Yes, the Cannes Film Festival has dominated our minds today, and why not? It's the biggest thing on the calendar in the cinematic year, and this year's lineup is pretty spectacular, with lots of surprises (and a few omissions) but two movies high on our must-watch list are James Gray's newly titled "The Immigrant" and Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives."
First up, Fandor has a new look at the Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix, the two leads in the picture formerly known as "Lowlife" and "Nightingale." The story chronicles the journey of a Polish immigrant (Cotillard) who becomes caught in a triangle between a cabaret owner/pimp (Phoenix) and a magician who wants to save her (Jeremy Renner). Those three actors, the material and Gray are the five reasons we want to see this, that and the fact that the filmmaker has proven to be remarkably adept at capturing complex character relationships even when in the guise of thrillers, cop dramas or romantic dramas. And we're eager to see what he does with this setting. No release date yet for this one from The Weinstein Company.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Winding Refn returns to Cannes where he won Best Director for "Drive," with the neon-lit "Only God Forgives." It involves Ryan Gosling, vengenace and lots of people getting stabbed and punched and shot and dragged across the floor. The trailers -- including the two new ones -- are heavily, heavily stylized, to the point where some among us at The Playlist are cautiously wondering if Refn pushed it too far. Others are right on board. And you can see for yourself when it opens on July 19th.