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Predicting The 2014 Cannes Film Festival Lineup: What Films Will Walk The Red Carpet With 'Grace Of Monaco'?

by The Playlist Staff
March 17, 2014 2:11 PM
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In a month or so the official selection for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival will be announced. Which means we’ve got about thirty days left of rampant speculation, debating and hypothesizing about which titles are going to make it into the Big Show this year. To get us all started, we’ve compiled a list of the titles we think are the strongest contenders to put in an appearance on the Croisette, whether In Competition (to be judged by a Jury presided over this year by Palme d'Or winner Jane Campion) or in one of the headache-inducing number of sidebars, after the glitzy gala premiere of “Grace of Monaco” kicks off proceedings in earnest on May 14th.

As ever, compiling this list has whetted our appetite for this year’s festival with a large number of films that cropped up on our Most Anticipated Films of the Year list looking like promising candidates. But as much as we’re thinking about the fiesta of filmmaking that will be on offer, we’re also wondering what this year’s controversies will be: Cannes can always be relied upon to yield something chatter-worthy in its lineup, whether it’s the near-absence, like female directors last year, or a perceived lack of balance as regards titles from certain regions or countries. So let’s dive right in and take a look at what very well may be unspooling for, shall we?

Clouds of Sils Maria” (dir. Olivier Assayas)
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Chloe Moretz, Kristen Stewart, Bruno Ganz, Daniel Bruhl, Brady Corbet and Johnny Flynn
As sure a bet as any on this list, Assayas has been In Competition in Cannes on three previous occasions, more recently screened “Carlos” and “Boarding Gate” there too, and served on the Jury in 2011. And with this starry international cast, headed by French acting royalty in the person of Binoche, who also initiated the project, along with an arch sounding, inside baseball premise (an aging grande dame actress is usurped by a younger model), the feted French director’s English-language debut seems a shoo-in not just for a slot, but for being one of the most anticipated films of the festival.

Birdman” (dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
Cast: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Zach Galafianakis
Given that three of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s four features to date premiered at Cannes (“21 Grams” was at Venice, while “Amores Perros” won the top prize at Critics’ Week sidebar on the Croisette, “Babel” got Best Director, and “Biutiful” took Best Actor), it would appear to be a no-brainer that his latest, a change-of-pace comedy about a superhero movie actor (Keaton) trying to reinvent his career on Broadway, would be headed to the South of France. The movie shot from March to June last year, so it should be perfectly timed to be completed in time for the festival, too. Will a shift into lighter territory finally bring Inarritu the top prize, or will the film turn out to be his “This Must Be The Place"? Update 4.14.14: Fox Searchlight has revealed that "Birdman" will not be coming to Cannes.

Maps to the Stars” (dir. David Cronenberg)
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams and Carrie Fisher (as 'Herself’)
At this stage David Cronenberg is close to Cannes royalty, having been in Competition four times, winning the Jury Prize in 1995 for “Crash,” and picking up a Lifetime Achievement award in 2006. Indeed his last film, “Cosmopolis” (his first team-up with star Robert Pattinson who returns here in a pretty amazing ensemble) made it onto the Croisette in 2012 and this one has an even more appealing premise: it’s a twisted Hollywood story following two former child stars and their run-ins with drugs, pyromania and a movie star haunted by her dead mother. We’d say a competition slot is very likely (and now slotted with a May 21 release date in France, this is a certainty)

Leviafan” (dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev)
Cast: Alexey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov
Having won the Golden Lion at Venice with his 2003 debut “The Return,” and winning Best Actor at Cannes with follow-up “The Banishment,” it was a little puzzling that the director’s third film, the excellent “Elena,” was relegated to Un Certain Regard in 2011. But given that it won the Special Jury Prize, and that most onlookers called it a better film than many in Competition, expect the Russian helmer to be back in the main lineup this time around. The film, a retelling of the story of Job centered around the conflict between a mechanic and the corrupt local mayor, is apparently more ambitious than its predecessor, and producers confirmed last month that they’re targeting a Cannes premiere, so this looks like a good bet.

The Homesman” (dir. Tommy Lee Jones)
CastTommy Lee JonesHilary Swank, Meryl Streep, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Hailee Steinfeld, William Fichtner, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, John Lithgow and David Dencik
Remarkably, Cannes is one of the few places that didn’t undervalue Tommy Lee Jones’ terrific directorial debut “Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada,” giving it a Competition berth and awarding Jones himself with the Best Actor award. This time out, this story of a claim jumper teaming up with a pioneer woman to transport three mentally unstable women from Nebraska to Iowa has such an insanely heavyweight cast that, assuming it’s ready (and it shot all the way back in May of 2013) we can safely assume it’s heading for the Croisette, and it seems likely to offer the kind of attention-grabbing roles to its principals that may well make it part of the awards conversation beyond Cannes too.

A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Its Existence” (dir. Roy Andersson)
Cast: Holger Andersson, Nisse Vestblom
For a certain crowd, there’s no Cannes potential more exciting than the return of unique Swedish master Roy Andersson: since his debut in 1970, the helmer’s only made four movies, and it’s seven years since his last, 2007’s “Yours, The Living.” Completing the trilogy that includes that film and 2000’s wonderful “Songs From The Second Floor,” his latest, described by the director as “enormous, deep and fantastic, humorous and tragic and philosophical,” has been in the works for a while now, but looks to be heading for the light of day, and Andersson’s website says it’s targeting a spring 2014 premiere. And given that his last two films were there, that would definitely seem to point to Cannes.

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  • Gossip blog | April 16, 2014 1:24 PMReply

    Indiewire making dumb stans to believe that the atrocious vampire actor, Pattinson is the lead. lmao. Want hits badly. Credibility going down the toilet obviously. He can't even sell his indies, they're all big flops. Pretty soon you wont be hearing about that piece of wood, that's for certain.

  • Emily | April 13, 2014 1:21 AMReply

    I would really love to see The Rover, love Guy Pearce who is such a versatile and brilliant actor and I really like David Michod's work. Robert Pattinson seems damn good in it too from what I've seen.

  • Lucas | March 21, 2014 10:33 AMReply

    I really wish Serena, with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, to appear. The book is incredible and I'm very curious to see the performace of Miss Lawrence.

  • The Fanciful Norwegian | March 19, 2014 3:04 AMReply

    Wang Xiaoshuai's THE INTRUDER wrapped in early November, so it should certainly be ready for the festival if they'll have it. Ann Hui's THE GOLDEN ERA (which is current set for a May release in China) seems likely as well.

  • GAStinks | March 18, 2014 2:02 PMReply

    Saw Jalil Lespert's "Yves Saint Laurent" as well and was underwhelmed so as fan of Bonello and huge fan of Seydoux,Garrel and Ulliel; I cannot wait for his version.Pierre Bergé is scum and has unfortunately influenced Lespert by providing him with material.It felt more like a Pierre Bergé movie instead on a movie on Saint Laurent.Bonello doesn't play that game that's why Bergé has tried so hard and so much to stop Bonello.Bonello's version will probably be darker and show the real Yves Saint Laurent and especially the kind of scum Pierre Bergé really is.I know the French public and critics liked Pierre Niney and Guillaume Gallienne but the French movie industry is waiting for Bonello's and so am I.

  • JuanL | March 18, 2014 11:02 AMReply

    Also, I don't think we can leave out the new movie from Andre Techine, either which is in post production and stars Deneuve and Canet. He was relegated to Director's Fortnight with "Les Impardonables", but should be back in main competition this time.

    And I wouldn't count out Atom Egoyan's "Captive". He hasn't been on his A game lately, so the film may not show up at all, but it could be included somewhere. Maybe out of competition.

  • JuanL | March 18, 2014 10:59 AMReply

    How about the new film from Kornél Mundruczó? "White God" is in post-production (per imdb) and Mundruczo has been in competition twice.

  • Mi | March 18, 2014 8:54 AMReply

    Thanks The Playlist for such informative article.Nice job.

  • Gustavo | March 17, 2014 6:56 PMReply

    The dismissive way you address Zinnemann's 1948 war docudrama is gross. I hope you haven't even seen it.

  • Carlos Andres | March 17, 2014 4:32 PMReply

    I think in "Ich und Kaminski" from director Wolfgang Becker (Good Bye Lenin! ) starring Daniel Brühl.

  • g | March 17, 2014 4:07 PMReply

    Andrzej Zulawski has a new film? More info please. Can't find that anywhere.

  • datums | March 17, 2014 8:44 PM

    Same. What are you guys talking about? I thought he'd retired.

  • Ishmael | March 17, 2014 3:47 PMReply

    Denys Arcand (The Barbarian Invasions, Jesus of Montreal, The Decline of the American Empire) is supposedly in the running with his first film in seven years, Deux nuits, which stars previous Cannes Best Actress winner, Marie-Josée Croze (The Barbarian Invasions).

  • Oogle monster | March 17, 2014 3:20 PMReply

    Hoping Guy Pearce has a meaty role in The Rover. HUGE fan of Animal Kingdom and Pearce is such an underrated actor- deserves all the Oscars in the world.

  • Jordan | April 11, 2014 5:30 PM

    If you can't tell from that pic that Guy Pearce is the one in charge, you need your eyes examined. Pearce is the lead, but Pattinson is co-starring. They team up to track down Pearce's stolen vehicle. I have to laugh at all the fanboys getting bent out of shape because Pattinson is having a successful career. They're going to be very unhappy over the next couple of years because he's working with Cumberbatch, Herzog, Dane DeHaan, and all their other favorites.

  • Just the facts | March 19, 2014 4:48 PM

    I saw Breath In too, and it sucked, big time. Pearce is a great actor, but even he couldn't make that film watchable. And he loved working with Pattinson in The Rover.

    “The best thing about Rob is that he is a really great actor. Watching the rushes back, you go: ‘OK, he is just going to be fantastic’. He plays (the character, Rey) slightly backward, emotionally useless and really vulnerable. He’s got this beautiful face so you are completely entranced by that face no matter how ugly he makes himself or how wounded he is, or how manky his haircut.” — GUY PEARCE (Actor, The Rover 2014)

  • JK1193 | March 19, 2014 4:16 PM

    Pearce rocks so much!!! How he didn't get nominated for Memento is still puzzling to me as well as so many other missed opportunities (L.A. Confidential, The Proposition, The King's Speech and Lawless) and Breathe In and The Rover definately look to be career best performances.

  • Declan | March 18, 2014 8:39 AM

    It's just click bait for the Twihards. Everyone knows Pearce is an immense actor and Pattinson just looks like foil to his leading character.

  • David | March 18, 2014 4:21 AM

    Whosit, Guy Pearce is the shit. Such a talented actor long neglected for some odd reason. Just look at his film history. So diverse. But the picture they used is distracting for a reason, and it's the one A24 are using. Since they have obviously seen the film, something is going on in that moment. But make no mistake, Pearce is deserving and then some.

  • Whosit | March 17, 2014 8:17 PM

    Love Guy Pearce! He is first billed in The Rover. I don't know why this site seems to have such a hard-on for Pattinson and puts his name first in every movie he's featured even though he's not the lead. And what's with the big distracting picture? Anyway, can't wait to see the movie. Just saw Pearce in 'Breathe In' - what a talent!

  • Diana | March 17, 2014 4:24 PM

    Actually, I tthink Guy Pearce has the lead role in The Rover, Robert Pattinson plays the 2nd lead. Scott McNairy is the villain. checkout the movie poster.

  • John | March 17, 2014 2:40 PMReply

    No Hong Sang-soo? He has a film ready since last fall and In Another Country was in competition in '12.

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