming-of-age picture that might look generic at first but steadily reveals an attention to detail that is rare. The specificity of character, of place, of advice given by a grandfather—they're all the sorts of things that you could see haunting a 12-year-old for years, in ways that he would feel compelled to exorcise as an adult."
Cannes 2022: One Fine Morning, Brother and Sister, Mariupolis 2 by Ben Kenigsberg
"Léa Seydoux plays Sandra, a translator and single mother whose father, Georg (Pascal Greggory), was a philosophy professor. But he has Benson's syndrome, which has caused his mental acuity and vision to slip and led to the point where he can no longer live alone. Over the course of the film, Sandra and her mother (Nicole Garcia), who is divorced from Georg, keep moving him from one care facility to another, in the sort of ordinary but wrenching hassle that anyone who has watched a relative decline will recognize."
"The next morning, after what felt like a lifetime of waiting, I got to see 'Top Gun: Maverick'. It screened, delightfully, in the newly renamed Agnes Varda Theatre. I’d love to think that Varda herself was there in spirit, wryly smiling at the beautiful men and women on screen, the erotic machines, and the boisterous soundtrack. From the opening note and 'Simpson/Bruckheimer' logo you know the nostalgia is going to be blasted up to full afterburner, but I was genuinely thrilled that they expanded the storyline to near mythic levels, borrowing from everything from 'The Dam Busters' to (more overtly) 'Star Wars' to provide its structure."
"The movie is broadly divided into three sections (though the term 'triangle of sadness' refers not to the narrative but to how someone describes the shape of Dickinson's brow). Throughout Östlund's dissertation, the shifting value of various currencies—money, food, sex—continually recasts the boundaries of acceptable behavior. The filmmaker's targets are fairly standard, maybe even fish in a barrel, and the movie, wildly overlong at two and a half hours, is more thesis-y and less complex than Östlund's comparatively character-driven 'The Square' or 'Force Majeure.' But it has its moments, particularly when the delicate-stomached cruise guests are forced to deal with serious seasickness, at which point Östlund's genteel bile gives way to geysers of half-digested haute cuisine."
Cannes 2022: Holy Spider, Forever Young, Aftersun by Ben Kenigsberg
"You would never guess that 'Holy Spider' comes from Ali Abbasi, the Iranian-born director who made 'Border,' the Swedish-Danish fantasy movie from 2018. The filmmaking itself hews to a fairly pedestrian crime movie style. The film's force comes almost entirely from its moral outrage. Saeed's family members barely bat an eye at his actions, and the movie ends, chillingly, with the killer character's son offering a defense of his father's efficiency in ridding society of 'corrupt women.' 'Holy Spider' is not a great movie, but it is an appropriately sickening one."
Cannes 2022: Crimes of the Future, De Humani Corporis Fabrica by Ben Kenigsberg
"You definitely have the sense that Cronenberg, now 79, and making his first feature since 'Maps to the Stars' in 2014, is looking back over his whole career to make a grand statement. The squishy special effects recall the bio-ports of 'eXistenZ'; the strange eroticism of the lacerations here evokes the vehicular sensualism of 'Crash'; Carol Spier's production design has the hallucinatory dinginess of 'Naked Lunch'; a child produces a digestive solvent that seems chemically related to Jeff Goldblum's saliva in 'The Fly.' And when a woman sucks on the still-fresh, 'Videodrome'-like incision on a man's abdomen, he is forced to slow her down. ('Careful,' he says. 'Don't spill.') In the sense that the new 'Crimes of the Future' brings Cronenberg's career full circle, maybe the title's link to his early filmmaking has a meaning after all."
Cannes 2022: Tirailleurs, God's Creatures, Enys Men by Jason Gorber
"Rules don’t seem to apply to Paul, and the results of the prodigal son's corner-cutting makes for deeper moral compromises for his mother. When a connection is made with the clear-voiced Sarah (Aisling Franciosi), even darker moments occur, and the quandaries pile up like oyster shells. While there are few true narrative surprises in the telling, it’s still intoxicating to watch Watson navigate all her character’s emotions on her immensely expressive face. She is truly one of the most remarkable performers to appear on screen, and if 'God’s Creatures' does nothing else but remind the world of this fact it can already be considered a triumph."
Cannes 2022: Decision to Leave, Tori and Lokita, Funny Pages by Ben Kenigsberg
"I'm fully confident that on a second viewing, Park Chan-wook's 'Decision to Leave' will be much easier to follow, and it says something that on first viewing I was happy enough to catch the basic arc without worrying too much about, say, the whereabouts of a crucial cellphone and other such specifics. Feeling dizzy is clearly part of the intended effect of a film that more or less openly riffs on 'Vertigo.' And Park, making his first feature since his miniseries adaptation of John LeCarré's 'The Little Drummer Girl,' is still in a LeCarréan mode, firing plot details at viewers in a clipped editing style at a rapid pace. The film combines a complicated mystery, a love story, and occasional bits of broad comedy to come up with a thriller that feels at once overstuffed and single-minded, derivative and sui generis."
Cannes 2022: Stars at Noon, Leila's Brothers, Pacifiction by Ben Kenigsberg
"Her tryst with Alwyn's character at a hotel—his skin is so white, she remarks in bed, it's as if she's having sex with a cloud—turns into something like romance as she helps him steer clear of being trailed. It seems a Costa Rican cop is after him. Meanwhile, the shadow of possible American meddling in local affairs looms. But of course, this is a Denis film, and the plot is secondary to atmosphere (conjured in part by one of her trademark Tindersticks scores) and texture. Here, that texture includes a lot of sweat-beaded skin as the two stars shed their clothes and their Covid masks, not in that order. You can sort of picture an '80s-Hollywood erotic-thriller version of this story, but it's safe to say it would not have featured a sex scene with menstrual blood. That part seems like pure Denis."
Cannes 2022: Showing Up, Broker, Close by Ben Kenigsberg
"The considerable poignancy and wisdom of the film comes from an idea that Lizzy voices—that, essentially, things often happen the way people hope they will, but not on schedule. 'Showing Up' is surely one of the most accurate screen depictions ever of the loneliness and small-bore milestones of the life of an artist. Reichardt's comic detailing is so fine that it's really only in the film's back half—after what seems to be a lot of slight, quotidian activity—that you realize just how much 'Showing Up' is a comedy, and a life-affirming one at that. If 'Showing Up' had screened earlier in the week, before people started leaving Cannes, it would have been the talk of the festival."
"Yet it’s Austin Butler’s uncanny Elvis that’s truly the center of the show. His physicality is extraordinary, going beyond the regular impersonator vibe and seemingly inhabiting the man both in terms of his charisma as well as his extraordinary physical presence. The way Elvis' music is messed with proves beneficial, reminding younger listeners especially of the explosive urgency that the vintage recordings may not achieve for those who have had such moments of experimentation and genre-blending baked into 75 years of rock 'n' roll's evolution. I compare it to how David Milch uses filthwords in 'Deadwood,' amplifying language of contemporary impact to elucidate how these things felt at the time."
"Hirokazu Kore-eda's excruciatingly banal 'Broker' is a tale of a few hapless human traffickers pawning off abandoned children for cash. Set in South Korea, the film’s cast includes Song Kang-ho (now internationally renowned for his role in Palme-winner 'Parasite'), Gang Dong-won, Bae Doona, and Lee Ji-eun. The character piece is meant to come across as charming as the misfit gang become a kind of ersatz family unit. Instead, it's a cloying, maudlin mess, ruined throughout by an appallingly cheesy score that makes it feel all the more like some middlebrow television special. Despite the charms of some of its performers, 'Broker' fails to live up even to lowered expectations."
Cannes 2022: Triangle of Sadness wins Palme d'Or by Ben Kenigsberg
"The Palme d’Or at the 75th Cannes Film Festival went to 'Triangle of Sadness.' It was the second Palme in five years for the Swedish director Ruben Östlund, who won the prize in 2017 for 'The Square.' The film, which begins as a satire of the fashion industry before shifting its setting to a luxury cruise and widening into a critique of the very, very wealthy (an arms dealer, a Russian oligarch), was something of a surprise winner. As with the last time he won, Östlund encouraged the audience to bellow a 'primal scream of happiness'—a reference to 'The Square.'"
"All this teeth gnashing would bely the fact that there were gems to be found on the Croisette, especially if you dug around. Take 'Joyland,' which played in Un Certain Regard and received a Special Jury Prize (it deserved even more than that). The first Pakistani film to ever play the festival, Saim Sadiq’s astonishing debut is so tonally precise and rich in performance and narrative that it felt almost criminal how it was outside most people’s consideration. The shot of a man on a scooter, his face buried in the crotch of a giant standee, is what first drew me to the film. The rider is Haider Rana, played with great sensitivity and inner conflict by Ali Junejo. Living with his arranged-marriage spouse Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq), his father (Salmaan Peerzada), brother (Sohail Sameer), and sister-in-law (Sarwat Gilani), the family forms a tight social unit where gender roles are slightly fluid."