10 Movies that Cannes Has Excited Me For

There is always a painful period between when the films at Cannes get their hyped up premieres and the films finally get released in the United States. Lately the trend has been that the films that everybody at Cannes were praising and everybody not at Cannes were dying to see do not hit theatres in the U.S. until the beginning of the next year. For instance one of last year’s smashing successes A Prophet received a very limited theatrical release in February of this year and the DVD has still not been released. By the time most Cannes films hit DVD it’s already time for the next Cannes Film Festival.

Nevertheless I still am enthusiastically excited for the offerings at this year’s festival to come to the states. It has often been the case that the hit films of Cannes go on to become some of the best films of the year. Based on the reviews, buzz, trailers, plot synopses, and awards here are ten films from this year’s Cannes Film Festival that I’m incredibly excited for.

10) Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Directed By: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

This film wasn’t even on my radar until its dynamic performance at the Cannes Film Festival. The general reaction from around the web seems to be that this wasn’t the best choice for the Palme d’Or, but there is very little to dislike about this film. In other words, the Cannes jury took the Oscar route and voted for a safe choice. The Cannes juries don’t joke around, however, and I’m really excited to see what got festival goers so intrigued.

Distribution: There have been no U.S. distributors announced for this film, but after the Palme d’Or victory I’m sure one will come along in no time.

9) You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Directed By: Woody Allen

Critics could have called this the worst film the world has ever seen and I would still be highly anticipating its U.S. release. The general consensus seems to be that it is a noble effort and a good addition to the Allen canon with some great performances, but its not quite Vicky Cristina Barcelona or up to par with Allen’s better films.

Distribution: Sony Pictures Classics will be releasing the film on September 23, 2010.

8) Carlos
Directed By: Oliver Assayas

I still need to see Assayas’ highly acclaimed Summer Hours, which he released in 2009. Todd McCarthy said thatCarlos is everything Che wanted to be and much, much more.” I enjoyed Che, but definitely saw areas where improvements could be made. Carlos is being described as a tighter packed, better directed, and it sounds right up my alley.

Distribution: IFC Films has picked up U.S. distribution rights to Carlos and plans to release it as two films either this fall or next spring.

7) Of Gods and Men
Directed By: Xavier Beaudois

The Grand Prix winner at this year’s festival was not universally loved. In my Weekly Wrap-Up I posted one rave and one pan of the film from two well-known critics. However, its trailers look fantastic and it has been praised for having some of the best performances at the Festival. Furthering my excitement is the fact that its tone seems comparable to Michael Haneke’s brilliant Cache.

Distribution: Sony Pictures has picked up the film for a TBA U.S. release date.

6) Fair Game
Directed By: Doug Liman

The film that has come out of this year’s Cannes Film Festival with the most Oscar buzz may be Doug Liman’s Fair Game. With 10 Best Picture nominees, it is almost assumed that one of the Cannes hits will go on to some sort of Oscar glory. Fair Game seems to have the right mix of political sidestepping, star-power, and Oscar-bait theme to go on to much glory.

Distribution: Summit Entertainment will be releasing the film in the Fall of 2010. The exact date is TBA.

5) On Tour
Directed By: Mathieu Almaric

My love for actor/director Mathieu Almaric may only be eclipsed by my love for burlesque shows. This film combines the best of both in a comedy that received mixed reviews from international critics, but will no doubt delight the flamboyant film lover in me.

Distribution: No U.S. distribution announced yet, but after Almaric won the Best Director award, that may change.

4) Blue Valentine
Directed By: Derek Cianfrance

I had thought that Blue Valentine might go the way of last year’s Precious – great reviews out of Sundance, Cannes, and Toronto leading to eventual Oscar glory. However, the reviews out of Cannes weren’t nearly as positive as those from Sundance. However, I believe the film’s Oscar hopes are still strong.

Distribution: The Weinstein Company will be releasing the film in the U.S. on December 31, 2010.

3) Biutiful
Directed By: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Javier Bardem tied for the Best Actor award at this year’s festival sparking heated debate over whether this means anything for the Oscar race. Typically Inarritu’s films have been well-loved by the Academy and Bardem is a highly respected actor, with one win under his belt already. Regardless of how well the film does at the Oscars I am very excited for its U.S. release and hope that it reverses the diminishing trend that Inarritu’s films have had.

Distribution: Focus Features will be releasing the film in the U.S. this fall. Official release date is TBA.

2) Certified Copy
Directed By: Abbas Kiarostami

Some of the critics who I most enjoy to read (Guy Lodge at In Contention for one) really raved about this movie. The line that completely sold me comes from an indieWIRE review that begins: “If the couple featured in Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Before Sunset got married, grew old, divorced and reunited, the resulting confrontation would probably look a lot like Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy.” I’m also very excited that Juliette Binoche took home the Best Actress award. I’ve never seen a performance of hers that wasn’t amazing.

Distribution: IFC Films has picked up the film for U.S. Distribution either this fall or next spring.

1) Another Year
Directed By: Mike Leigh

I love Mike Leigh. He directs some of the best living actors to some career-defining performances. The word from critics on this film is very positive and it features some of my favorite actors including Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, and Lesley Manville. This film may not be singled out for any Oscars, but it will probably be on many end of the year top ten lists.

Distribution: Sony Pictures Classics will be releasing the film in the U.S. either this fall or next spring.

Which Cannes films are you dying to see?

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  • Of these ten, “Carlos”, “Another Year”, “Biutiful”, and “Blue Valentine” all sound great. I bet most of the others are too, except the new Woody Allen flick, which received mostly lackluster reviews.

  • Oh, and you certainly should see “Summer Hours”. It’s a wonderful film.

  • Princess of Peace

    I am looking forward to all of the films that you mentioned. Is Focus the distributor of Biutiful? I thought that they were selling the film and that it will have a different distributor. In any case, I look forward to seeing it and all the rest of the films.

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