10 films we're most hoping to see at the Cannes Film Festival
In the blessed six months between the Venice Film Festival and the Academy Awards ceremony -- the Oscar off-season, if you will -- the Cannes Film Festival is the chief hub of speculation and spitballing in the prestige-film racket. As I type this, the blogosphere is already teeming with lists predicting what films will unspool on Croisette in less than two months' time, from heavyweight Hollywood productions to keenly awaited niche items from international auteurs to far-flung obscurities vying to be the next big festival discovery.
Guessing the Cannes lineup hinges on a mixture of rational deduction -- overlapping clues from international distributors, release schedules and past festival loyalties -- and blind hope. Some conclusions are reasonably clear-cut: for example, we know that Pedro Almodovar, for once, won't be headed to the Croisette with "I'm So Excited," for the simple reason that the film will be out in France in two days' time.
Others are more provisional: for the sake of our impatience, we hope "Twelve Years a Slave" will be there, but it could as easily be in Venice. And the Cannes selection committee can often throw our (not to mentiopn producers') hopes off-course: "Brokeback Mountain," "Vera Drake" and "Wuthering Heights" are examples of films that would have premiered at Cannes... had they not been been rejected by the festival.
Today's list, then, is not about such rationalizations: rather, this is my wishlist of the 10 titles I most hope to see when the official Cannes lineup is announced in mid-April. They range from all-but-certain inclusions shakier possibilities, but all have at least a theoretical chance of playing the Croisette -- whether in Competition or elsewhere.
I've left out titles that I think are frankly far-fetched: I'd be as thrilled as anyone to see Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" as early as May, and I've seen it included on a number of Cannes projection lists, but everything from its release plan to Cuaron's history with the Venice Film Festival suggests a later unveiling to me.
Still, even from the list of likelier possibilities, I still struggled to whittle it down to just 10 films: I'm a huge Kelly Reichardt fan, and have my fingers firmly crossed that her Jesse Eisenberg-Dakota Fanning starrer "Night Moves" shows up, but it didn't quite make the list. I'm greatly looking forward to Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring," meanwhile, but it didn't feature either -- perhaps, admittedly, because I see its Cannes debut as a fait accompli, so I'm not quite as hungry for it.
Other films I'd be very pleased to see in the lineup include Spike Jonze's "Her," Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer," Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," Jim Jarmusch's "Only Lovers Left Alive" and whichever of Terrence Malick's sudden flurry of projects surfaces first. But these, ultimately, are the 10 films -- many o them among my most anticipated of the year, period -- that would most make my day. Or, rather, my twelve days at Cannes. Roll on spring.
Check out my picks in the gallery, and feel free to rate the choices as you go along. What are you most hoping will show up in this year's lineup?
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
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