Festival Preview: Cannes 2015

Carol – In Competition

Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in ‘Carol’

Oscar predictors are already putting their money on Carol and Cate Blanchett. A Cannes premiere and a fall release seems like the perfect scheme from the Weinstein Co. Blanchett and Rooney Mara play lovers in this period drama directed by Todd Haynes (Mildred PierceSix by Sondheim).

 Nie yin niang (The Assassin) – In Competition

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When Hollywood doesn’t abide, China and Taiwan step in and save the day. Nie Yin Niang is a martial arts epic that follows a female (!) protagonist who gets kidnapped by a nun and is trained to be an asskicking assassin. This is director Hou Hsiao-Hsien seventh film in competition, and his first feature film in eight years. The film stars Qi ShuChen Chang and Satoshi Tsumabuki.

Unimachi Diary (Our Little Sister) – In Competition

If the trailer is any indication Unimachi Diary is a sentimental story, presenting cliché moral dilemmas to its central characters. Three sisters invite their half-sister to their home after their father passes. But her presence is a lingering reminder of the fact that their father left them to be with another woman.  Director Kore-Eda Hirokazu lands his fourth nomination. In 2013 his Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son), which also deals with fatherhood, won the Jury Prize.

Macbeth – In Competition

Obviously the world needs another Macbeth adaptation. Two summers ago Kenneth Brannagh and Rob Ashford staged a production of the Scottish Play at the Manchester International Festival. The following summer it moved to New York, where it was warmly received by critics. Now, Brannagh is reportedly in talks with Martin Scorsese to helm a film adaptation of his action packed play.

Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in ‘Macbeth’

At the same time all of the above took place,  Justin Kurzel was busy directing his version of the Shakespeare play. Filming wrapped more than a year ago, so the wait  has been long. Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard (who was cast after Natalie Portman dropped out) give life to the Macbeths, arguably Shakespeare‘s most happily married couple. The film also stars David Thewlis as Duncan and Elizabeth Debicki as Lady Macduff.

In case this just isn’t enough Macbeth, actor Angus Macfadyen (Braveheart, Saw II) is filming his directorial debut right now. William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a modern interpretation of the play,  set entirely inside the confines of a limousine. The Bard’s Play meets Cosmopolis? 

On page three: Rachel Weisz, Mothers and Sons and even more Rachel Weisz

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