Magazine article Screen International

Fremaux Faces A-List Deluge in Countdown to Cannes

Magazine article Screen International

Fremaux Faces A-List Deluge in Countdown to Cannes

Article excerpt

With April 14 set as the day when Cannes festival director Thierry Fremaux unveils his 2011 lineup, Fremaux and his programming team are screening a deluge of titles from A-list European directors which promises a vintage year on the Croisette.

At time of going to press, it appeared that Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In will bypass Cannes to appear at a festival closer to its Sept 2 Spanish opening date. The Spanish film-maker has never won the Palme d'Or and his last film Broken Embraces walked away empty-handed, although he is apparently reluctant to screen this film on the Croisette since the plot has a twist in its final act which he does not want public four months before opening.

Likewise Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmasters is set for release in mainland China at the end of the year and there are no plans to have the film ready for Cannes.At time of going to press, only a few titles seem assured of a slot in competition, led by Nanni Moretti's Habemus Papam which stars Michel Piccoli as a newly elected Pope who is crushed by the responsibility of the role. It opens in Italy through 01 Distribution on April 15.Also likely to see the light of day, finally, is Terrence Malick's The Tree Of Life [pictured] which was a hot tip for Cannes 2010. EuropaCorp opens the film in France on May 18, during the festival.Cannes-beloved auteurs sure to be ready are the Dardenne Brothers (The Kid With A Bike), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon A Time In Anatolia), Aki Kaurismaki (LeHavre) and of course Lars Von Trier with his latest opus Melancholia.Palme d'Or winner Gus Van Sant is also likely to be in competition with his Sony-backed love story Restless featuring rising star du jour Mia Wasikowska.In addition to Morretti, two other Italian films are ready and vying for competition slots - Emanuele Crialese's Terraferma, the auteur's first film since Golden Door in 2006, which explores the impact of immigration on a small island; and Paolo Sorrentino's English-language This Must Be The Place which teams the director with Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn. The two met when Penn was head of the Cannes jury and Sorrentino's Il Divo was in competition. The resulting collaboration is the story of an ageing rock star on the hunt for his father's Nazi executioner. The film shot in the US, Ireland and Italy.In such a bumper year for Italy, other high profile titles like Gianni Amelio's English-language The First Man starring Jacques Gamblin and Ermanno Olmi's TheCardboard Village starring Rutger Hauer look more likely for Venice premieres.From the UK, the year's key contender is Lynne Ramsay's We Need To Talk About Kevin [pictured], her long-awaited third feature based on the novel We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Tilda Swinton and John C Reilly star in the film which is generating terrific advance buzz.And Pawel Pawlikowski is back with his first film since My Summer Of Love. The Woman In The Fifth is an Anglo/French thriller set in Paris and starring Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas that has Cannes written all over it.From the US, rumour has a Cannes slot in the bag for Alexander Payne's latest The Descendants which features George Clooney as a man trying to reconnect with his two daughters. Payne was in competition with About Schmidt in 2002.Other US movies which could make their presence felt include Pixar's Cars 2 (US release date: June 24), Tom Hanks' Larry Crowne (US release date: July 1) and Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive (scheduled for US release on Sept 16).Meanwhile, Fremaux is fielding a bumper crop of French directors:Dominik Moll, whose previous films With Friends Like Harry and Lemming both had high profile Cannes slots, is back with the Franco-Spanish The Monk starring Vincent Cassel, Deborah Francois and Sergi Lopez which is an adaptation of the 1796 novel by Mathew Gregory Lewis about a monk undone by carnal temptation.Perennial Cannes favourite Robert Guedeguian returns with The Snows Of Kilimanjaro about a happily married middle aged couple whose lives are torn apart by an armed attack in which they are beaten, tied up and robbed. …

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