With one of the strongest and best-attended Cannes Film Festival’s we’ve seen since the pandemic era, what could be waiting in the wings to snap up the next batch of coveted Oscar statuettes? Our industry expert entertainment attorney from Blake & Wang P.A, Brandon Blake, notes some of this year’s titles worth keeping an eye on throughout the year.

Evolution from the Home of the Best International Feature

Historically, few of Cannes’ best premiers went on to Oscar glory unless it was in the Best International Feature category. It’s long been seen as the global home of art house films, across a breadth of languages, with English-language films still dominating the Oscars themselves. However, 2019’s shock win for Parasite upended much of that attitude, and the pandemic revolutionized the rest. We’ve also seen far more mainstream titles creep into the Cannes lineup of late.

In the last four editions of Cannes (remembering that 2020 was shelved due to the pandemic), we’ve seen a rather impressive seven titles go on to score a Best Picture Oscar nomination. Six Cannes directors have seen Oscar nominations, and six actors have been nominated in their acting categories. As evolution goes, that’s a mighty step forward. Now one question remains- what will join them from the Cannes 2023 lineup?

Potential Oscar Stars

Currently the most likely picture to light up both the Marché du Film and the 2023/24 Oscars is Martin Scorcese’s much-anticipated Killers of the Flower Moon. Debuting last Saturday at Cannes, it scored a magnificent 9 minute standing ovation. With a star-studded cast, including previous Oscar winners Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Brendan Fraser, it’s surprising that it is playing outside of the competition- but that suggests what they’re hoping for is buzz, not awards. After all, it’s a plan that worked well for Top Gun: Maverick and Elvis both last year.

Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City is another one to watch. Add May/December, from Todd Haynes, to the list too. While Jonathan Glazer lacks a proven Oscar record to date, The Zone of Interest may also be worth keeping in mind. Adapted from a Martin Amis novel of the same name, it has both historical interest and timing on its side, with last year’s surprise Awards all-star, All Quiet on the Western Front, setting up the perfect framework for the film to succeed on a wider release.

Among other English-language films on offer at Cannes this year, Firebrand, a dive into the life and times of Henry VIII’s last wife, has some Awards season potential, and both Club Zero and Black Flies could find their niche if distribution goes well.

Of course, there’s plenty of notable non-English fare that could wind its way into the Oscar lineup, too. We’ve seen a ton of Asian break-out films in the last 5 years, so Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Monster and Wim Wender’s Perfect Days are both worth keeping in mind. Add About Dry Grasses, the tragi-comedy Fallen Leaves, and two Italian darlings (La Chimera and A Brighter Tomorrow) to the list. Catherine Breillat‘s first film in 10 years, Last Summer, may also attract critical attention.

While the upcoming awards season is still a blip in the future right now, the strong showings across many categories at Cannes this year certainly have some strong contenders on the cards. It might be time to start taking notes.

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