French debut feature Party Girl, written and directed by the trio of Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis, has been selected as the opening night movie for the Cannes Film Festival‘s Un Certain Regard …
After a fun opening night living vicariously through Woody Allen’s Paris, the Cannes official competition and sales market really got down to business Thursday. And how’s this for a good time? The fest started the competitive entries with a double bill of downer flicks directed by two very smart women. Unfortunately, only one of them worked.
First up was the dreadful Sleeping Beauty, an Australian drama revolving around a girl, played by Emily Browning, who subjects herself to such degrading inhuman sexual acts we can’t even go into it here. As she is induced into a coma-like state a number of eighty-something men have their way with her. Fun, huh? The really stunning thing is that rare Palme D’Or winning woman, Jane Campion (The Piano), is lending her name to this dreary exercise from first-timer Julia Leigh.
It could only go up from there and it did — waaaaay up — at the 8:30 AM Thursday morning press screening for Lynne Ramsey’s extraordinary We Need To Talk About Kevin, starring the ever-remarkable Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly as parents dealing with tragic circumstances caused by their out-of-control son. It is a most impressive acting and directorial feat that gives the festival its first genuine awards contender, and if it can secure domestic distribution (may distribs such as Sony Pictures Classics and Lionsgate were seen entering the early AM screening), the Oscar-winning Swinton could once again find herself in the Academy race next year and definitely for a prize here on May 22.
Jodie Foster’s The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson, is the surprise inclusion in this year’s list of major films playing in Cannes, announced this morning in Paris. As expected, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life will play In Competition, vying with other festival-favorite directors including Pedro Almodovar, Aki Kaurismaki, Takashi Miike, Nanni Moretti, Lynne Ramsay, Nicolas Winding Refn and Lars von Trier. Malick’s Days Of Heaven played In Competition in Cannes in 1979, winning best director. This year’s list promises a much livelier event than last year’s, which left critics bored with the selection. And you can expect plenty of star wattage at next month’s festival –- something lacking last year – assuming, that is, all the stars show up: Brad Pitt (The Tree of Life); Sean Penn (This Must Be the Place); Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Keith Richards (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides); Ryan Gosling (Drive); Antonio Banderas (The Skin I Live In); and Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin). But perhaps Carla Bruni, the ex-supermodel wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, will upstage them all as she shreds flashbulbs on the Palais red carpet for Woody’s latest, the opening-night film Midnight In Paris.
Midnight In Paris, dir. Woody Allen (Out of Competition)
The Skin I Live In, dir. Pedro Almodovar
House of Tolerance (L’apollonide – Souvenirs de la maison close), dir. Bertrand Bonello
Pater, dir. Alain Cavalier
Footnote, dir. Joseph Cedarhttp
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu ), dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan
The Kid With A Bike (Le Gamin Au Velo), dirs. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Le Havre, dir. Aki Kaurismaki
Hanezu No Tsuki, dir. Naomi Kawase
Sleeping Beauty, dir. Julia Leigh
Poliss, dir. Maiwenn
The Tree of Life, dir. Terrence Malick
La Source des Femmes, dir. Radu Mihaileanu
Hara-kiri: Death Of A Samurai, dir. Takashi Miike
We Have a Pope (Habemus Papum), dir. Nanni Moretti
We Need to Talk About Kevin, dir. Lynne Ramsay
Michael, dir. Markus Schleinzer
This Must Be The Place, dir. Paolo Sorrentino
Melancholia, dir. Lars Von Trier
Drive, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn
The Serbian film-maker Emir Kusturica will be president of the Un Certain Regard jury at the 64th Festival de Cannes, from 11th to 22nd May 2011.
Every year, Un Certain Regard, at the very heart of Official Selection, alongside the Competition, presents around twenty films characterised by the originality of