Cannes tips (Screen)

By Fionnuala Halligan

We’ve had a look at Dieter Kosslick’s shopping list for the Berlinale (see below post), but there are also some early indicators of what Thierry Fremaux and Gilles Jacob are looking at over in Cannes.

Early days yet, of course – Brilliante Mendoza could complete at least three features in the time between now and May 12, when the festival kicks off. Things can change.


Sexy art films abound next May – how about this for a Croisette sampler:

- Cannes is an event, and so is a Terrence Malick film: Brad Pitt and Sean Penn star in The Tree Of Life, Malick’s fifth film. The timing could be right, but Malick’s release dates tend to come and go.

- Hereafter. Newly-appointed Commander of the French Legion of Honour Clint Eastwood cast French treasure Cecile de France in the lead for his supernatural thriller alongside Matt Damon (script by Peter Morgan), so why not?.

- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will certainly be ready with Biutiful, his long-awaited follow-up to Babel, which also premiered at Cannes. Javier Bardem stars in the Barcelona-shot, Spanish language production about a shady dealer who comes up against his childhood friend, now a policeman.

- 78-year-old Jean-Luc Godard, (an “enfant” by Manoel de Oliveira standards) has Socialism, described as “a symphony in three movements” and involving a cruise ship on the Mediterranean with Patti Smith and Alain Badiou. Wild Bunch is selling.

- The Rum Diary, Bruce Robinson’s (Withnail & I) adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s (long unpublished) 1950s-set novel about a freelance journalist writing for a paper in Puerto Rico. Johnny Depp stars – the combination is perfect for Cannes, which hosted the premiere of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas all those years ago (1998 to be precise).

-Woody Allenis ecumenical with his festivals – Whatever Works went to Tribeca last year, Vicky Cristina Barcelonawent to Cannes in 2008. You Will Meet A TallDark Stranger, with Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts and Antonio Banderas, will be ready by May.

- Two years after Marie-Antoinette failed to captivate Cannes, Sofia Coppola is on more secure ground with Somewhere, a story about a Hollywood actor living in the Chateau Marmont who gets a sobering visit from his daughter. Stephen Dorff stars with Dakota Fanning in this Focus Features selection which may be ready by May.

-Lisa Cholodenko, whose High Art broke out at Cannes in 1998, may return with The Kids Are All Right starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and AnnetteBening, about two children of a lesbian couple who decide to track down their father.

I predict a riot

Certain titles have an eau de headline about them

- Ken Loach should be ready with Route Irish, about two security contractors working in Iraq, one of whom dies on “Route Irish”. The other decides to investigate. Post-Looking for Eric, 73-year-old Loach and his producer Rebecca O’Brien and writer Paul Laverty have been vocal in their assertion that festivals should not programme films supported by the state of Israel. Cannes should be a big test for the independently-financed Route Irish.

-Talking of Israel, Julian Schnabel should be ready with Miral, starring Freida Pinto as a Palestinian orphan who ends up in Hind Husseini’s (Hiam Abbas) orphanage in Jerusalem post-1948. Willem Dafoe co-stars.

- Gaumont pictures has one of the most controversial French titles to appear this year (or any): Roselyne Bosch’s TheRound Up (Le Rafle), a $26m feature about French collaboration during the war, namely aFrench police operation which rounded up 13,000 Jews on the night of July 16, 1942. Melanie Laurent and Jean Renostar. As this currently is slated for a March release, there’s a possiblilty it could hit an earlier festival first.

Guess who’s coming to Hollywood?

Looking solely at release schedules, Robin Hood is Ridley Scott’s take on the bandit of Nottingham Forest, with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett in the main roles (medieval mortality rates, however, might suggest that the real Robin and Marian wouldn’t make it as far as Russell or Cate). US release date: May 14. Iron Man 2; Wall Street 2; Sex and the City 2 are also May titles.

We don’t know. Nobody knows, as they say. Anything.

World music


- Early word is strong on Thomas Vinterberg’s drama Submarino, about two brothers who can’t get a break in life. This is slated for a February release in Denmark, so could get an earlier festival.

- Seven years after he won the Golden Lion for his directorial debut The Magdalene Sisters, Peter Mullan is back in the director’s chair with Neds, shot in Glasgow and ready in time for Cannes, apparently. Wild Bunch is selling.

- Mike Leigh’s Untitled 2010 stars Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville and Ruth Sheen.

- Abbas Kiarostami’s The Certified Copy, stars Juliette Binoche in an Italian-set story penned by the Iranian director about an English author who meets a French lady on a book-signing tour.

-Guillame Canet has Les Petits Mouchoirs, starring Marion Cotillard, Francois Cluzet and Benoit Magimel in his directorial follow-up toTell No One. This is set on the beaches of Cap Ferret and is about a group of people who holiday together every summer.

Nikita Mikhalkov’sExodus – The Fortress (aka Burnt By The Sun 2),also from Wild Bunch, picks up the story of General Kotov (Mikhalkov) and his family five years after the events portrayed in Oscar-winner Burnt By The Sun – which premiered at Cannes.

There’s a question mark over whether Nanni Moretti’s comedy Habemus Papum might be ready in time; should it be, he’s a Cannes favourite and the subject matter – a newly elected pope on a psychiatrist’s couch – has headline potential.

Andy De Emmony follows up his hit East is EastwithWest Is West for BBC Films with Jimi Mistry and Om Puri reprising their roles in an update with the Manchester-based Khan family, set in 1974.

Hungary’s Bela Tarr may haveThe Turin Horse ready and up for consideration.


Leaving the deeply troubled I Come With The Rain behind him, Tran Anh Hung should be back in better shape with the much anticipated Norwegian Wood, with Rinko Kikuchi and Kenichi Maysuyama. Fortissimo is selling.

Cometh the Cannes, cometh the Johnnie To, who will certainly have Death of a Hostage (Si piu) ready for Media Asia, with Lau Ching-wan as a hitman hired to kill the kidnappers of a tycoon’s daughter.

Korea’s Lee Chang-dong (Secret Sunshine) should be ready with Poetry, starring 60s legend Yoon Hee-jeong

Takashi Miikecertainly will be ready with 13 Assassins, an exciting project which HanWay films is handling about a group of ronin who come together for a suicide mission to do away with an evil lord

Im Sang-soo (The President’s Last Bang) has The Housemaid, a story about a man whose affair with his servant turns very, very dark.

South America

Argentina’s Pablo Trapero (Leonera) could be ready with Carancho, currently filming and starring Ricardo Darin as an ambulance-chasing lawyer. Martina Gusman co-stars; Korea’s Finecut is selling.

Toon town

In the animated sector, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec would bring its director/writer Luc Besson back to Cannes and features the voice talents of Mathieu Amalric and Louise Bourgoin.

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