From Asghar Farhadi to Nicolas Winding Refn, we're counting on a diverse slate
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7. "Attila Marcel"
Director: Sylvain Chomet
Cast: Guillaume Gouix, Bernadette Lafont
Like everyone else, I was charmed by French animator Chomet's Oscar-nominated feature debut "Belleville Rendezvous," which premiered out of competition at Cannes in 2003. But he truly earned a special place in my heart with his 2010 follow-up, "The Illusionist" -- curiously buried in the Berlinale lineup, it held on to stand as my favorite film of the year (and scored Chomet his fourth Oscar nod). I'd say expectations are high for his third feature, though it's hard to know what to expect at all from his first foray into live-action filmmaking. Still, it would appear that Chomet's taste for whimsy and musically-steered storytelling is undimmed in this tale of a concert pianist, orphaned from an early age, who finds a psychological route to the childhood he never had. Star Guillaume Gouix impressed me at Cannes last year in gay drama "Beyond the Walls," so I'm doubly intrigued by this one.