We are all creatures of habit, and the people heading Cannes Film Festival (and probably the most prestigious of them all) are not all that different, as evident from this year’s line-up, which includes many past winners. It’s also safe to say that the competition is more open this year, since the Festival’s favorite auteur of recent years, Michael Haneke (3 grand prizes in 11 years) is absent this time. Here are some choice repeat offenders, and a couple of hopefuls, we’ll be seeing this year:
The Australian director won a minor prize at Cannes in 1992 for the stylized romance Strictly Ballroom. More than 20 years later he returns with another film in the same vein, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
Sofia Coppola won a prize in 2006 for Marie Antoinette, a film based on a true story, which centered around a strong female presence and featured an abundance of style and fashion. Fast forward 7 years and Ms. Coppola returns with The Bling Ring, a film based on a true story, centered on a strong female presence which features an abundance of style and fashion.
A brooding Ryan Gosling as a criminal hero already brought Winding Refn the grand prize in 2011 with the rough, L.A set, neo noir Drive, so why not repeat parts of the formula, only this time set the action in Thailand? Hopefully, Only God Forgives will not follow in the footsteps of The Hangover Part II and will manage to replicate its predecessor.
With no less than three previous wins (Barton Fink, Fargo and The Man Who Wasn’t There) Ethan and Joel Coen are undoubtedly well liked on the French Riviera, so Inside Llewyn Davis, their gloomy musician’s life affair, will probably be warmly received.
Another multiple Cannes Winner (Stranger Than Paradise, Mystery Train, Broken Flowers and the short Coffee and Cigarettes III), Jarmusch returns to the festival with Only Lovers Left Alive, a film that looks like a diversion from his usual oeuvre, since it deals with vampires, but, come to think of it, he will most likely portray them like all his heroes, as quirky misfits.
It is fitting that Soderbergh, who won in 1989 with his debut Sex, Lies, and Videotape and helped usher in a new era of independent cinema, will screen Behind the Candelabra, his self-professed last film, in the same venue. Similarly to his first film, Soderbergh’s last one also deals with sexuality, although this time in a much flashier way.
Polanski has only one Cannes win, which came pretty late in his career, for the epic The Pianist. However, Venus in Fur, his entry for the competition this year, is a little more reminiscent of his latest film, Carnage, since it’s also based on a play and seems to have the same chamber drama qualities.
With Il Divo, his Cannes winner from 2008, becoming unexpectedly topical since its subject, former Italian head of state Giulio Andreotti, passed away last week, Sorrentino’s La grande bellezza may not enjoy the same success, as it brings a different, more personal, view of life in Rome.
Being in the competition three times (The Yards, We Own The Night and Two Lovers) and never winning, James Grey can only hope that fourth time is a charm. The fact that The Immigrant is a gloomy period piece certainly won’t hurt its chances.
Nominated only once, a decade ago, for Swimming Pool, French director Ozon should hope to benefit from a home court advantage (as some of his compatriots have in previous years), with Jeune et jolie, an episodic and contemplative tale of a young prostitute.
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Technorati Tags: Cannes Film Festival, Michael Haneke, Baz Luhrmann, Strictly Ballroom, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Sofia Coppola, Marie Antoinette, The Bling Ring, Nicolas Winding Refn, Ryan Gosling, Drive, Only God Forgives, The Hangover Part II, The Coen Brothers, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Inside Llewyn Davis, Jim Jarmusch, Stranger Than Paradise, Mystery Train, Broken Flowers, Coffee and Cigarettes III, Only Lovers Left Alive, Steven Soderbergh, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Behind the Candelabra, Roman Polanski, The Pianist, Carnage, Paolo Sorrentino, Il Divo, Giulio Andreotti, La grande bellezza, Rome, James Gray, The Yards, We Own The Night, Two Lovers, The Immigrant, François Ozon, Swimming Pool, Jeune et jolie
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