19 May 2015

68th Cannes Film Festival: 5 Films we are excited to know more about

By Danny Kelly | Categorised in News, Film Festival Diary

The 68th Cannes Film Festival kicked off last week, attracting its usual clientele of stars, film critics and photo hungry reporters to the south of France for the 12-day event. The prestigious festival is renowned for offering an opportunity to see some of the year’s most anticipated films for the first time. This year’s full selection can be viewed here.

Leading the competition jury this time are acclaimed filmmakers The Coen Brothers, fronting a panel of talent including Guillermo Del Toro, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller and rising filmmaker Xavier Dolan.

Below are five films that we are particularly excited about:

Youth – Dir Paolo Sorrentino (In competition, Palme d’Or)

Paolo Sorrentino’s follow up to the Oscar winning The Great Beauty revealed its first trailer to the world last month, and it certainly looks to be every bit the beautiful companion piece to its virtuosic predecessor. Michael Caine plays a retired orchestra conductor who, while on holiday in the Alps, is invited to perform for the Queen and Prince Philip. Considering that Sorrentino so masterfully tackled interweaving music and image in his last outing, our fingers are firmly crossed for him to continue perfecting the art in this English speaking film.

Carol – Dir Todd Haynes (In competition, Palme d’Or)

Acclaimed director Todd Haynes returns to film after an eight-year absence with Carol, the story of a growing love affair between a young department store clerk (Rooney Mara) and an older, married women (Cate Blanchett). The hotly tipped entry is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt, a novel which saw controversy upon it’s release due to its progressive attitude towards sexuality. Initial response suggests that the film – which is set in 1950s New York – acts as a strong companion piece to the director’s successful past feature Far from Heaven, which was hailed for being a meticulous and authentic period piece.

Click below for a clip:

Irrational Man – Dir Woody Allen (Out of Competition)

For every home run Woody Allen has, there are always a few strikeouts to match, and this very Allen looking story of a philosophy professor in the midst of an existential crisis has the potential to go either way. However, it is the cast that has captured most people’s attention; Joaquin Phoenix has been diverse and fascinating of late, the ever-dependable Emma Stone is always watchable and, best of all, 90’s indie darling Parker Posey also makes a (semi) return to the spotlight.

The Lobster – Dir Yorgos Lanthimos (In competition, Palme d’Or)

If Cannes had a prize for most bizarre narrative, The Lobster would certainly be a front-runner. Set in a dystopian future, single people are required to find a matching partner within 45 days, and if they fail they are transformed into animals and released into the wild. It sounds like the kind of fantastical film we’d expect from the likes of Terry Gilliam, but without a trailer so far we have little idea of the tone. Lanthimos himself is also no stranger to Cannes glory, with his 2009 film Dogtooth scooping the Un Certain Regard prize. The Lobster stars Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Ben Whishaw, and has been part financed by Film 4 and BFI Film Fund.

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Macbeth – Dir Justin Kurzel (In competition, Palme d’Or)

With any Shakespeare adaptation – particularly one as dark as Macbeth – it is essential to cast powerful actors/actresses who are capable of handling such demanding roles. In this instance we have complete faith in lead parts being handed to Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, stars that have earned their stripes in previous dramatic films, and can hopefully carry the intensity required from both their characters.

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Cannes Film Festival are currently keeping film fans up to date on their official website with interviews, links to further articles and press conference uploads.

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