The Cannes International Film Festival is drawing nearer, and here are eight films which could potentially become successful and win awards
The summer festival season has started with a bang at Cannes International Film Festival 2014. But a bit of information for those unaware of the festival; behind the Olympics, Cannes is the biggest media event with over 3,000 journalists descending upon the French city. The event is used to preview films and make distribution deals with over 200,000 actors, director and fans present for the festival. You might want to check out the red carpet action.
The most prestigious category at the festival is called ‘In Competition’, with these films in the running for the Palm d’Or award for best film, decided by a jury. For British film fans there are two British films up for the award: Mike Leigh’s drama Mr. Turner about the famous 19th century painter J.M.W. Turner, and Ken Loach’s feature film Jimmy’s Hall.
Cannes is known for its critics, with hisses and catcall rising from the stall if those present think a film is not on par (this was heard during Only God Forgives, starring Ryan Gosling at last year’s festival).
So what can the film world expect from Cannes 2014? I’ve compiled a short list of the films that will be (in my opinion) making the most noise at the Festival. Directors have gone realist this year, with a focus on human endurance and strength in challenging times.
Grace of Monaco
This actress-turned-monarch biopic has opened the festival starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly. The film shows us Kelly’s personal and political troubles: should she make Marnie? Is her marriage to Prince Rainer (Tim Roth) going tired? With help from Derek Jacobi (a parrot-loving expert), Robert Lindsay (as Aristotle Onassis) and Frank Langella (as a trusty priest), the film delves into issues of tax and love. However, controversy has already been brewing around the biopic.
Turkish autuer Nuri Bilge Ceylon is back with this high-altitude mediation on isolation. With a run time close to four hours the film dives into the isolation and the human spirit, and is currently the bookies’ favourite for the Palme d’Or.
The first British entry of this year for the In Competition focuses on the painter (played by Timothy Spall), who lends his name to the title. It explores the painter’s relations with his father (Paul Jesson), his London housekeeper (played by Dorothy Atkinson), the owner of his Margate boarding house, and…the Royal Academy.
Going up against his fellow Brit, Ken Loach has returned to the director’s chair with this feature which pits the police against the communists and the priests again the tight-knit community farmers of Ireland in the 1920s.
Michel Hazanavicius is back following his Oscar success with The Artist. This feature is an update on the 1948 Oscar winner by Fred Zimmerman, with a Chechen-set twist. About a foreign aid worker who looks to help a young boy find his mother in the aftermath of war, starring Bernice Bejo and Annette Bening, this is looking to be another interesting one in the Cannes line-up.
One of the two female directors with films In Competition
, Alice Rohrwacher, 33, has brought an Italian drama to Cannes. Starring Monica Belluci and Alba Rohrwacher, the director’s sister, the feature follows an isolated family fearful of the end of the world, only to have their lives interrupted by
a reality TV crew.
Still the Water
The other female entry comes from Cannes veteran and previous winner of the Grand Prix and Camera d’Or, Japan’s Naomi Kawase. Said to be inspired by a story from her grandmother’s youth, the story follows the young couple who go about solving the mystery behind a floating body.
Based on the Book of Job, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s latest film “gradually unwinds to a mythological scale concerning the human condition on earth entirely”. The sole Russian film in the running ends the competition, and will most likely leave its viewers having an existential crisis.
There are many more films at Cannes that deserve a spotlight. Keep an eye on the action and you might find there is a big surprise when the awards are handed out.