The Cannes Film Festival will screen nearly 100 films as part of its Official Selection and associated sidebars when it kicks off next week in the Southern France town. The festival runs from 13-24th May and there are plenty of exciting new movies to keep an eye out for as they premiere on Cannes’ infamous Croisette. To save you the hassle of having to research the whole programme, RT has helpfully chosen ten films we’re most excited to see. Join us as we take a journey through the Cannes Film Festival 2009, kicking off with our daily coverage on Wednesday.
Up – Early reaction to Pixar’s 10th film has us wondering if everyone’s favourite animation studio might have pulled another masterpiece out of its bag. Carl Fredricksen is an old man who ties thousands of balloons to his home so he can take a trip into the wilds of South America. It’s not long before he discovers Russell, an 8-year-old wilderness explorer, has tagged along for the ride. Cannes has a history celebrating animation – as recently as last year Kung Fu Panda took a spot in the official selection – but Up will become the first 3D feature to play as part of the festival.
Broken Embraces – Pedro Almodovar‘s first feature since 2006’s Volver sees him reteam with muse Penelope Cruz. Here, Almodóvar delves into noir style to tell a tale of a man (Lluis Homar) with dual identities who tries to compartmentalize his life after he loses his love (Cruz) and his sight in a car crash.
Taking Woodstock – Ang Lee is always a director whose work is worth a look and whose career has a rare diversity that ensures he scarcely repeats himself. Taking Woodstock stars Emile Hirsch, Liev Schreiber and Imelda Staunton and covers the beginnings of the infamous 1969 Woodstock Festival.
Looking for Eric – Director Ken Loach won the Palme d’Or in 2006 for The Wind That Shakes the Barley and he returns to Cannes to premiere his new film about Eric, a Manchester resident whose life may be falling apart around him even as his love for football endures. Featuring a cameo from Manchester United soccer legend, Eric Cantona, early indications put this amongst the shortlist of favourites for the coveted Palme d’Or this year.
Thirst – Park Chan-wook‘s previous films include Oldboy and Lady Vengeance, and Thirst promises to be just as excitingly original as the rest of his resume, with a new twist on vampirism. The film tells the tale of a priest who goes to Africa to volunteer as a test subject for a new vaccine and, when the experiment goes wrong, he’s killed and brought back to life as a vampire.
Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino‘s latest will unquestionably be the biggest event of the festival, and Tarantino’s history at Cannes will no doubt ensure a pretty lively party will welcome the premiere. Whether Tarantino’s wonderfully historically-inaccurate twist on life in Occupied France during WW2 will go down with the critics remains to be seen, but the film’s tale of a group of ultraviolent soldiers on the hunt for Nazi scalps will no doubt entertain audiences when it releases in August.
Antichrist – You can accuse Lars von Trier (Dogville) of plenty, but he’s certainly not guilty of subtlety. Traditionally controversial and suitably experimental, only two actors, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe, star in this supernatural thriller. They play a couple who attempt to grieve for their dead child by living in seclusion in the middle of a forest where they encounter pure evil.
Tetro – Tucked away in festival sidebar Director’s Fortnight – director Francis Ford Coppola turned down an Out of Competition slot in the main selection – Tetro stars Vincent Gallo in a tale deeply personal to Coppola. After a cool reaction to his last directorial effort, Youth Without Youth, all eyes are on this film to see if Coppola still has the talent that brought us films like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – As troubled as Terry Gilliam productions come, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus lost its main star halfway through filming when Heath Ledger died, but managed to come together with the help of Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law who all took on elements of Ledger’s role. Unquestionably one of the most anticipated screenings of the festival.
Drag Me to Hell – Colour us excited for Sam Raimi’s return to horror. Alison Lohman stars as a loan offer whose desire for promotion prompts her to decline a risky mortgage extension to a strange woman who puts a curse on her. How far will she go to break the curse? Typically scary and hilarious at turns, Drag Me To Hell gets a special late night screening at Cannes.
The Cannes Film Festival 2009 starts on Wednesday 13th May. Stay tuned to RT for more as the festival starts.