Only two weeks to go, and still all to play for
by Fabien Lemercier
05/04/2012 - Suspense is set to last right up to the press conference on April 19 when Thierry Frémaux finally reveals the official selection list for the 65th Cannes Film Festival (from May 16 to 27). As usual Paris is rife with rumours about who will make it, but some things are certain. Several films by “big fish” have not been seen yet, and many who have already shown their film are eagerly awaiting news. It all maks for surprising announcements.
Beyond the certainty of Moonrise Kingdom by American director Wes Anderson, to open the festival, and Madagascar 3 to be screened out of competition, the strongest probabilities point to a competition between Amour by Austrian director Michael Haneke, Cosmopolis by Canadian director David Cronenberg, On the Road by Brasilian director Walter Salles, Rust & Bone by French director Jacques Audiard, and probably Angel's Share by English director Ken Loach.
Among the other possibilities are Beyond the Hills by the Roumanian Cristian Mungiu, Elefante blanco by the Argentinian Pablo Trapero, Post Tenebras Lux by the Mexican Carlos Reygadas, and Big House by the Italian Matteo Garrone, as well as Laurence Anyways by the Canadian Xavier Dolan, Loving Without Reason by the Belgian Joachim Lafosse.
As for American films among the official selection, who knows? James Gray is supposed to have sped up editing on Low Life to be able to submit it on time, The Burial by Terrence Malick is supposed to be ready, Mud by Jeff Nichols is increasingly popular among predictions, while Killing Them Softly by Andrew Dominik is more hesitantly put forward. Other candidates include Place Beyond the Pines by Derek Cianfrance and The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson. Out of competition, all cinema-lovers hope that Ridley Scott’s Prometheus will make it to the Croisette.
Predictions are even more hazy for films from Asia. Stocker by the Korean Park Chan-wook is definitely one of the most often mentioned film, along with Like Someone in Love by the Iranian Abbas Kiarostami (which apparently has not yet been viewed). In Another Country by Hong Sang-soo could make it, and we will soon see if the buzz around The Land of Hope by the Japanese Sono Sion is supported by a selection.
Apart from Jacques Audiard, the most serious French contenders for the competition include Le grand soir by the duo Benoît Delépine - Gustave Kervern, In the House by François Ozon, Foxfire by Laurent Cantet, and Après mai by Olivier Assayas. Vous n’avez encore rien vu by Alain Resnais will probably be screened out of competition.
Other contenders for a place in the official selection include, but are not limited to, In The Fog by the Ukrainian Sergei Loznitsa, Paradise by the Austrian Ulrich Seidl, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan by the American Roman Coppola, No by the Chilean Pablo Larrain, Holly Motors by Frenchman Leos Carax, The We and the I by his fellow-countryman Michel Gondry, Pierre de patience by the Franco-Afghan Atiq Rahimi, After the Battle by the Egyptian Yousry Nasrallah, and Journal de France by Raymond Depardon and Claudine Nougaret.
According to our information, the Swiss film Opération Libertad by Nicolas Wladimoff could make it to the Directors’ Fortnight. Berberian Sound Studio by British director Peter Strickland also stands a good chance at making it to Cannes, as do The Deep by Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur, The Hijacking by Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm, and La Pirogue by the Senegalese Moussa Touré.
In the race are also, among others, German-Australian-Scottish co-production Lore by Cate Shortland, the American winner at Sundance Beasts of Southern Wild by Benh Zeitlin, An Estonian in Paris by Ilmar Raag,Les Adorés by French director Hélène Fillières, the animation film Ernest & Celestine by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, and Benjamin Renner, J’enrage de son absence by Sandrine Bonnaire, and Confession of a Child of the Century by Sylvie Verheyde. Also being bandied around are the names of the Portuguese Manoel de Oliveira (Gebo et L'ombre), the Spaniards Jaime Rosales (Rêve et silence) and Albert Serra (Historia de la meva mort), the Belgian Felix von Groeningen (The Breakdown Circle and the Cover-Ups of Alabama), and the Russians Aleksei German (The Chronicle of the Arkanar Massacre) and Ilya Khrzhanovsky (Dau).
And for those who like riddles, there is also talk of a Bulgarian first feature and a Belgian first feature at the Critics’ Week (Semaine Internationale de la Critique), a Korean animation film at the Directors’ Fortnight, and a Colombian film somewhere. In short, all is still to play for in the fascinating build-up to Cannes 2012. Only those on the selection committee can see all the playing cards in hand in a game that is not over yet.
The press conference to announce the official selection for Cannes 2012 will be held on April 19, the selection for the Critics’ Week will be revealed on April 23, and the selection for the Directors’ Fortnight will be revealed the next day, on April 24.
(Translated from French)