354559Preview: 2015 Cannes Film Festival – Films In Competition

There are many notable films competing at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival this year. While films like Pixar’s “Inside Out,” Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man,” and George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” are screened outside of competition, the film’s below will be competing to a very diverse jury.

Directors Joel and Ethan Coen will be the presidents of this years Feature Film jury which consists of actors Rossy de Palma, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Jake Gyllenhaal, directors Guillermo del Toro, Xavier Dolan, and composer/singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré.

The list of all the films premiering In/Out of competition and in the Un Certain Regard group can be found here. We will also grade each film’s chance to win the top prize – the Palme d’Or.

Expand this article to see bio’s for all In Competition films:
49ae49a23f67c759bf4fc791ba842aa2-1428999578Dheepan (Temporary Title), French
Dir. Jacques Audiard

The story of a warrior who flees to France and ends up working as a caretaker outside of Paris.

Not much is known about this film except that it comes from the director of 2009’s “A Prophet.” For that film, Jacques Audiard won the BAFTA award for “Best Film Not in an English Language.” He also directed the recent Marion Cotillard film “Rust and Bone.”

Palme d’Or Potential: C+

La Loi Du Marché (The Measure of a Man), French
Dir. Stéphane Brizé

A man finds a job as a security guard in a supermarket, after months of work. He is then asked to spy on his colleagues and is faced with a moral dilemma.

Brizé won the César Award for Adapted Screenplay in 2012 for his film “Mademoiselle Chambon.” He was also nominated for Best Director in 2012 for his film “Quelques heures de printemps.”

Palme d’Or Potential: D+

1412070190437_0570x0351_1412070212610Marguerite Et Julien (Marguerite and Julien), French
Dir. Valérie Donzelli

Julien and Marguerite of Raval, son and daughter of the lord of Tourlaville, have loved each other since childhood. But growing up, their love turns into a consuming passion. Their adventure scandalized a society that is chasing them. Unable to resist their feelings, they must flee.

Donzelli won the Cannes Film Festival “Queer Palm” award previously for her film “Declaration of War” in 2011. The film went on to receive 4 César Award nominations, including “Best Film.”

Palme d’Or Potential: C

Dir. Michel Franco

A home care nurse works with terminally ill patients.

Tim Roth will appear in Michel Franco’s new film “Chronic.” Michel Franco previously won the Cannes Film Festival “Un Certain Regard” Award for “After Lucia” in 2012.

Palme d’Or Potential: B

Il Racconto Dei Racconti (Tale of Tales)
Dir. Matteo Garrone
(Trailer above is NSFW)

“Tale of Tales” is a film structured like human memory. One of the primary themes involves war, with particular emphasis on the enormous losses the Soviet Union suffered on the Eastern Front during World War II. Several recurring characters and their interactions make up a large part of the film, such as the poet, the little girl and the bull, the little boy and the crows, the dancers and the soldiers, and especially the little grey wolf.

“Tale of Tales” stars Salma Hayek, and features supporting performances from John C. Reilly, Vincent Cassel, and Toby Jones. It is Based on a book by Giambattista Basile. Garrone has won two “Grand Prize of the Jury” awards. One for “Reality” in 2012 and another for “Gomorra” in 2008. Neither film won the Palme d’Or despite being nominated.

Palme d’Or Potential: C+

Dir. Todd Haynes

Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in this Todd Haynes film which was picked up by The Weinstein Company last year. The movie is based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith. “Carol” had a test screening recently with mostly enthusiastic responses.

Palme d’Or Potential: C-

20333_500Nie Yin niang (The Assassin), Mandarin
Dir. Hsiao-Hsien Hou

“The Assassin” is a Taiwanese martial arts film set during the mighty Tang Dynasty-period in Chinese history.

There were several budgetary problems for “The Assassin” Hou stated that “..the scale is much bigger, and that makes every detail different, so now even I have to adjust my scale.” Hou has been nominated for the Palme d’Or 6 times in the following years: 93, 95, 96, 98, 01, and 05.

Palme d’Or Potential: D

safe_imageShan He Gu Ren (Mountains May Depart), Chinese
Dir. Zhangke Jia

Not many plot details have been revealed about this film. However we do know that the film has three parts, set in the 1990s, the present, and in Australia in the year 2025, respectively.

Jia has had three films previously nominated for the Palme d’Or in the following years: 02, 08, 13

Palme d’Or Potential: C+

Umimarchi Diary (Our Little Sister), Japanese
Dir. Hirokazu Koreeda

A story that revolves around three sisters who live in their grandmother’s home and the arrival of their 13-year-old half sister.

Koreeda has been nomianted for the Palme d’Or 3 times: 01, 04, 13

Palme d’Or Potential: B-

Dir. Justin Kurzel

Justin Kurzel’s “MacBeth” was picked up by The Weinstein Company last year and is a re-telling of William Shakespeare’s classic story.

Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star as MacBeth and Lady MacBeth. Justin Kurzel’s film “Snowtown” won the “Critic’s Week Special Mention” and “FIPRESCI Prize – Special Mention” at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Palme d’Or Potential: D

asdfThe Lobster
Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos

In a dystopian near future, single people are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days or are transformed into animals and released into the woods.

This comedy/sci-fi film stars Colin Farrell, Léa Seydoux, Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, and John C. Reilly. Director Yorgos Lanthimos saw success at Cannes in 2009 when his film “Kyndodontas” won the “Un Certain Regard” award.

Palme d’Or Potential: C

mon-roiMon Roi, French
Dir. Maïwenn

The film, shot back in March, recounts, over the course of several years, the passionate and intricate love story of a couple with a child.

Maïwenn won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 for her film “Polisse” which was also nominated for the Palme d’Or.

Palme d’Or Potential: A-

Mia Madre, Italian/English
Dir. Nanni Moretti

Margherita, a director in the middle of an existential crisis, has to deal with the inevitable and still unacceptable loss of her mother.

“Mia Madre” stars Margherita Buy and John Turturro. Director Nanni Moretti is a regular had Cannes, having had films nominated several times over the past 20 years. His film “La stanza del filio (The Son’s Room)” won the Palme d’Or in 2001.

Palme d’Or Potential: C+

20150416nemes-jeles-laszlo-filmszakember-filmrendezoSaul Fia (Son of Saul), Hungarian
Dir. László Nemes

In the horror of 1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.

This is Nemes first feature film.

Palme d’Or Potential: C-

4621733_6_4c11_gerard-depardieu-et-isabelle-huppert-dans_46309995220504a13634112b0b5c3eeeValley of Love, French/English
Dir. Guillaume Nicloux

“Valley of Love” tells the story of two famous actors who used to be a couple and had a son 25 years ago. They reunite after the son’s death, and receive a letter asking them to visit five places at Death Valley, which will make the son reappear.

“Valley of Love” stars both Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert. This is director Nicloux’s first film to premiere at Cannes Film Festival.

Palme d’Or Potential: B+

Dir. Paolo Sorrentino
(Trailer above is NSFW)

Fred (Michael Caine) and Mick (Paul Dano), two old friends, are on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity on their children’s confused lives, Micks enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. But someone wants at all costs to hear him conduct again.

Sorrentino is a 5-time Palme d’Or nominee. His film “The Greaty Beauty” won the BAFTA in 2014 for “Best Film Not in the English Language.”

Palme d’Or Potential: A-

BG_Isabelle Huppert and Jesse Eisenberg_09-09_02Louder Than Bombs
Dir. Joachim Trier

Not many plot details have been revealed. However, according to Indiewire, the story revolves around a late war photographer, played by Huppert, whose husband and two sons discover a secret about her past as a retrospective of her work is being put together.

The film has been described as having a “Rashomon”-style plot. The film also stars Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Ryan, Gabriel Byrne, and David Strathairn.

Palme d’Or Potential: C-

sea-of-trees-matthew-kenThe Sea of Trees
Dir. Gus Van Sant

A suicidal American befriends a Japanese man lost in a forest near Mt. Fuji and the two search for a way out. “The Sea of Trees” stars Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe, and Naomi Watts.

Van Sant has been nominated for the “Best Director” Oscar twice. In 1997 for “Good Will Hunting” and in 2008 for “Milk.” He is also no stranger to Cannes. Van Sant was nominated for the Palme d’Or in 2007 for “Paranoid Park,” in 2005 for “Last Days,” and he won the Palme d’Or in 2003 for “Elephant.”

Palme d’Or Potential: A-

Dir. Denis Villeneuve

A young female FBI agent joins a secret CIA operation to take down a Mexican cartel boss, a job that ends up pushing her ethical and moral values to the limit. The movie stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal, and Benicio Del Toro.

Villeneuve received many accolades in 2013 for his film “Prisoners.” He previously won the “Canal+” award at Cannes in 2008 for his short film “Next Floor.” “Sicario” has a strong above-the-line crew including work from 12-time Oscar nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins and music by Jóhann Jóhannsson (“The Theory of Everything,” “Prisoners.”)

Palme d’Or Potential: B+