Cannes is my favourite arena for movie discoveries big and small, and a few days into the 66th annual festival I’m eagerly taking notes of which movies will be worth looking out for in the coming months.
The great thing about Cannes is the refined blend of well-established talent and new names, not discriminated in either direction the size, genre or recognition of a name or project, which results in a wholesome selection of big and small, familiar and new, English-speaking or foreign, all with picked strictly because of their contribution to the art of cinema.
Last year, despite being considered by some as a weak year at Cannes, we found among the selection ‘The Hunt’, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’, ‘Amour’, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, ‘Killing Them Softly.and ‘Laurence Anyways’. There are still a handful of acclaimed movies from last year’s festival I haven’t had the opportunity to see yet (‘Rust and Bone’, ‘In Another Country’, ‘Like Someone in Love’), and some which still have yet to be released (‘Mud’). Sufficed to say that if this is the reaping of a weak year at Cannes, a lot of high-quality movie time is guaranteed in any given year.
On to this year’s movies. A few of them are already well-known prior to their festival screenings, such as the long-awaited opening movie, Baz Luhrman’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, starring among others Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, which received all over decent reviews. Another pre-screening favourite is ‘Only God Forgives’, where director Nicholas Winding Refn and actor Ryan Gosling have teamed up again, creating massive anticipation after their last team effort blew the cinematic world away with ‘Drive’. Another movie I’ve already been looking forward to for a while is Steven Soderberg’s ‘Behind the Candelabra’.
Besides the aforementioned, there aren’t many titles I recognised prior to the festival, with the exceptions of ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’, which I’ve heard of because it’s Tom Hiddelston’s newest project, and ‘Inside Llewelyn Davies’ by the Coen brothers, which should also be a given as one to watch. The director behind the hard-hitting ‘A Separation’, Asghar Farhadi, is back with ‘Le Passé’ or ‘The Past’, which is expected to be another intense, lowkey drama. Among the smaller “unknowns” are ‘Fruitvale Station’, which did well at the Sundance Festival, ‘The Selfish Giant’, which is supposedly a modern take on the short story by Oscar Wilde, and the French ‘L’Inconnu Du Lac’ or ‘Strangers by the Lake’, a movie which is sure to divide the audience and which is almost guaranteed not to get screening time in Norwegian cinemas due to its pornographic tendencies, unless Cinemateket steps up to the challenge, as they did with ‘Laurence Anyways’ last year.
So, that’s something to start off with after the first four days of the festival. With a week still remaining, there is bound to be a lot of on-screen goodness yet to come.