Cast: Gerard Depardieu, Jacqueline Bisset
Causing a certain amount of fuss in Cannes without unveiling more than a few minutes of footage was the latest from provocateur Abel Ferrera, a fictionalized version of the Dominique Strausse-Kahn scandal, starring French legend Gerard Depardieu. As you might expect from Ferrera, it looks like a sleazy exploration at the underbelly of politics, and seeing that the director has a long history at the festival ("The Funeral,' "New Rose Hotel" and his most recent picture "4.44 Last Day On Earth" all premiered there), this seems like a no-brainer. It did only start shooting in April, so it would be a fast turnaround, but that's not unheard of from Ferrera.
Our Sun-Hee (dir. Hong Sang-Soo)
Cast: Jung Jae-Young, Kim Sang-Jung, Lee Sun-Kyun, Jung Ju-Mi
The ever-prolific Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-Soo is best known for his association with the Cannes Film Festival, having featured there eight times altogether. But he's not entirely unfamiliar to other festivals, premiering "Nobody's Daughter Haewon" at Berlin earlier in the year, and "Oki's Story" at Venice back in 2010. He's got another in the can, "Our Sun-Hee," which didn't turn up on the Croisette; could he make his first in-competition appearance on the Lido instead?
Cast: Guillaume Fouix, Anne Le Ny, Jean-Claude Dreyfus
Breillat and Satouf weren't the only Gallic helmers to miss out on a Cannes presence. Sylvain Chomet, the man behind "The Triplets Of Belleville" and "The Illusionist," is making his live-action debut with this offbeat comedy-drama, but it didn't turn up at Cannes this year. Having wrapped in September, it may have been a question of readiness, but the extra few months make it a good bet for Venice.
"Jacky In Women's Kingdom" (dir. Riad Sattouf)
Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Michel Hazavanicius, Vincent Lacoste, Anemone
After the international success of "The Artist," all eyes are on anything with even a faint similarity to it, and the presence of that film's director Michel Hazavanicius in this curious-sounding picture could surely put it on any programmer's wishlist. Directed by Riad Sattouf, who won acclaim for his debut "The French Kissers," it's set in a world ruled by women. Serious gender study, or "Idiocracy"-style comedy? It's unclear at this point, but after it failed to appear at Cannes, this feels like a good bet for the Lido; it's the kind of movie that often ends up as the Closing Night film.
"A Los Ojos" (dir. Michel & Vicky Franco)
Cast: Monica Del Carmen
Mexican helmer Michel Franco landed on a lot of radars when "After Lucia" won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. Even before it was released, the austere helmer had teamed up with his documentarian sister Vicky for this docu-drama hybrid about a social worker in Mexico City. The film wrapped in 2012, and hasn't yet cropped up on the festival circuit, so Venice would seem to be a very good bet, with Franco perhaps making his main Competition debut.
"Quai D'Orsay" (dir. Bertrand Tavernier)
Cast: Thierry Lhermitte, Niels Arestrup, Anais Demoustier, Julie Gayet
Bertrand Tavernier has been rather hit or miss recently, but his latest, a graphic novel adaptation taking a look at the run-up to the Iraq war through the eyes of French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, sounds promising. Tavernier isn't much of a Venice mainstay, but one of his best films, "Round Midnight," premiered there in 1986, and having missed the boat at Cannes, it would make sense for the film to bow on the Lido, unless it's heading to Berlin instead (it's due for a December release in France, which doesn't rule that out, given that festival's more flexible stance on world premieres.