First up, Roger Freidman has penned a brief piece for Forbes more or less confirming what we assumed all along: Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" won't be ready in time. It seemed like wishful thinking at best, and while the recently announced October release date piqued some hopes we might get an early look, it doesn't seem to be case. Friedman also suggests what we had said a couple of months ago: sorry Batnerds, no "The Dark Knight Rises" won't be flying to the south of France. The same rumors were kicked around for "Inception" a couple of years ago, and simply put, even though Christopher Nolan recently showed a rough cut to Warner Bros., the franchise is valued on its secrecy and there is no way in hell they are showing this two months early. Not gonna happen.
So what might be in the mix now? Well, one title that seems to be gaining steam and Friedman continues the buzz is Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy." The adaptation of Pete Dexter's crime novel reportedly boasts a "stunning" performance from Nicole Kidman and it also has stars the red carpet likes in the form of Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack, Zac Efron and more. And speaking of Wooderson, Jeff Nichols' "Mud" is also being bandied about as a possibility, and it sees the director graduate from the Critic's Week sidebar where he showed "Take Shelter" last year, to an official Cannes slot. Meanwhile, The Weinstein Company still have two in the mix with "Killing Them Softly" (aka "Cogan's Trade") and "Lawless" (aka "The Wettest County" -- though this one has been tipped for Venice). Though our money is them taking their recent acqusition "Populaire" to the fest instead and trying to duplicate the same buzz they got for "The Artist."
Meanwhile, Cineuropa has essentially recapped every movie that has been mentioned in the past four or five months, though not without some wild claims. According to them, James Gray has "sped up editing" on "Low Life" so he can submit the picture in time, which makes zero sense. We just spoke to him, and he had only started last week and said he was looking at fifteen weeks to get it in the can and a premiere in the fall festival circuit was the best bet (though he added, he doesn't really make goals to meet film festivals). Simply put, he's not turning this movie around in three or four months (it only started shooting in February).
So, all this to say: nobody knows anything until the official lineup is unveiled on April 19th. And just to recap, the strongest possibilities so far still include David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis," Walter Salles' "On the Road," Jacques Audiard's "Rust & Bone," Terrence Malick's "The Burial"/"The Funeral," Abbas Kiarostami's "Like Someone In Love" and Xavier Dolan's "Lawrence Anyways."