Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cannes 2012 Official Selection Preview - American Films

There are five (5) only USA production movies in the Palme d'Or competition and to make my life easier decide to do one post for all of them.

Opening Film: Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson.

Can't deny that I have seen all Anderson movies but unfortunately his storytelling style is not one that I enjoy; from all his feature films perhaps The Royal Tenenbaums is the one that I dislike less. Can't help but share that his style is fantastic for ads and he has some really outstanding ads. I expect this film to have his peculiar filmmaking and storytelling style that showcases methodical cinematography, dry humor, flawed characters and "wandering around" narrative.

Film has some of his regular actors but this time includes Tilda Swinton that I really hope will walk the red carpet on opening night and is about the only thing that excites me from this film. Is his first time in Cannes and I believe he has to pay his dues before being honored at this fest, still juries are the ones that decide honors so anything could happen. Film already has the honor of being Cannes opening film which assures the presence well-know Hollywood actors at fest opening red carpet.

Film Specs: IMDb
End Notes: Cannes official site.
Trailer go here.

Killing Them Softly by Andrew Dominik

Know him only from his previous movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford a film that I did not enjoyed at all and since was being a not-positive experience I didn't finish watching, sigh. From photos, video at Cannes site and film synopsis I imagine something very similar to his previous film, but somehow this time want to be positive as film style kind of resembles Ken Loach raw realistic approach.

Film has some well-known Hollywood actors and one celebrity: Brad Pitt that surely will walk the red carpet again. Is his first time at Cannes and believe that being in competition could be the main honor this film will collect in the fest.

Film Specs: IMDb
End Notes: Cannes official site.
Clip go here.

Lawless by John Hillcoat

I'm excited with this film as from trailer looks and feels like good entertainment escape moment kind of movie plus has a very interesting cast with one actor that I'm waiting for him to stop doing teenage targeted movies and seems he finally did, Shia LaBeouf. But also acclaimed Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska are here, plus Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Guy Pearce.

Not familiar with director as haven't seen any of his films, maybe I should check The Road to have an idea about his filmmaking style.

Is Hillcoat first time in Cannes and IF jury wishes to give any honor to an American film, this could be one of the possibilities just because visual images are kind of interesting.

Film Specs: IMDb
End Notes: Cannes official site.
Trailer go here.

Mud by Jeff Nichols

This movie could be a different kind of American film just because director previous movie is outstanding Take Shelter that not only had absolutely great visuals but story was superb, just read my review here to see what film did to me.

With this background I have high hopes for this movie where I expect the dichotomy of having a simple story told in a complex and layered way that magnificently could confuse viewers plus essential gorgeous visuals. Clips at Cannes site assure me that will get the visuals and just hope story will be amazingly told.

Casting has top Hollywood actors and well-known actors like Michael Shannon who was also in Take Shelter; so we could see Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon walking the red carpet which will assure wide media coverage to a film that deserves it.

Is Jeff Nichols second time in Cannes. First time was last year when Take Shelter was screened at la Semaine de la Critique and went to win the parallel section top award plus the SACD Award. This year his film is in competition which tells me that this young of age and young at Cannes director will have a long relationship with the fest. Oh yes, I believe that from all American films this is the one that could (and should) win top honors. Obviously is a Must Be Seen movie for me.

Film Specs: Cannes official site.
End Notes: Two clips here.

The Paperboy by Lee Daniels

Acclaimed Lee Daniels got his way into the Cannes main competition after being honored all over the world for his 2009 sophomore film, Precious that is another film that I simply could not watch completely as was making me sick in so many ways that had to stop and leave.

I believe this film has to be different to his previous as not only has a star-studded cast but from images and clips looks/feels with less disturbing style. Film could be the second time Matthew McConaughey will walk the red carpet this time in the company of none other than Nicole Kidman, John Cusack and well, Zac Efron. Don't have expectations about this film but I know will watch more because the cast than because the director.

Is Daniels second time in Cannes, the first was with Precious screened at 2009 Un Certain Regard section and have to admit that this is the second American film most likely to get honors at Cannes not only because director's credentials but also because Nicole Kidman performance that has generated buzz thanks to Thierry Fremaux's comments for selecting this film, which could mean Kidman winning Best Actress.

Film Specs: IMDb.
End Notes: Cannes official site.
Clip here.

American films are not my cup of tea when I want to watch great cinema BUT fortunately I have seen many that positively surprise and impress me beyond my wildest imagination thus I'm hoping for my own selfish pleasure that one of the above films will do it again for me. I'm sure Nichols' Mud will impact me but I should be careful with my expectations and don't up them too high.

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