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With the rosters for both Critics' Week and the Directors' Fortnight both having been unveiled this week -- more on those later -- the lineup for this year's Cannes Film Festival is essentially complete, though festival director Thierry Fremaux has promised that there are one or two additions still to come. (Don't hold your breath for Malick or Paul Thomas Anderson -- a title like Cate Shortland's well-buzzed "Lore," on the other hand, may be a more realistic wish.)
When people ask me if I'm excited about this year's Cannes crop, the only sensible answer is yes: what cinephile worth his salt would feign indifference to the prospect of seeing new films from Jacques Audiard, David Cronenberg, Michael Haneke, Michel Gondry, Raul Ruiz and so on? Cannes is never not exciting in that respect, as this week's list makes pretty clear. Yet I still think this year's lineup, and the Competition strand in particular, falls short in some respects. Not for lack of big names, but rather for lack of smaller, more surprising ones. With no female directors or debut features in the running for the Palme, the Competition also isn't as global as it might be: Asia gets just two of the 22 slots, Africa one, South America zero.
Whether this lack of overt risk-taking has anything to do with it or not, this year's lineup oddly features a wealth of films that I want to see, yet very few for which I'm positively, personally salivating. That made whittling down a list of my 10 most anticipated titles an unexpectedly difficult task: with so many films that I'm looking forward to seeing for roughly equivalent reasons, it was tough to separate them. What was interesting was how many of the films that rose to the top are ones about which I'm rather nervous -- I'm not at all confident that all 10 films I've picked will work, but the ones that don't could be all the more intriguing for it.
Suffice to say there are plenty of titles not on the list that I'm still keen to see -- indeed, I have little doubt some of my eventual festival favorites aren't there either. In any event, it promises to be a stacked and stimulating festival. Check out our new gallery to see my picks, then tell us what you're most impatient to see in the comments below.
For more views on movies, awards season and other pursuits, follow @GuyLodge on Twitter.