The finishing touches are now underway on the world famous Croisette and the Palais du Cinema in preparation for the 67th Cannes Film Festival, which opens tomorrow (14 April) with Nicole Kidman’s geographically apposite Grace Kelly biopic, Grace of Monaco. Co-starring Frank Langella, Robert Lindsay and Tim Roth, and directed by French director Olivier Dahan (best-known for 2007’s La Vie en Rose), the drama looks a far more spiky and assured affair than that other recent real-life princess picture we’re all desperately trying to forget. However, once the competition proper kicks off the day after, what else stands out in this year’s programme? Here, our regular Cannes correspondent John Bleasdale offers his picks from the four themes running through the festival. What are your highlights?
British master filmmakers Mike Leigh and Ken Loach will go head to head in this year’s Palme d’Or race, eschewing their more regular contemporary social realism for Irish drama Jimmy’s Hall and the Timothy Spall-starring J.M.W. Turner biopic Mr. Turner respectively (with Spall already favourite with the bookies for the Best Actor prize). Both acclaimed directors have had success in the past on the Cannes Croisette and also are hugely appreciated in Europe (more so than in their native British, so the festival’s organisers would have us believe) and they’ve also both proved themselves adept at handling the discipline of historical drama. It may end up being more Leigh and Loach than Leigh versus Loach, but it’s still great to see two of the UK’s finest directorial veterans flying the flag for our own industry.
While TLJ duking it out in the main competition, Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling (in attendance at Cannes last year with Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives) will be joining the ranks of thespians trying their hand behind the camera in the Un Certain Regard section. Previously known as How to Catch a Monster, Lost River is reportedly a dark fantasy starring Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes, Saoirse Ronan and Matt Smith. Also in the Un Certain Regard section is Italian actress Asia Argento (daughter of giallo director Dario), who returns with her third feature, the semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama Incompresa, starring indie darling Charlotte Gainsbourg. Finally, it wouldn’t be Cannes without Mathieu Amalric, who stars in and directs thriller The Blue Room (Le Chambre Bleu).
The 67th Cannes Film Festival takes place from 14-25 May 2014. For more Cannes coverage, simply follow this link.