A little over a month ago, we pulled together our primer for what films we might see in the Cannes Film Festival’s official selection this year. The festival’s Thierry Frémaux will announce the bulk of his picks Thursday morning in Paris — he usually leaves a few surprises for later. Nothing is confirmed until he unveils the lineup, although the fest threw a curveball by announcing late Wednesday night French time that Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring would open the Un Certain Regard sidebar; it had indeed been expected to figure somewhere in the mix. Below is a recap and update on the possibilities to make the final cut, or not, in an official category.
Among titles considered near shoo-ins are the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives. The Coens are Cannes favorites who haven’t been in competition since 2007’s No Country For Old Men. Winding-Refn won the Cannes directing prize in 2011 with Drive and there is a lot of heat on this Thailand-set follow-up which reteams him with Drive‘s Ryan Gosling.
As for other English-language films, J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, a man vs. nature drama we hear boasts a tour de force performance from Robert Redford, continues to have strong buzz. Guillaume Canet’s Blood Ties starring Marion Cotillard, Clive Owen, Zoe Saldana and Mila Kunis is another that’s mentioned quite a bit as is James Gray’s Lowlife, which also stars Cotillard. If Jim Jarmusch landed a slot with vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive as is tipped, it would mark his 10th time in selection. French helmer Arnaud Desplechin’s Jimmy Picard with Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Amalric, and based on the George Devereux book Psychotherapy Of A Plains Indian, is another we hear about with more frequency. Steven Soderbergh’s HBO Liberace movie Behind The Candelabra looks destined for a special berth.
Among foreign-language titles, A Separation Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi is tipped for his first Cannes with The Past, starring The Artist’s Bérénice Béjo. Paolo Sorrentino, director of 2011’s Sean Penn competition film This Must Be The Place, has continued to build buzz with La Granda Belezza. He’s been in competition with his last four films. Also believed to be leading candidates are respected Japanese helmers Hirokazu Kore-Eda with drama Like Father Like Son and Takashi Miike with thriller Straw Shield. And we’ve recently heard Cannes watchers talking about François Ozon’s Jeune Et Jolie starring the director’s muse Charlotte Rampling.
There was a lot Cannes talk surrounding Bong Joon-ho’s English-language ensemble drama Snowpiercer, but we now hear it will not be making a trip to the Palais due to its post schedule. As to other films we understand will not be making an appearance on the Croisette, we’ve been told that Lars von Trier’s four-hour sex-o-rama Nymphomaniac is not ready. Nor, we hear, is Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years A Slave with Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt. We’ve also learned that Alexander Payne’s black-and-white father/son drama Nebraska is looking more likely as a fall fest circuit title. Stephen Frears’ Philomena with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan will come later in the year and Lady Chatterley director Pascale Ferran’s Bird People, starring The Good Wife’s Josh Charles, is doing a flyover on Cannes as well.
The following films, however, are understood to still be possibilities for a berth: Luc Besson’s Malavita, Xavier Dolan’s Tom At The Farm, Gregg Araki’s White Bird In A Blizzard, Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is The Warmest Color, Roman Polanski’s Venus In Fur, Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2, Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves and Diego Luna’s Chavez, although the latter is not certain to be ready and may debut in a later fest.
Either way, all — or most — will be revealed tomorrow.