Sophia Coppola, Yorgos Lanthimos, Noah Baumbach, ‘Twin Peaks,’ and more…
The official lineup for the 70th Cannes Film Festival, which will run from May 18–28, was announced April 13. While a few more screenings will undoubtably be added as we creep nearer to the festival, the selections announced feature a lot worth getting excited over — including, for the first time, two television shows (Twin Peaks and Top of the Lake) and a virtual reality film (Carne y Arena). Also, considering that The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Beguiled are both in the main competition, there is, assuming equal probability, an 11.1% chance that a film starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell will take home the top prize. Considering
This year, the festival jury will be headed by acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, with French actress Sandrine Kiberlain presiding over the Camera d’Or jury and Romanian director Cristian Mungiu overseeing the short and student film juries.
Without further ado, here’s a closer look at twelve of the 49 announced titles:
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone, and Barry Keoghan
About: A successful surgeon (Farrell) bonds with a teenager of questionable repute. Consequences ensue.
When Can We See It?: IMDb says 2017, so hopefully by the end of this year.
Director: Michael Haneke
Starring: Isabelle Huppert
What It’s About: A “portrait” of a bourgeois family in Calais with the European refugee crisis as a backdrop. [Note: if you think there will be a “Happy End” to this story, you’ve never seen a Haneke film.]
Reasons to be Excited: Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke is arguably one of the festival’s favorite people. His last two films, The White Ribbon (2009) and Amour (2012), not only both premiered at Cannes but took home the Palme d’Or. And Isabelle Huppert is, of course, always a reason to be excited.
When Can We See It?: TBD.
Top of the Lake: China Girl
Directors: Jane Campion and Ariel Kleiman
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Nicole Kidman, and Gwendolyn Christie
About: Detective Robin Griffin (Moss) is back, this time investigating the murder of an Asian girl whose body washes up on Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
When Can We See It?: Sundance TV still hasn’t given a release date for season 2, but it will be this year.
Director: Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen
About: US Fish and Wildlife agent Lambert (Renner) finds the brutally raped and murdered body of an eighteen-year-old girl on a Native American reservation, and proceeds to investigate with the help of FBI agent Banner (Olsen).
Reasons to be Excited: Wind River is considered Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut (we’re all pretending 2011’s Vile didn’t happen, I guess), and after garnering screenwriting acclaim with Sicario and Hell or High Water, hopes were high when the film premiered at Sundance earlier this year. Reviews were generally decent, but not overly enthusiastic, dampening the buzz. But still, if nothing else, a new film score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis is always something to look forward to.
When Can We See It? August 4, in theaters.
You Were Never Really Here
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix
What It’s About: “A war veteran’s attempt to save a young girl from a sex trafficking ring goes horribly wrong.” Adapted from the well-received novella of the same name by Jonathan Ames.
Reasons to be Excited: It’s been six years since Ramsay’s last feature film, We Need To Talk About Kevin, and it’s looking like You Were Never Really Here has the potential to be just as good. Ramsay has demonstrated she’s more than capable of adapting novels dealing with graphic and controversial subject matter for the screen, and Joaquin Phoenix can definitely pull off mentally unhinged crusader type.
When Can We See It?: Unknown, but Amazon Studios has the rights, so hopefully sooner (i.e. this year) rather than later.
Director: Todd Haynes
Starring: Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Oakes Fegley, and Millicent Simmonds
About: A girl in the 1920s sneaks away from home to see her idol while a boy in the 1970s runs away from home following the death of his mother. Adapted from the illustrated novel of the same name by Brian Selznick.
When Can We See It?: Some time later this year.
Director: Agnès Varda and JR
Starring: A documentary collaboration with French street artist JR, it sounds like both will feature heavily in the film as well.
Synopsis: According to Varda in an interview: “We went to the countryside and met people in villages. The title in French is: Visage Villages. We met people, listened to them, and I took photos of them, and he enlarged them and made huge images out of them.”
Reasons to be Excited: It sounds like it has the potential to be something along the lines of the brilliance that is Exit Through the Gift Shop, but perhaps with just a little more hope for humanity. Also, Varda is a living legend, and unlike some living legends who are mostly living off their legends at this point, her newer work — the most recent being the autobiographical documentary The Beaches of Agnès (2008) — demonstrates that she has very much still got it.
When Can We See It?: There doesn’t seem to be a US distributor yet, so unknown.
Director: Sophia Coppola
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning
What It’s About: The trailer below should give you a pretty good idea. If it looks or sounds weirdly familiar to you, you’ve probably either read the book or watched the 1971 film adaptation starring Clint Eastwood.
Reasons to be Excited: It’s an intriguing story, and Coppola’s brought together a great cast. However, even though Coppola argues that she’s shifting the focus more towards the dynamics among the female characters and away from the soldier, considering how, from the trailer, the dynamics themselves seem remarkably consistent (the Freud is strong with this one), it seems like it leans somewhat towards the more unnecessary side of the remakes scale. After all, the failure of Don Siegel’s 1971 version is generally regarded to not have been a fault of the films so much as abysmal mis-marketing. Still, it definitely looks like it could be an atmospheric, engaging film, if also a slightly repetitive one.
When Can We See It? In theaters June 23.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Directors: Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk
Starring: Al Gore and Climate Change
About: All the stuff that’s happened since the first one.
Reasons to be Excited: As a science nerd and person who enjoys living on earth and breathing non-toxic air, I am all for trying to get more science and tech non-fiction into the mainstream.
When Can We See It? In theaters July 28.
Director: David Lynch
Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, and literally a hundred other people ranging from Tim Roth to Amanda Seyfried.
About: The most descriptive statement I could find comes from Showtime president/CEO David Nevins, who said back in January of the revival that, “the core of it is Agent Cooper’s odyssey back to Twin Peaks.”
Reasons to be Excited: If you were not aware that Twin Peaks is kind of a big deal, you’ve either been living under a rock or in a coma since 1989 and only just woke up. In that aforementioned interview Nevins also claimed that this new series is “the ‘pure heroin’ version of David Lynch” — which, depending on your opinion of Lynch, is either great or terrible news. Even for those who aren’t fans of Lynch, seeing how this revival fares, both critically and commercially, will be interesting to watch.
When Can We See It? Episodes 1 and 2 will premiere May 21 on Showtime. Episodes 3 and 4 will then be made available on Showtime’s digital platform, but otherwise the episodes will premiere the old-fashioned way, because David Lynch “believes in weekly TV.”
The Meyerowitz Stories
Director: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman
About: Estranged adult siblings deal with the impact their father has had on their lives.
Reasons to be Excited: Baumbach has established his niche as Woody Allen lite — i.e., comparable sense of humor and aesthetic, no stepdaughter-wife or noticeable fascination with pairing barely legal actresses with middle-aged men — and all signs point that he seems pretty comfortable there and intends to stay. There is probably only one way in which Lynch and Baumbach’s new projects are comparable and that is that if you like their old work, odds are in favor these will also be up your alley. If you don’t, it looks unlikely that you’ll be won over.
When Can We See It?: Netflix has acquired global rights, so later this year.
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Starring: Ahn Seo-hyun, Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, and Lily Collins
About: A young girl (Ahn) fights to keep a powerful company from taking away her best friend, a giant creature named Okja.
Reasons to be Excited: To be perfectly honest, the trailer did not wow me. In fact, I was singularly unimpressed — “I took nature and science, and I synthesized,” seriously? — but Bong Joon Ho gave us Snowpiercer, and for that I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Plus, he’s lined up a pretty stellar cast.
When Can We See It? June 28 on Netflix.
Full Cannes Lineup:
Opening Night Film
Ismael’s Ghost, Arnaud Desplechin
The Day After, Hong Sangsoo
Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev
Good Time, Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie
You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay
Jupiter’s Moon, Kornél Mandruczo
L’amant Double, François Ozon
The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Yorgos Lanthimos
A Gentle Creature, Sergei Loznitsa
Radiance, directed by Naomi Kawase
Wonderstruck, Todd Haynes
Happy End, Michael Haneke
In the Fade, Fatih Akin
Rodin, Jacques Doillon
The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola
Le Redoutable, Michel Hazanavicius
Okja, Bong Joon-ho
120 Battements Par Minute, Robin Campillo
The Meyerowitz Stories, Noah Baumbach
Un Certain Regard
April’s Daughter, Michel Franco
Lucky, Sergio Castellitto
Jeune Femme, Léonor Serraille
Western, Valeska Grisebach
Wind River, Taylor Sheridan
Directions, Stephan Komandarev
After the War, Annarita Zambrano
Dregs, Mohammad Rasoulof
Out, György Kristóf
The Nature of Time, Karim Moussaoui
Before We Vanish, Kurosawa Kiyoshi
L’atelier, Laurent Cantet
Beauty and the Dogs, Kaouther Ben Hania
Barbara, Mathieu Amalric
Closeness, Kantemir Balagov
The Desert Bride, Cecilia Atan and Valeria Pivato
Out of Competition
Blade of the Immortal, Takashi Miike
How to Talk to Girls at Parties, John Cameron Mitchell
Visages, Villages, Agnès Varda
12 Jours, Raymond Depardon
They, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh
An Inconvenient Sequel, Ronni Cohen and Jon Shenk
Top of the Lake: China Girl, directed by Jane Campion & Ariel Kleiman
Promised Land, Eugene Jarecki
24 Frames, Abbas Kiarostami
Napalm, Claude Lanzmann
Come Swim, Kristen Stewart
Demons in Paradise, Jude Ratman
Sea Sorrow, Vanessa Redgrave
Clair’s Camera, Hong Sangsoo
Twin Peaks, David Lynch
The Villainess, Jung Byung Gil
The Merciless, Byun Sung-Hyun
Prayer Before Dawn, Jean Stephane Sauvaire
Virtual Reality Film
Carne y Arena (Flesh and Sand), Alejandro G Inarritu