Before Queen Elizabeth II’s, there’s another platinum jubilee on the calendar this summer and this one involves red carpet royalty. Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Anthony Hopkins and Kristen Stewart are among the luminaries who will stride the famous steps at this year’s Cannes Film Festival to celebrate its 75th birthday, which opens Tuesday night.
Cruise will bring his megawatt star power to town with the premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick,” the long-awaited sequel to the 1986 film that propelled him to global fame as a hot shot pilot. It’s been 30 years since he last made an appearance on the Croisette, and the festival will honor him with a special career tribute. Costar Jennifer Connelly will be on hand, expected to wear Louis Vuitton, joined by fellow cast mates Miles Teller and Jon Hamm.
Another hotly anticipated premiere, Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” will bring a touch of rock ‘n’ roll to the red carpet with Austin Butler starring as the titular music legend. Tom Hanks also features, alongside Australian actress Olivia DeJonge in her first big breakout role.
George Miller’s “Three Thousand Years of Longing” also has an out-of-competition premiere berth. The film, his first since winning the best director Oscar for “Mad Max: Fury Road,” stars Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba. Miller has described the film as the “anti-Mad Max” and touted it as a fantasy-romance-drama.
Oscar winner Michel Hazanavicius’ ode to zombie films, “Final Cut,” will have French stars Berenice Bejo, Romain Duris and Finnegan Oldfield walking the famed 24 steps of the Palais des Festivals on opening night.
They’ll be joined by jury president Vincent Lindon as well as jury members including Rebecca Hall and Deepika Padukone, and directors Ladj Ly, Jeff Nichols and Joachim Trier.
The panelists will decide on who gets to take home the prestigious Palme d’Or. Films in contention this year are David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future,” starring Stewart and Louis Vuitton ambassador Lea Seydoux; Claire Denis’ “Stars at Noon,” starring Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn, and Arnaud Desplechin’s “Frère Et Soeur,” starring Marion Cotillard. These films will see Chanel well-represented on the red carpet, as Stewart, Qualley and Cotillard are all ambassadors for the house.
James Gray’s “Armageddon Time,” starring Hopkins and Anne Hathaway, is also in the running for the main competition prize, as is Kelly Reichardt’s “Waiting to Leave,” starring Louis Vuitton ambassador Michelle Williams and Hong Chau, and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Broker,” starring Lee Ji-Eun. Lee, better known as IU, is South Korea’s biggest pop star and a Gucci global ambassador.
Other sections are equally star-studded. Alicia Vikander, another Louis Vuitton ambassador, will be on hand for the premiere of her series “Irma Vep,” directed by Olivier Assayas. Stewart also makes an appearance in the series for her third project with Assayas, and will tread the red carpet a second time.
Psychological horror film “Men,” starring Irish actress Jessie Buckely is in the lineup of the Director’s Fortnight sidebar, while Elvis’ granddaughter Riley Keogh is also attending. The “Girlfriend Experience” and former face of Dior will be making her debut as a director with “Beast” in the Un Certain Regard section.
Eight films directed or codirected by women have been added across different sections of the Official Selection, with women helming five of the 21 titles in competition — a Cannes record, but still short of the gender parity initiative launched at the festival in 2016.
While the stars will be getting facials at the Agustinus Bader pop-up, the festival is also celebrating its 75th year by getting a major media makeover.
It was just a few short years ago that Cannes Film Festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux decried social media and banned selfies from the red carpet. Much has changed in the media landscape since then. TikTok has taken over the world, and Cannes is no exception. This year, the festival will welcome the short-video app with open arms, not only allowing access to the red carpet and talent interviews but provide exclusive content from backstage and the red carpet, as well as spearhead a vertical short film competition with a jury presided over by BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Rithy Panh.
News media upstart Brut is on board to produce daily reports about the festival for YouTube, and the festival is entering the metaverse through Fortnite. Gamers will be able take on roles of actor, director or journalist and have the chance to stroll the Croisette or climb the famous steps of the Palais for a film premiere.
Brut is also hosting the House of Creators, to bring content makers to the city to produce posts for social platforms. The festival also partnered with NFT artists Emily Yang, better known as Pplpleasr, for a fundraiser selling 75 digital pieces to support young female creators through the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.
Meanwhile, Penske Media Corp., parent of WWD as well as Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and Indie Wire, has acquired The American Pavilion, the media, hospitality and communications center.
On the party circuit, amfAR is back at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc as the festival’s biggest night, and they’re bringing Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin out to celebrate. The annual fashion show, overseen by Carine Roitfeld, will be wedding themed this year, titled “Let’s Get Married.” Balmain, Celine, Prada and Valentino are among the 30 houses contributing looks for the fete on May 26.
Toni Garrn will also be hosting a lunch there on May 20 to benefit her charity supporting girls’ education in Africa, and Chanel will take over the Bijou Plage for a sunset dinner on May 23.
Chopard and L’Oréal are celebrating 25 years as official sponsors of the festival. Chopard will bring Roberts as the godmother of its annual young actors’ trophy on Thursday.
L’Oréal is hosting a gala dinner on Wednesday, flying in its spokespeople from around the globe, including Gemma Chan, Viola Davis, Elle Fanning, Aja Naomi King, Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet. Winslet will also honor a promising female short film director with the new Lights on Women Award at the Jeune Cinema dinner on May 27.
Gucci and Saint Laurent parent company and festival sponsor Kering will host its annual dinner at the city’s Château de la Castre, perched atop the hill and overlooking the bay where Viola Davis will receive the Women in Motion prize on May 22.
The festival runs from May 17 to 28.