One of the world’s most prestigious film festivals, the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival in France, begins tomorrow (May 13) and runs until May 24th.
I figured that instead of having a plain article about the festival that hasn’t happened yet, I’d share with you the films that I am most excited about. Since there are 80 films in total at this year’s Cannes, I figured I would limit it to the nine that have caught my attention. If I were able to hop on a plane and get to Cannes this weekend, I would definitely check out these films. These are in no particular order.
“Green Room” is directed by Jeremy Saulnier, who also directed the great “Blue Ruin.” It stars Imogen Poots, Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart. I love the plot’s grit, which, according to IMDb, is “a band straying into a secluded part of the Pacific Northwest stumbles on to a horrific act of violence.” The only ones to witness it, they’re targeted by a gang of white power skinheads who need to make sure all of the evidence is eliminated. If it’s anything like “Blue Ruin” in tone, it will be awesome.
Before “Mad Max: Fury Road” hits North American theatres on May 15, but it’s premiering in Cannes’ Out of Competition category. While I haven’t seen the originals (I will before I watch this), this looks like a visually appealing spectacle so I’m very excited for it for that alone.
“A Tale of Love of Darkness” looks phenomenal. Mainly because Natalie Portman stars, directs and writes the film, based on Amos Oz’s international best-seller of the same name. Really and truly, that’s all I need to know to be intrigued. Portman has tried her hand in directing before – directing her own segment in “New York, I Love You,” and a short film called “Eve” in 2008, and she also wrote both of those. She hasn’t done anything behind the camera in either regard for seven years, so this is a great return.
I’m definitely a kid at heart and I love animated films so I’m really excited about Pixar’s “Inside Out” premiering at Cannes, and coming to North American theatres in June. This is the second Pixar film appearing at Cannes, the previous was also Pete Docter’s “Up.” Docter and Ronaldo del Carmen directed “Inside Out.” The human mind intrigues me so I think this could be a charismatic and entertaining animated film.
I enjoy Shakespeare and the story of MacBeth, so I’m excited for Justin Kurzel’s interpretation of the story in his latest film “MacBeth.” He directed the apparently disturbing “Snowtown” and a segment in a collection of short stories in “The Turning.” I think there’s a great cast playing the characters, with the great Michael Fassbender as the titular MacBeth, David Thewlis as the King, Duncan, and Marion Cotillard as the conniving Lady MacBeth.
The film “Taklub” is a disaster film from the Philippines depicting the aftermath of the Supertyphoon Haiyan, which plagued the city of Tacloban and left it in its terrible state. The lives of three characters intertwine as they face obstacles and search for the dead. I really liked 2012’s “The Impossible,” and I think if this film has anything similar to that movie’s spirit and poignancy, I’ll love this.
A film from Romania called “One Floor Below” looks really intriguing and original. According to Cannes’ website and the profile for the film, the main character, Patrascu, is at odds with close neighbors after witnessing a domestic quarrel that results in murder. The two neighbors are the murderer, and his very own conscience. I love the two conflicts that are at place here, especially the man-versus-self conflict.
The film “Sicario” from Canadian director Dennis Villeneuve looks great. He has been churning out quality films, especially with “Prisoners” and “Enemy,” and this is a sort-of FBI and CIA film starring Josh Brolin and Emily Blunt. In Mexico, Sicario means hitman and a FBI agent is enlisted by an elite government task force to assist with the escalating war against drugs between U.S. and Mexico.
The last film I’m really intrigued by is a sci-fi love story starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz. Science fiction isn’t usually my cup of tea but the new film, “The Lobster,” by Yorgos Lanthimos, really has caught my attention. It’s the near future where single people are arrested by The City and transferred to The Hotel and have to find a matching mate within 24 days, and if they fail they are transformed into an animal. The central character escapes from The Hotel and falls in love one of the Loners in the Woods, and has a forbidden romance. It’s such a unique concept that it really makes it one of my to-watch at Cannes.