Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cannes Line-Up Announced

Everybody is covering the Cannes line-up. Here's a quick run down of some exciting or interesting inclusions, as well as, surprisingly, a reminder of a few films oddly left out. A couple of notable omissions lead to interesting questions.

Pan's Labyrinth is in. That's great news. An example of Guillermo Del Toro's haunted, personal, "smaller" moviemaking, I peg it as a safe bet for one of this year's best pictures.

Volver offers more spectral business, again in Spanish. Another "women's film" from Almodovar - always good - and again a film I'm placing a lot of personal stock in. Win or lose, who cares? It'll be great.

The Caiman is also in, of course. I had been expecting this to win the Palm d'Or, and... I guess I'd still go with that. Maybe. Nanni Moretti has long been a favourite of mine, but perhaps this film would have fared better before the jury had it not had most of it's topicality excised in the last month or so.

Babel is from Alejandro Gonzalez Innarritu, director of Amores Perros and 21 Grams. So I'm sure its not for me, then. Probably best if I don't say too much about it. I don't think it will be any good at all, let's just leave it at that, at least until I've seen it and can break out the humble pie/nine inch iron nails.

The movie from which I expect the least is Sofia Copolla's Marie Antoinette. I can honestly say that I found more beauty, honesty, sincerity and humanity in Lost in Translation than a whole six months of moviegoing would usually yield - but every last drop came from the performance of Bill Murray. Poor showings all round from everybody else, particularly Copolla herself. The Marie Antoinette trailer was juembarrassinging, too.

The remainder of the competition list looks like:

Fast Food Nation
Juventude em Marcha
L'Amico del Famiglia
La Raison Du Flus Faible
Lights in the Dusk
Quand jÂ’etais Chanteur
Red Road
Selon Charlie
Southland Tales
Summer Place
The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Out of competition, there's The Da Vinci Code, Over The Hedge, United 93, Election 2, Guisi, Shortbus, Transylvania and X-Men 3.

It seems peculiar to me that Scoop, Woody Allen's latest isn't screening, particularly as Match Point went down incredibly well at last year's festival. We can't blame the cancellation of his Paris project - just last week he was moving full steam ahead with it - but, maybe, perhaps, we can work it the other way round. Maybe Woody just bailed on his French-set production after being rejected at Cannes? Would he really show such discrimination? Of course not...

Many assumed that David Lynch's Inland Empire was a sure-fire competition contender, but it's certainly not in there, and rather conspicuously so. I reviewed a section of the film earlier this spring, and was left rather worried, to say the least.

While it may be the case that Lynch is yet to finish the film, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if we learn that it was submitted and rejected. Nonetheless, I'm going to persist in hoping that he's retooling the film, changing his approach, and throwing out everything that was causing issues in the scene I reviewed. I know that he isn't, that he's too iconoclastic, idiosyncratic and stubborn to have such a change of heart, but I just don't like the feeling of dread the film otherwise gives me.

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