Cannes: THR Critics Pick Their 10 Favorite Films (So Far)

Standouts at the midway point include a lesbian love story, a harrowing Auschwitz-set thriller, a dystopian satire starring a potbellied Colin Farrell and new diversions from Woody Allen and Pixar.

This story first appeared in the May 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

(Out of Competition)

British director Asif Kapadia's tender, intimate documentary portrait of Amy Winehouse reminds us that the self-destructive London singer was supremely talented and charismatic but ill-equipped for the superstar fame that came with her 20-million-selling breakthrough album, Back to Black. — Stephen Dalton


Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara deliver outstanding performances as two women in 1952 precariously charting a path toward a romantic relationship in Todd Haynes' absorbing, intelligent and beautifully crafted, if somewhat studied, adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel The Price of Salt. — Todd McCarthy

Embrace of the Serpent
(Directors' Fortnight)

A visually mesmerizing examination of man, nature and the destructive powers of colonialism, Colombian writer-director Ciro Guerra's impressive third feature cuts between 1909 and the 1940s to chart two explorers' voyages through the Amazon. The film boasts knockout black-and-white cinematography and breathtaking locations. — Jordan Mintzer

Inside Out
(Out of Competition)

An avant-garde head trip repackaged as mainstream entertainment, Pete Docter's latest (co-directed by Ronaldo Del Carmen) ingeniously personifies the sensations associated with early adolescence as a bunch of competitive cartoon characters. The film pulls off the classic Pixar trick of operating on two levels: captivating fun for kids, disarming smarts for adults. — Todd McCarthy

Irrational Man
(Out of Competition)

Woody Allen is back in fine form with this slinky, jazz-infused existential teaser that finds various themes from some of the veteran filmmaker's most memorable work dovetailing into a darkly humorous quasi-thriller centered on a philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix) and his student-lover (a captivating Emma Stone). — David Rooney

The Lobster

Greek writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) makes an effortless transition to the big leagues with his hilarious, haunting futuristic parable about a world where citizens must choose a mate or be turned into animals. Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Lea Seydoux lead the excellent cast. — Leslie Felperin

The Measure of a Man

French star Vincent Lindon gives a powerhouse lead performance as an unemployed factory worker trying to make ends meet in Stephane Brize's gripping, politically charged and surprisingly warm chronicle of working-class France. The film is modest in scope but effective in execution. — Jordan Mintzer

My Golden Days
(Directors' Fortnight)

From Arnaud Desplechin, one of the Frenchest of French directors, comes this heartfelt, melancholy tale of adolescent love, anchored by the hypnotic turns of Quentin Dolmaire and Lou Roy-Lecollinet. Their exchanges crackle with the excitement of youth and inexperience. — Boyd Van Hoeij

Son of Saul

Hungarian newcomer Laszlo Nemes vividly evokes the hell and horror of the Nazi death camps through his tale of a Jewish Sonderkommando worker at Auschwitz who discovers the corpse of a boy he claims is his son. The film is hard to watch, but it's pulled off with striking stylistic confidence. — Boyd Van Hoeij

Tale of Tales

Drawing on 17th century Neapolitan fairy tales, Italian director Matteo Garrone delivers a visually imaginative take on the kind of yarns that have come down to us from the Brothers Grimm, making them feel pleasingly unfamiliar. Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel and Toby Jones headline an international cast. — Deborah Young

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