The Cannes 2014 Official Selection lineup has been announced, with a host of well-known film-makers returning with new projects, as well as a few first timers and as always, a surprise or two.
Cannes returnees such as Mike Leigh, David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, the Dardenne brothers, Andrei Zvyagintsev, Tommy Lee Jones, Zavier Dolan and Michel Hazanavicius are all back with new films. Compared to last year, this line-up of directors has a more Continental feel about it. While there are still American directors in competition, last year really felt like the year of the American story. I’m happy to see a little more variety in 2014, including new films from three very interesting and very different Canadian filmmakers.
In a slight improvement from 2012 and 2013, this year’s official competition features two female directors, Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase (Still the Water) and Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher (Le Meraviglie). New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion is the president of the year’s jury. Campion is the only female to win the Palm d’Or for 1993’s The Piano.
For a good analysis of this year’s offerings, I suggest checking out Variety .
Here are the 5 films that I am most excited about from the lineup.
Lost River – dir. Ryan Gosling. Gosling steps behind the camera for his directorial début Lost River which is playing in Un Certain Regard. The film which has been re-titled from How to Catch a Monster stars Eva Mendes, Christina Hendrix, Ben Mendohlson and Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith. The brief official synopsis is as follows: “A single mother is swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.” Well colour me very interested!
Foxcatcher – dir. Bennett Miller. The Moneyball director is back with a boxing film of sorts, this one an account of the murder of Olympic wrestling champion Dave Schultz. The screenplay is adapted from the book written by Schultz’s brother, Olympic wrestling gold medalist Mark Schultz. Dave Schultz is played by Mark Ruffalo, while Channing Tatumn plays brother Mark.
Goodbye to Language – dir. Jean-Luc Godard. The 83-year-old French director is back at Cannes with his 39th film, this one in 3D. Will Goddard be able to convince cinephiles that 3D is worthy of the eyeballs? I have no idea, but I am so intrigued to see this. It’s just the most unlikely combination!
Mommy – dir. Xavier Dolan. The 25 year-old (!!!!!!!!!!) is back at Cannes for the fourth time, this year for the first time in official competition. To be honest I don’t care what the film is about, I’ll watch anything that Dolan makes. We’re yet to see Tom at the Farm in Australia (it plays at the upcoming Sydney Film Festival), but that doesn’t mean I can’t get excited about his next offering. The synopsis for Mommy is as follows: “A widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor inserts herself into their household.”
Still in the Water – dir. Naomi Kawase. A Cannes returnee, the Japanese director has previously won the Grand Pix in 2007 and the Camera d’Or in 1997. This film centers around a couple who get caught up in a murder investigation on a small Japanese island.
Other films I’m interested in include: The Captive, La Meraviglie, The Rover, Eleanor Rigby and How To Train Your Dragon 2.
Full lineup after the jump.
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