Festival Preview: Cannes 2015

Louder Than Bombs – In Competition

Jesse Eisenberg and Devid Druid in Louder Than Bombs

Jesse Eisenberg and Devid Druid in ‘Louder Than Bombs’

This isn’t a The Smiths‘ album, but the newest film from Joachim Trier, the Norwegian director. His most recent film Oslo, 31. august was part of the Un Certain Regard line-up in 2011. This is another example of what seems to be a recurring theme this year: a European director, making his English language debut. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert.

The Sea of Trees – In Competition

Matthew McConaughey in The Sea of Trees

Matthew McConaughey in ‘The Sea of Trees’

Three years after Promised LandGus Van Sant brings us The Sea of Trees.  The original script was featured on the 2013 Blacklist and follows a suicidal American (Matthew McConaughey) and a Japanese man lost in a forest (Ken Watanabe). In this sea of trees the pair contemplate the meaning of life while trying to find their way back home. The film also stars Naomi Watts as McConaughey‘s wife.

Sicario – In competition

Emily Blunt in Sicario

Emily Blunt in ‘Sicario’

“Most of the time, at the last minute, they call you and say, ‘Sorry, we aren’t taking your movie.’ Then you cry. I’ve been through that process a few times.”

Not this time! Canadian director Denis Villeneuve got his first Palme d’Or nomination for Sicario, a crime drama starring Emily BluntBlunt plays Kate Macy a female FBI agent who works together with the CIA to bring down a Mexican cartel boss. Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro also star. Villeneuve recently chatted with The Guardian and revealed that his backers wanted Blunt‘s part rewritten for a man. 

“It isn’t easy to get a film made where the protagonist is a woman – there’s less money, people are afraid, and it’s really sad that it’s still like that today.”

Luckily, he and his first-time screenwriter, Taylor Sheridan, fought for their female protagonist. Will this role land Blunt‘s first Oscar nomination?

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Other films in competition include La Loi du Marché (The Measure of a Man) by Stéphane BrizéMichel Franco‘s Chronic starring Tarantino regular Tim Roth, the French-Chinese drama Shan he gu ren (Mountains may depart) from Jia Zhang-KeMaïwenn‘s Mon Roi and Valley of Love, starring Gerard Depardieu.

On page five: Anticipated, not nominated

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