Our own delightful Caspar Salmon shall once again cover this year’s Cannes Film Festival (and make no mistake, despite my adoration I would knock that emmereffer off to go in his place [sorry Caspar!]). Come on now; a glorious seaside city, beautiful people and all the films I want to see…what else could
a jealous bitch an ambitious girl be expected to do? Okay, I could beg…
Oddly enough, of all these, I find the one starring a 76 year old who says nary a word the most intriguing.
1. The Great Gatsby
Directed and screenplay written (with Craig Pearce) by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet [Must I mention Australia?]), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire, Jason Clark, Gemma Ward and Isla Fisher. Based on the gorgeous F. Scott Fitzgerald novel (reread it!); wealth, woe, unrequitable love and tragedy… We love to stand on the outside, looking in.
2. Only God Forgives
Directed and written by Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Valhalla Rising, Bronson, Pusher), starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Burke, Vithaya Pansringarm and Yayaying. Gosling as Julien, a drug-smuggling expat living in Bangkok and running a Thai boxing club as a front. When Julien’s brother is murdered, his mother (Scott Thomas) demands he avenge the death. Winding Refn calls his own script “The strangest thing I’ve ever read…”
3. Inside Llewyn Davis
Directed and written by Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit, No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Raising Arizona), starring John Goodman, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac, F. Murray Abraham and Adam Driver. Set in Greenwich Village, an exploration of the 1960s folk music scene, loosely based on The Mayor of MacDougal Street. Isaac plays singer Llewin Davis; Mulligan his ex-girlfriend—now Timberlake’s wife. Timberlake collaborated with Marcus Mumford (Mulligan’s husband) on the soundtrack.
4. The Past (Le passé)
Directed and written by Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, About Elly, Beautiful City), starring Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, Ali Mosaffa and Pauline Burlet. Ahmad (Mosaffa) and Marie (Bejo), are a couple, separated four years, who reunite in Paris to finalize their divorce. Conflict between their daughter and his about to be ex-wife reveals a secret past to Ahmad.
5. All Is Lost
Directed and written by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call), starring Robert Redford. That’s right, the film stars only Robert Redford—a man lost at sea, fighting to survive. Making things even more interesting: the film has no dialogue. Color me completely intrigued.
6. The Immigrant (formerly The Nightingale and Lowlife)
Directed and Written (with Ric Menello) by James Gray (We Own the Night, Two Lovers, Little Odessa, The Yards), starring Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Renner and Dagmara Dominczyk. Cotillard plays Ewa, a woman who arrives at Ellis Island with her sick sister, Magda. While Magda is immediately quarantined, creepy/charming Bruno (Phoenix) convinces Ewa to join his burlesque (slash prostitution) club. Renner plays Orlando, a magician who may be able to help Ewa escape Bruno’s clutches and be reunited with her sister.
7. Behind the Candelabra
Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Side Effects, Magic Mike, Haywire, Oceans Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Traffic, The Limey, Out of Sight, Sex, Lies and Videotape), starring Michael, Douglas, Matt Damon, Rob Lowe, Dan Aykroyd, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Reiser and Scott Bakula. Based on Scott Thorson’s (Damon) autobiographical novel, the story of Liberace (Douglas) and his longtime lover. Lowe is Dr. Jack Startz, the plastic surgeon Liberace hired to make Thorson look like himself. The surgery left Thorson a drug addict and “…unable to completely close his eyelids, even while he was sleeping.”
Directed by Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways, Election, Citizen Ruth), starring Bruce Dern, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach and Will Forte. This deadpan comedy features a father and son (Dern and Forte) road trip to collect a Publisher’s Clearing House-type sweepstakes, waylaid in a “crappy town” where dear old dad has a few scores to settle. Shot in black and white.
9. Blood Ties
Directed and screenplay written (with James Gray) by Guillaume Canet (Little White Lies, Tell No One), starring Mila Kunis, Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Zoe Saldana, Billy Crudup, James Caan, Lili Taylor, Griffin Dunne and Noah Emmerich. Remake of Les liens du sang, based on the novel of the same name. Rival brothers Chris (Owen), who just got out of jail, and Frank (Crudup), a cop, face off. Kunis and Saldana play their respective lovers.
10. Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight
Directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen, Dirty Pretty Things, High Fidelity, The Grifters, My Beautiful Laundrette), starring Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella, Danny Glover, Benjamin Walker, Barry Levinson, Ed Begley Jr. and Muhammad Ali. The story behind the champion fighter’s battle with the United States government over his refusal to join the Army, conscientious objector status and the loss of his boxing license and title. Featuring archival footage of Ali, and Glover as Justice Thurgood Marshall and Langella as Chief Justice Warren Burger.