From Asghar Farhadi to Nicolas Winding Refn, we're counting on a diverse slate
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2. "Under the Skin"
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Paul Brannigan
Jonathan Glazer's second feature "Birth" remains one of my favorite films of this young century, and has found a keen critical following after a contentious debut at Venice in 2004. I've patiently waited nine long years for the Brit's follow-up, but after "Under the Skin" was briefly teased as a festival circuit possibility last year, only to get pulled for reshoots, I'm beginning to get a bit itchy. The film sees Glazer returning to his home country for an adaptation of Michel Faber's dark debut novel, and stars the recently resurgent Scarlett Johansson as an alien in human form sent to Earth by an extraterrestrial corporation to prey on hitchhikers. Glazer's sensibility is ideally suited to this chilly, sensual sci-fi tale -- whether it appears at Cannes or follows "Birth" to Venice, we hope it's worth the wait.