Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011 Cannes Film Festival Line Up

After much speculation of who would and wouldn't make it in, the Cannes Film Festival has finally unveiled its official roster of films, both in and out of competition. Here's the full list, courtesy of Empire Online:

Opening film:

Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris

Main competition:

Pedro Almodóvar - La Piel que Habito
Bertrand Bonello - L'Apollonide: Souvenirs de la Maison Close
Alain Cavalier - Pater
Joseph Cedar - Hearat Shulayim
Nuri Bilge Ceylan - Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da
Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne - Le Gamin au Vélo
Aki Kaurismäki - Le Havre
Naomi Kawase - Hanezu No Tsuki
Julia Leigh - Sleeping Beauty
Maïwenn Le Besco - Polisse
Terrence Malick - The Tree of Life
Radu Mihaileanu - La Source des Femmes (The Source)
Takashi Miike - Ichemei (Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai)
Nanni Moretti - Habemus Papam
Lynne Ramsay - We Need to Talk About Kevin
Markus Schleinzer - Michael
Paolo Sorrentino - This Must be the Place
Lars Von Trier - Melancholia
Nicolas Winding Refn - Drive

Un certain regard

Opening film:

Gus Van Sant - Restless

Bakur Bakuradze - The Hunter
Andreas Dresen - Halt auf Freier Strecke
Bruno Dumont - Hors Satan
Sean Durkin - Martha Marcy May Marlene
Robert Guédiguian - Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro
Oliver Hermanus - Skoonheid
Sangsoo Hong - The Day He Arrives
Cristián Jiménez - Bonsái
Eric Khoo - Tatsumi
Ki-duk Kim - Arirang
Nadine Labaki - Et Maintenant On Va Ou?
Catalin Mitulescu - Loverboy
Hong-jin Na - Yellow Sea
Gerardo Naranjo - Miss Bala
Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra - Trabalhar Cansa
Pierre Schoeller - L'exercice de L'etat
Ivan Sen - Toomelah
Joachim Trier - Oslo, August 31

Out of competition:

Xavier Durringer - La Conquête
Jodie Foster - The Beaver
Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
Rob Marshall - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Midnight screenings

Peter Ho-Sun Chan - Wu Xia
Everardo Gout - Dias de Gracia

Special screenings:

Frederikke Aspöck - Labrador
Rithy Panh - Le Maître des Forges de L'enfer
Michael Radford - Michel Petrucciani
Christian Rouaud - Tous au Larzac

Even though several major titles (Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method) weren't selected (likely due to incompletion), this year's festival has more than enough big-name talent coming its way. The opening night selection, Midnight in Paris, the latest from Woody Allen, is filled with big names (Rachel McAdams, Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen), and that's just the beginning of the 11 day festival.
There's also The Tree of Life, which is surprisingly in competition, despite having a London premiere before its Cannes bow (Cannes generally requires in competition entries to have their world premiere at the festival). Of all of the titles from the festival that I'm anticipating, this is easily at the top of my must-see list, and I can't wait to see the reactions. Malick's films are generally well-liked, but they certainly have their detractors; I'm dying to hear how fierce the debates are, both about the film's meaning and its overall quality.

Also on my radar are The Skin That I Inhabit and Melancholia, from Pedro Almodovar (Volver) and Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark) respectively. Almodovar has temporarily taken a break from working with muse Penelope Cruz, in favor of reuniting with Antonio Banderas.
The film has been described as the director's first foray into the thriller and horror genres, and with Almodovar's dramatic flair and vibrant color palette, I'm dying to see what he comes up with. The same goes for Melancholia, which appears to be an anti-disaster disaster movie.
Opening with the destruction of the earth, the film them goes back in time to focus on how earth's impending doom affects two sisters (Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg). It's been described as von Trier's most mainstream film to date, though I'm sure there's some bit of insanity that hasn't been shown or hinted at in the trailer.

On the less flashy side of things is Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin, a drama about a woman (Tilda Swinton) who tries to reconnect with her (ex?) husband (John C. Reilly) after their son goes on a Columbine-like killing rampage. I haven't seen any of Ramsay's previous work, but I'll see anything led by Swinton, even if the subject matter does sound almost unbearably grim.
Swinton's past two performances, in Julia and I am Love, garnered significant praise, but failed to gain any awards season traction. However, if the film is picked up for release this year and receives decent enough reviews, Swinton might not have to go 3 for 3. Who knows, she might even end up being a contender for the actress prize at Cannes. There's also Joachim Trier's Oslo, August 31, the director's second full-length film after the excellent Reprise (2008). IMDb has no plot synopsis (or full cast list) at the time, but I look forward to seeing what this promising writer/director has come up with for his next film.

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