We showcase new films from Gosling and Pattinson, but it’s not all hunks and glamour at this year’s Cannes.
Cannes, huh – what is it good for? Quite a lot actually, considering it sets the scene for awards season 2014/15 early and offers us a look at what films from around the world that we should and shouldn’t be excited for from the coming year. Today, Cannes opened, and it gave us the opportunity to cross one of the potentials off of our list (though, really, none of us were looking forward to Grace of Monaco anyway), but there are still dozens of shiny new features to pick from and add to your handy World Cinema 2014 Itinerary.
We couldn’t include everything, and here are just some that almost made it in: Studio Ghibli’s first post-Miyazaki anime, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, David Cronenberg’s curious satire Maps to the Stars, which boasts an eclectic Hollywood cast, Mommy, by Xavier Dolan, the French-Canadian wunderkind who’s making a mockery of the rest of us young folk (Dolan’s only 25-years-old, and this is already his fourth showing at Cannes), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night, starring the acting immensity that is Marion Cotillard, and Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall, which looks pretty, well, dull and unremarkable actually, but it’s reportedly his last film so it’ll be an event all the same.
Ryan Gosling’s Lost River
With its title changed from the distinctly hysterical reality show-esque How to Catch a Monster to something more wistful, and with a trippy plot and visuals that conjure up the idea of something dreamy and absurd, Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River could be something to behold. And the cast, including Screen Robot favourite Ben Mendelsohn, as well as Saoirse Ronan, Christina Hendricks, Matt Smith and Eva Mendes, is seriously promising.
Tommy Lee Jones’s The Homesman
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada was everything you expected from Tommy Lee Jones’s directorial debut: grim, grumpy and so entrenched in Old Western culture it felt like it should’ve come with a spittoon. The Homesman looks to have the same kind of energy, but set in a revisionist corner of the Old West, Unforgiven-style. The cast, including character actors like James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, John Lithgow, Jesse Plemons and Jones himself, is hugely promising.
David Michod’s The Rover
You may have seen David Michod’s directorial debut, Animal Kingdom, skulking around Film4 late at night. This Australian crime saga doesn’t swagger like the most famous of them, but it grows in potency with each viewing, and it’s this slow-burning approach to mood and story that we hope Michod can bring to his desolate-looking apocalyptic drama, The Rover. The ostensible star is newly-minted indie pin-up Robert Pattinson, but with Guy Pearce on-board, The Rover looks like a spin-off for his The Road character, and the unforgiving mood of that film appears nicely echoed in Michod’s second.
Olivier Assayas’s The Clouds of Sils Maria
Olivier Assayas’s last film at Cannes was the universally acclaimed revolutionary epic Carlos, while his last film anywhere was the bittersweet ode to the counterculture, Something in the Air. So it would be an insult to the man not to include his latest on this list, which is about a successful actress, played by Juliette Binoche, seeing her most famous role interpreted by a much younger actress in a new movie. Is that Kristen Stewart you see in the film? Yes it is, get over it.
Michel Hazanavicius’s The Search
The only real reason to see Fred Zinnemann’s original 1948 version of post-war drama The Search is to watch an Oscar-nominated Montgomery Clift introduce method acting to cinema for the first time. An average film with a premise of potential, The Search was ripe for remake, and it’ll be interesting to see how director Michel Hazanivicius is faring after his silent movie The Artist came out of nowhere to tear up the 2012 Oscars.
Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher
When one actor undergoes a physical transformation for a role, that movie instantly becomes an event. When three actors undergo physical transformations for roles, and those three actors are Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum, it becomes an unmissable event. Bennett Miller has produced nothing but five-star drama so far, and Foxcatcher appears no different to the awards-snaffling fare he’s given us already. That’s a compliment by the way.
Kristian Levring’s The Salvation
It’s (Cannes 2012 Best Actor-winner) Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green and Eric Cantona in a revenge western directed by Lars von Trier’s mate and scored by Nicolas Winding Refn’s brother. Yeah, I’ll see you there.
Ned Benson’s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby has already appeared at festivals in most irregular form, as two separate movies each telling the same story from the perspective of two romantic partners, played by Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. Cannes, however, will be the first place where director Ned Benson will premiere The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, which cuts both stories together into a single two-hour film. This is the version that most of us will get to see, and will be doubly interesting for what appears to be a continuation of the wholesome McAvoy’s dark phase, which has been making him more watchable than he’s ever been.
Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner
Mike Leigh is always a director to watch, but when his latest sees him team up once again with Timothy Spall, from whom he’s always drawn outstanding work, it’s a must-see. Spall gets the starring role in Mr. Turner no less, a biopic of the artist JMW Turner which, from the trailer, looks absolutely gorgeous. From what we can already see, expect Spall to be an Oscar contender come the next awards season.
John Boorman’s Queen and Country
Featured image: Warner Bros
Insets: Warner Bros, IFC Films, Warner Bros, The Weinstein Company, Entertainment One