Although the official lineup for the 2012 Cannes Film Festival (16-27 May) won’t actually be announced until 19 April, speculation has already begun about which films might screen at the world’s premiere new cinema showcase. First of all, we know that Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (2012) will open the festival. Starring Edward Norton and Bruce Willis alongside Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, the film looks like another entry into the quirky-verse of hyper smart kids, eccentric adults, precise framing and a wonderful soundtrack. We also know that Italian film director and former Palme d’Or winner Nanni Moretti will head up the jury.
Now for the speculation. An extremely likely candidate, both because of its French release date and its feted director, would be David Cronenberg’s 2012 effort Cosmopolis (for details, read our preview here), based on the novel by Don DeLillo. Another literary adaptation – but with a much longer gestation period – is Walter Sallis’ long-awaited big screen incarnation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, with a new trailer and poster campaign already online.
Cannes regulars Woody Allen, Ken Loach, Michael Haneke and Abbas Kiarostami all have films in the pipeline, and so it’s a fairly safe bet that at least a couple of them will grace the Croisette. Following on from his hugely successful cult classic Oldboy, which got its premiere at Cannes in 2004, it would also be fantastic to see Park Chan-wook back again with his first English language film Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Jacki Weaver and Matthew Goode.
Five years on from the scandalously under-rated The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), Andrew Dominik returns with the blandly titled Killing Them Softly, which could give the festival a major star in Brad Pitt and Dominik his Cannes debut. The Wettest County (now renamed as Lawless), a further collaboration from John Hillcoat and musician Nick Cave, also looks like it could earn the Aussie director his first Cannes entry – Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman star along with the ubiquitous Jessica Chastain.
Word of the new, as-yet untitled Terrence Malick film seems a tad optimistic (two years in a row – surely not), but last year’s winner has two films currently in post production and it would be just the kind of craziness that you often find in the enigmatic director’s projects. Another outsider would be Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master which, with an October release date, looks more likely to appear at Toronto or Venice.
A European Palme d’Or winner could also be on offer from Matteo Garrone, the young Italian director who injected some life into the Italian film scene with his brutal, yet brilliant Gomorrah (2008). His next film will be reality TV comedy Big House, whilst French stalwarts Alain Resnais and François Ozon both have new films available. For full confirmation of the final lineup however, we’ll just have to wait until 19 April.
For more info on the Cannes Film Festival 2012, visit festival-cannes.fr.