cannes 2014

If you live in a part of the U.S. that’s not New York or L.A., it’ll be awhile before most of the 2014 Cannes line-up screens anywhere nearby. Opener Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman, will probably be at the multiplex shortly but it just sort of looks like a coffee table book to me.

With that delay in mind, I’ve put together this list of movies I’m anticipating at this year’s festival, accompanied by work already available to sate the curious and/or impatient among you. Please let me know what I’ve left out.

Clouds of Sils Maria is director Olivier Assayas’s second collaboration with Juliette Binoche after 2008’s Summer Hours. His pace in the interim has been impressive, what with 2010’s breakneck 5+ hour Carlos and 2012’s Something in the Air. Both are worth your time and, as of this writing, streaming on Netflix.

Since Assayas wrote the lead character of Clouds with Binoche in mind, I’ll point out that next month she’ll add the newest iteration of Godzilla to her more than thirty years of interesting work. Netflix currently has last year’s brutal Camille Claudel 1915 as well as her work with Abbas Kiarostami (Certified Copy), Michael Haneke (Code Unknown, only slightly less great than Caché),  and David Cronenberg (blink and you’ll miss her in Cosmopolis).

Speaking of Cronenberg, he’ll return to the festival just two years after debuting that mind-bending DeLillo adaptation. Maps to the Stars is written by Bruce Wagner, who gets a story credit on the second Freddy Krueger sequel (I haven’t seen it but reviews are actually pretty good). In addition to Cosmopolis, Netflix also has 1999’s eXistenZ, a movie I liked at the time but suspect doesn’t compare with his early horror / sci-fi (The BroodScanners) and recent highlights (Eastern PromisesA Dangerous Method). Stars Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska previously worked together on The Kids Are All Right, also available on Netflix.

Mike Leigh, who won Best Director at the festival in 1993 for Naked (a personal favorite) and the Palme d’Or in 1996 for Secrets & Lies, is back with Mr. Turner, starring Timothy Spall (you know, Peter Pettigrew) as “painter of light” J. M. W. Turner. Sounds a bit like Leigh’s brilliant Topsy-Turvy (1999), well worth the 160-minute run-time and the 19th century opera. Netflix has 2008’s Happy-Go-Lucky, a decent place to start with Leigh if you don’t mind rampant optimism (coming as it is from Sally Hawkins, I do not).

Two Days, One Night, in which Marion Cotillard hilariously plays a normal person for the Dardenne brothers, targets a Palme d’Or threepeat for the Belgian duo after Rosetta (1999) and L’enfant (2005).  That award would certainly elevate them over the six other directors that have two Golden Palms but the Dardennes also picked up the Grand Prix in 2011 for the great The Kid with a Bike (available on Netflix).

They just happened to share that Grand Prix with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, back at Cannes this year with Winter Sleep. I can’t find any information about this new Turkish film but I dug that previous award-winner and I’m trying to find Three Monkeys, which won Ceylan Best Director at the 2008 festival.

Latin America’s sole competition film this year is Wild Tales by Argentine director Damián Szifron. Boasting a production credit from Pedro Almodóvar’s El Deseo, the movie stars Ricardo Darín (Oscar-winner The Secret in Their Eyes) and Darío Grandinetti (Talk to Her, sometimes my favorite movie) and looks insane.

Ken Loach won the Palme for The Wind That Shakes the Barley (featured on Netflix along with some others), the 2006 Irish war film that could have used some subtitles. I’ve only seen that and Tickets, which frankly had better contributions from Kiarostami and Ermanno Olmi, but maybe this one will be better than the trailer.

I don’t know anything about Alice Rohrwacher, whose The Marvel stars Monica Bellucci and debuts at Cannes, except that her 2011 film Corpo Celeste is currently available on Netflix.

Ditto Xavier Dolan: his new one is called Mommy and he has a few on Netflix.

And Abderrahmane Sissako: Timbuktu plays the festival and Bamako is on Netflix.

In the Un Certain Regard section, Jauja by Lisandro Alonso (whose Liverpool is on Netflix) stars Viggo Mortensen.




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