The 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the 11-day party on the French Riviera that showcases hundreds of movies from around the world, opens on May 14th with the out of competition screening of Grace of Monaco. Considering the princess died a few miles down the Cote d’Azur from Cannes, Grace of Monaco, which stars Nicole Kidman, is the perfect selection to open the prestigious event. There are 18 films in competition for the Palme d’Or. Director Jane Campion, who won the prize in 1993 for The Piano, is heading the jury.
Thierry Fremaux, the festival’s artistic director, has put together a strong lineup for 2014. Several of the features in competition bridge the gap between auteur cinema and star-studded casts, and that’s what the festival is all about –balancing serious, thought-provoking cinema with buzz and Hollywood glamour. New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard is competing for the Palme d’Or, a prize the 83-year old has never won, and Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are vying for their third Golden Palm. At the same time, an eclectic group of Hollywood stars are making their way to the Cannes red carpet, including Ryan Gosling, Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, and Steve Carell. Here are 10 of most anticipated films at the Cannes Film Festival.
10 The Search: Michel Hazanavicius
9 The Rover: David Michod
8 Homesman: Tommy Lee Jones
7 Two Days, One Night: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
6 Map to the Stars: David Cronenberg
5 Foxcatcher: Bennett Miller
Foxcatcher, an American film by the director of Capote and Moneyball, has had a long, strange journey. The film was supposed to be released in time for the awards race in 2013, but Miller continued to work on the cut. It was then scheduled to premier at the AFI Fest in November, but there were more delays. The film is now making its debut at Cannes.
4 Mr. Turner: Mike Leigh
Mr. Turner is Mike Leigh’s fifth film to compete at the Cannes Film Festival. Leigh won the Best Director Award at Cannes for Naked (1993), and his gritty working class drama Secrets & Lies won the Palme d’Or in 2004, a moment the social realist director called "a huge landmark in my career.”
3 Jimmy’s Hall: Ken Loach
Ken Loach is often called the English master of “kitchen sink realism.” His British-Irish war drama The Wind That Shakes the Barley won the Palme d’Or in 2006. The 77-year old director is never one to shy away from controversial topics and Jimmy’s Hall, which Loach has said may be his last film, examines the value of free speech and the right to assemble.
2 Goodbye to Language: Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard helped define the French New Wave with films like Breathless (1960), Contempt (1963), and Band of Outsiders (1964). Radical and experimental, with an acute knowledge of narrative theory and film history, Godard’s films were pop art treatises on consumerism, existentialism, and politics. The avant-garde style of Godard’s films -as well as their philosophical digressions -challenged the conventions of traditional cinema.
1 Lost River: Ryan Gosling
Lost River is actor Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut. The star of Blue Valentine and Drive also wrote the film. Lost River, which at one time was called How to Catch a Monster, is being featured in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes alongside several other first films. While Gosling stumbled a bit in Nicolas Winding Refn’s poorly received Only God Forgives, his brand of stylized, James Dean cool makes him one of the most eclectic and popular indie actors in the U.S. Lost River is described as a “psychological drama with a fantastical dark side” involving a troubled teen and a single mother in a small town. The film stars Eva Mendes, Christina Hendricks, and Saoirse Ronan.
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