lenty of Americans at the Cannes film festival this year. There are plenty of new and returning directors, too, with a hefty chunk of stars and even heavier choices for subject matter. It’s the most exciting lineup the prestigious festival has had in years. Also, two Filipino films are included in the Un Certain Regard section of the programme: Lav Diaz’s Norte, Ang Hangganan ng Kasaysayan and Adolfo Alix Jr.’s Death March.
And three more are in the Cannes Short Film Corner Derrick Cabrido’s “Mga Engkantong Laog sa Mahabang Dapithapon,” Aiess Alonso’s “Katapusang Labok,” and Carlo Francisco Manatad’s “Oasis Redux.”
Here’s what we think are the most awaited films of the 66th edition of the festival on May 15 to 26.
8 As I Lay Dying by James Franco
USA | 120 min
Un Certain Regard
Like a true demigod, Franco wrote, directed and acted in his adaptation of the William Faulkner classic. This is the actor/writer/director’s Cannes debut. We can’t wait to get a glimpse of what he’s done with the adaptation but it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit more for the trailer.
The Bling Ring by Sofia Coppola
USA | 95 min
Un Certain Regard
Sofia Coppola’s fifth film features Emma Watson in her first mature role as the leader of a group of teenagers who rob houses of the rich and famous. The Bling Ring is based on actual events.
But more than a tattooed, gum-chewing, skimpy-clothes-wearing Emma Watson, Coppola is one of Hollywood’s and the international film circuit’s most successful and record-breaking directors. She was the first female American director to be nominated for best director in the Academy Awards for her film Lost in Translation in 2003 and was the first woman to win Venice International Film Festival’s highest prize, the Golden Lion, for Somewhere in 2010.
Inside Llewyn Davis by Ethan and Joel Coen
USA | 105 min
The Coen brothers’ seventh Cannes Main Competition entry is set in 1960s New York. It follows the life of a singer-songwriter while he explores New York’s folk music scene. festival.
Inside Llewyn Davis follows 2007’s No Country for Old Men in the brothers’ long history with the. The film stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake(!).
Jeune et Jolie (Young and Beautiful) by François Ozon
France | 90 min
In true Ozon fashion, Jeune et Jolie documents the life in a year of a 17-year-old girl comes of age, sexually. The teaser is not subtitled but enjoyable nonetheless. The film adds a retro erotic feel to the lineup.
Wara No Tate (Shield of Straw) by Takashi Miike
Japan | 125 min
Some people see the world with rose-tinted glasses, while some, like Miike, see the beauty from the dark and gritty corners of their minds. Wara No Tate is based on a novel of the same title by Kazuhiro Kiuchi.
With a theme that’s typically Miike, the thriller involves a huge amount of reward money that was publicly offered by a powerful politician. A bounty for whoever kills the killer of his daughter.
Wara No Tate is Miike’s second Palmeeee d’Or-competing after Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai in 2011.
Only God Forgives by Nicholas Winding Refn
France/Denmark | 90 min
AND YES, another Nicholas Refn-Ryan Gosling collaboration. It’s pretty much a fact that everyone who’s seen Drive and loved it cannot wait to see this new Refn-directed Ryan Gosling film.
Shot in Thailand (oh Ryan Gosling, so close), Only God Forgives is Refn’s second appearance in the Cannes competition lineup after—guess what—Drive in 2011 for which he received the best director award.
So we have Ryan Gosling, Nicholas Winding Refn and that Best Director award—why would anyone not want to watch this?
La Venus a la Fourrure (Venus in Fur) by Roman Polanski
France | 90 min
While he’s quite prolific, Polanski hasn’t been back in Cannes since he won the Palmeeee d’Or for The Pianist in 2002. This year he returns directing his wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, in the screen adaptation of La Venus a la Fourrure.
Behind the Candelabra by Steven Soderbergh
USA | 118 min
Behind the Candelabra is Soderbergh’s depiction of the life of pianist Liberace (Michael Douglas) based on the autobiographical novel written by his lover Scott Thorston (Matt Damon). The film was originally intended to be released directly on HBO but many speculated its inclusion in the Cannes lineup especially after the news of Soderbergh’s retirement came out.
So, for now and hopefully not in the future, Behind the Candelabra, premiering in Cannes and then on HBO immediately after, is effectively the final film in the long and illustrious career of 50-year-old director Steven Soderbergh.
Soderbergh won the Palmeeee d’Or in the 1989 edition of the festival for his debut film Sex, Lies and Videotape.