neon-demon-elle-fanning-1 (1)2016 Cannes Film Festival LineUp

It’s that time of year again. Last year “Son of Saul” was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, though it lost the Palme d’Or to “Dheepan” the film went on to easily take home the Best Foreign Film Oscar.

If anything, for us award prognosticators, the Cannes Film Festival can narrow the field a bit. Last year we learned “Sicario,” and “Carol” would be big, but also learned Gus Van Sant’s “The Sea of Trees” would no longer be a factor.

What will happen this year? Well check out the lineup, then we’ll give a quick prediction:

Out of Competition
“The BFG” (Spielberg)
“Goksung” (Hong-Jin)
“Money Monster” (Foster)
“The Nice Guys” (Black)

Midnight Screenings
“Gimme Danger” (Jarmusch)
“The Train to Busan” (Sang-Ho)

In Competition
“Toni Erdman” (Ade)
“Julieta” (Almodovar)
“Personal Shopper” (Assayas)
“American Honey” (Arnold)
“The Unknown Girl” (Dardenne, Dardenne)
“It’s Only the End of the World” (Dolan)
“Slack Bay” (Dumont)
“Paterson” (Jarmusch)
“Rester Vertical” (Guiraudie)
“Aquarius” (Filho)
“From the Land of the Moon” (Garcia)
“I, Daniel Blake” (Loach)
“Ma ‘Rosa” (Mendoza)
“Bacalaureat” (Mungiu)
“Loving” (Nichols)
“The Handmaiden” (Chan-Wook)
“The Last Face” (Penn)
“Sieranevada” (Puiu)
“Elle” (Verhoeven)
“The Neon Demon (Winding Refn)

Un Certain Regard
“Varoonegi” (Behzadi)
“Apprentice” (Junfeng)
“Voir du Pays” (Coulin, Coulin)
“La Danseuse” (di Giusto)
“Clash” (Diab)
“La Tortue Rouge” (de Wit)
“Fuchi Bi Tatsu” (Koji)
“Omar Shakhsiya” (Haj)
“Me ‘Ever Laharim Vehagvaot” (Kolirin)
“After The Storm” (Hirokazu)
“Hymyileva Mies” (Kuosmanen)
“La Large Noche de Francisco Sanctis” (Marquez, Testa)
“Caini” (Mirica)
“Pericle Il Nero” (Mordini)
“Captain Fantastic” (Ross)
“The Transfiguration” (O’Shea)
“Uchenik” (Serebrennikov)

Special Screenings
“L’ultima Spiaggia” (Anastopoulous, del Degan)
“A Chad Tragedy” (Haroun)
“The Death of Louis XIV” (Serra)
“Le Cancre” (Vecchiali)


Xavier Dolan and the duo of Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne are back and I’m not complaining. Their movies could breakthrough with a Palme d’Or win at any time and should Dolan’s film (“It’s Only the End of the World”) featuring the performances of Léa Seydoux (from 2014 Palme do’Or winning film “Blue is the Warmest Color”) and Marion Cotillard.

You can’t read too much into omissions, the programmers will omit films that don’t meet their standards, but sometimes a film just isn’t ready. We feel that Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” just wasn’t ready, Oliver Stone’s (another Cannes regular) “Snowden” may fit into the ladder.

From the Awards Watch forums there have already been some early reactions to Pedro Almodovar’s “Julieta,” granted it is heresay, the reactions are not positive.

Olivier Assayas directed “Clouds of Sils Maria” which earned Kristen Stewart many supporting actress critic awards. They team together again for the thriller “Personal Shopper.”

Sean Penn’s “The Last Face” was on our radar early 2015, some thought it’d be released in time for the 2016 Oscars. Here it is now, I loved Penn’s “Into the Wild” and hope that he kind find some of that magic for this film starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem.

Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” almost instantly became a cult classic (don’t know if it will cement that status with the popularity dying so quickly). After “Drive” his film “Only God Forgives” got some pretty rough reviews. He is back again with “The Neon Demon” starring Elle Fanning and Keanu Reeves. The film has a very pretty trailer that is reminiscent of “Black Swan.”

As a sidenote, Amazon Studios is absolutely killing it.

I can’t wait to see how the out-of-competition films perform, especially Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG” which will have a John Williams score.

Last, but not least Jeff Nichols’ “Loving.” I’m becoming a bigger and bigger Jeff Nichols fan after “Take Shelter” and “Mud.” I still have yet to see “Midnight Special,” and now, even after some claimed that his film “Mud” had sexist undertones, he has created a film about a couple, Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple who is sentenced to prison for getting married in 1958.

I read about this project last year, and thought it was ambitious and could provide the bid he needs to get into the award conversations. It definitely helps that “Loving” is in competition at Cannes as well that Focus Features bought the film and set it for a November award season friendly release date before the film had even screened.

What wins the Palme d’Or?
Over any of the notable films I mentioned I think it’ll be something unexpected. For transparency, I’ll go ahead and drop some coins on Xavier Dolan this year.