Tomorrow morning in Paris, Cannes delegate general and artistic director Thierry Frémaux will unveil his selections for the 65th edition of the festival. He’ll offer up the official competition and Un Certain Regard titles along with special and midnight screenings. The speculation machine has been churning for over a month now, with some films hotly tipped and a bunch of question marks hanging over other titles. The selection is unlikely to be complete when Frémaux announces it — he’s got a penchant for adding titles up to the beginning of the fest and sometimes even during.
Frémaux was miffed earlier this month when a website pulled an April Fools prank publishing a list it claimed it had pulled from the official Cannes website. At the time, Frémaux maintained to me that the list wasn’t even close to being finished and that regardless it would stay locked in his head until April 19. The website ultimately owned up to its joke. Anyway, based on my intel, here’s a sampling of what may turn up when Frémaux spills tomorrow:
Titles roundly tipped as near shoo-ins this year include Walter Salles’ On The Road with Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Garret Hedlund and Kirsten Dunst (sales: Cinetic & MK2); David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis with Robert Pattinson (sales: Kinology); Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond The Pines with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper (sales: Sierra / Affinity); Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills (sales: Wild Bunch); and Michael Haneke’s Amour which Sony Pictures Classics just acquired (sales: Les Films de Losange).
Also oft-cited are Ken Loach’s The Angel’s Share (sales: Wild Bunch); Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly with Brad Pitt, which The Weinstein Co has for domestic (sales: Inferno); and John Hillcoat’s Lawless with Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain, for which TWC also has domestic (sales: FilmNation). Other notable possibilities include Jeff Nichols’ Mud with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon (sales: FilmNation) and Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, again starring McConaughey along with Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman (sales: Nu Image/Millennium Films). Kidman could do double duty with Park Chan-wook’s Stoker from Fox Searchlight. James Gray’s latest, with Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner, is an unlikely addition as it just wrapped shooting a couple of weeks ago.
Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmasters had been hoped for, but I’ve been told it will not be ready in time. I also understand that the latest Terrence Malick film with Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Jessica Chastain is a long shot. There’s also been scuttlebutt of a premiere for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, but I understand that is not the case, though there’s always a possibility some footage could be screened. Same goes for whispers that Fox and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus could have its debut on the Croisette, but I’ve heard it is not going. That leaves a rather big question mark over any other special screenings of studio fare. DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3 is expected – which would make sense given Frémaux’s penchant for DWA’s films.
If all of the above titles were to score a berth, it would make for a very Anglo-centric lineup, so it should be borne in mind that not all of them are dead certs. There will be additions from elsewhere in Europe and Asia.
French titles that are possibles include Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone with Marion Cotillard for which Sony Pictures Classics has some territories (sales: Celluloid Dreams); Laurent Cantet’s Foxfire, his first English-language picture which Memento Films International is selling. Cantet made history of a sort when he won the Palme d’Or in 2008 for The Class, the first time a French film had won in over 20 years. Then there’s Alain Resnais’ You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet (sales: StudioCanal) and Léos Carax’s Holly Motors with Denis Lavant, Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue (sales: Wild Bunch) which have also been mentioned. The French films are always the last to be confirmed and generally there are only 3 slots for French pics in the competition. If the phone doesn’t start ringing at around 11pm the night before the press conference, the folks behind the French films start to worry.
Here’s what we know for sure. Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom from Focus Features and starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton is the opening night film. Late director Claude Miller’s Thérèse Desqueyroux is closing the fest. The short films and Cinéfondation selection have also been announced (a full list of those films is below) and The Artist star Bérénice Bejo will act as Mistress of Ceremonies to open and close the fest which runs from May 16-27. Nanni Moretti is president of the jury and Tim Roth is heading up the Un Certain Regard jury. The rest, we’ll find out tomorrow.
Santa Mirada, dir: Alvaro Aponte-Centeno (Puerto Rico)
Gasp, dir: Eicke Bettinga (Germany)
Ce Chemin Devant Moi, dir: Mohamed Bourokba (France)
Waiting For P.O. Box, dir: Bassam Chekhes (Syria)
The Chair, dir: Grainger David (US)
Night Shift, dir: Zia Mandivwalla (New Zealand)
Chef De Meute, dir: Chloé Robichaud (Canada)
Yardbird, dir: Michael Spiccia (Australia)
Cockaigne, dir: Emilie Verhamme (Belgium)
Silencieux, dir: L. Rezan Yesilbas (Turkey)
The Cinefondation selection (made up of film school students)
Behind Me Olive Trees, dir: Pascale Abou Jamra (Alba, Lebanon)
The Barber, dir: Shoichi Akino (Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan)
The Raptures, dir: Arthur Cahn (La Fémis, France)
Slug Invasion, dir: Morten Helgeland (The Animation Workshop, Denmark)
Tambylles, dir: Michal Hogenauer (FAMU, Czech Republic)
Matteus, dir: Leni Huyghe (Sint-Lukas Brussels, Belgium)
The Camp In Razoare, dir: Cristi Iftime (UNTAC, Romania)
The Road To, dir: Raisia Igumentseva (VGIK, Russia)
Land, dir: Piero Messina (CSC, Italy)
The Hosts, dir: Miguel Angel Moulet (EICTV, Cuba)
The Balad of Finn + Yeti, dir: Meryl O’Connor (UCLA, US)
Head Over Heels, dir: Timothy Reckart (NFTS, UK)
Abigail, dir: Matthew James Reilly (NYU, US)
Dog Leash, dir: Eti Tsicko (Tau, Israel)
Could See A Puma, dir: Eduardo Williams (UCINE, Argentina)