Cannes Film Festival brings politically charged line-up to 70th anniversary

Vanessa Redgrave's directorial debut and a number of Nicole Kidman roles lead this year's programme.

Cannes Film Festival will return with a programme of politically charged movies tackling everything from animal cruelty to the refugee crisis as it marks its 70th anniversary this year.

British actress Vanessa Redgrave’s directorial debut, Sea Sorrow, will lead a line-up of special screenings by global artists.

But her exploration into the history behind the migrant crisis is just one of a wealth of movies delivering hard-hitting messages across categories both in and out of competition.

Vanessa in Dublin last year.
Vanessa Redgrave (Yui Mok/PA)

Okja, starring Tilda Swinton, sees the debate over animal cruelty told against a backdrop of fantasy, while the truth about North Korea is the very real subject of Claude Lanzmann’s documentary, Napalm.

Barack Obama and Donald Trump both feature in An Inconvenient Sequel, Al Gore’s follow-up to his 2006 climate change documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

According to the Guardian, festival president Pierre Lescure said he hoped that the darker themes, and any nods towards the US president, would “not cast a shadow” over next month’s event.

You Were Never Really Here, starring Joaquin Phoenix, delves into the subject of sex trafficking, while Robin Campillo’s 120 Battements Par Minute revisits the Aids crisis.

Because you can always count on Adam Sandler for a giggle.
Because you can always count on Adam Sandler for a giggle (Yui Mok/PA)

But the May programme does hold hope for some cheerier moments, with Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman promising laughs in comedy drama The Meyerowitz Stories.

Meanwhile, French actress Marion Cotillard will lead the cast in the festival’s opening film, relationship drama Les Fantomes d’Ismael (Ismael’s Ghost).

Other big stars at the event include Nicole Kidman, who will become an especially familiar face over the fortnight with roles in four separate entries.

She will star opposite Colin Farrell in both The Beguiled and The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, and in the second series screening of detective drama Top Of The Lake.

Elsewhere on the TV line-up, David Lynch fans will be treated to a revival of his hit series Twin Peaks.

Online streaming services will also have a strong presence at this year’s event.

As well as Netflix-funded Okja, Amazon will get a look-in after backing Todd Haynes’s period drama Wonderstruck.

::Cannes Film Festival takes place from May 17-28.


Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: