Assayas, Dardennes and Dreamworks Land 2014 Cannes Film Festival Lineup

Clouds of Sils MariaIt may sound silly for how nonexistent our chances of going are, but we’re always excited when the Cannes Film Festival lineup is announced. For many of us that means waiting long and hard for these films to make their way stateside. For me, well, the jewels of all the year’s festivals often wash ashore at New York Film Festival, so this is a light tip to what to expect there – Mike Leigh and Olivier Assayas’ latest are surely expected visitors. Even setting aside self-serving anticipation, the lineup’s an early spring reminder that the summer’s greatest premieres aren’t relegated to beefy blockbusters.

Though we can be sure to find some blockbuster feel in even Cannes’ resplendent art-house fare, and not just in the presence of Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2, sequel to the studio’s most beloved film. Mr. Turner is Mike Leigh’s biggest budgeted work to date, a passion-project about landscape artist J.M.W. Turner. David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars features Hollywood front-and-center, with Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson to boot. Pattinson’s star power is also featured out of competition in The Rover, David Michod’s slightly post-apocalyptic follow-up to Animal Kingdom. And if you’re looking for a real feast, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s 196-minute epic Winter Sleep is certainly one to watch for. “We’ll put it near the start of the festival, so you can recover,” festival director Thierry Fremaux said, raising not a hint of reluctance in audiences.

Two Days One NightThose are just the tip of where Cannes begins its starry showcase. Kristen Stewart and Chloe Moretz fill out the unorthodox lineup of Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria, where the latter plays an actress remaking a film popularized by Juliette Binoche’s character. Here’s hoping Assayas brings something out of Moretz that thus far doesn’t seem present. Channing Tatum has his festival debut in Foxcatcher, Bennett Miller’s long-awaited account of schizophrenic billionaire John du Pont’s headline-making murder of Olympic Champion Dave Schultz. There’s even eye-candy on the directors front, with Ryan Gosling bringing his directorial debut Lost River (nee How to Catch a Monster) to the croisette.

As ever, though, Cannes is most fond of its returning artists. The Dardenne brothers reliably return with their own helping of star power in Croisette regular Marion Cotillard, and if their reputation holds up, this will be another critical darling from the duo. Xavier Dolan has finally cracked the competition lineup with his newest yearly output, Mommy, following up much critical acclaim after Tom at the Farm. Also promoted to competition is Andrei Zvyagintsev, whose startling last film Elena was relegated to Un Certain Regard in 2011. Now he has Leviathan, whose details are scarce, but the man’s reputation surely precedes him by now. Michel Hazanavicius won an Oscar for The Artist, but not the Palme. Could The Search be his ticket, or could it possibly convert those uncharmed by his last film? Biggest return of all has to be Jean-Luc Godard, whose latest film, Goodbye to Language, is his first competition title since 2001. It’s yet to be seen how much of an occasion his latest is, but the title certainly hints at something worth keeping an eye on.

You can look at the full lineup below. Rest assured that some of the more obscure titles may very well be the most talked about films by 2014’s end.

Opening Film (out of competition)
“Grace of Monaco,” Olivier Dahan

Competition
“Clouds of Sils Maria,” Olivier Assayas
“Saint Laurent,” Bertrand Bonello
“Winter Sleep,” Nuri Bilge Ceylan
“Maps to the Stars,” David Cronenberg
“Two Days, One Night,” Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
“Mommy,” Xavier Dolan
“Captives,” Atom Egoyan
“Goodbye to Language,” Jean-Luc Godard
“The Search,” Michel Hazanavicius
“The Homesman,” Tommy Lee Jones
“Steal the Water,” Naomi Kawase
“Mr. Turner,” Mike Leigh
“Jimmy’s Hall,” Ken Loach
“Foxcatcher,” Bennett Miller
“The Marvel,” Alice Rohrwacher
“Timbuktu,” Abderramahne Sissako
“Wild Tales,” Damien Szifron
“Leviafan,” Andrei Zvyagintsev

Out of Competition
“Coming Home,” Zhang Yimou
“How to Train Your Dragon 2,” Dean Deblois
“Les Gens du Monde,” Yves Jeuland

Un Certain Regard
“Party Girl,” Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis
“Jauja,” Lisandro Alonso
“The Blue Room,” Mathieu Amalric
“The Misunderstood,” Asia Argento
“Titli,” Kanu Behl
“Eleanor Rigby” Ned Benson
“Bird People,” Pascal Ferran
“Lost River,” Ryan Gosling
“Amour Fou,” Jessica Hausner
“Charlie’s Country,” Rolf de Heer
“Snow in Paradise,” Andrew Hulme
“Dohee-ya,” July Jing
“Xenia,” Panos Koutras
“Run,” Philippe Lacote
“Turist,” Ruben Ostlund
“Hermosa Juventud,” Jaime Rosales
“Salt of the Earth,” Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado
“Fantasia,” Wang Chao
“Harcheck Mi Headro,” Keren Yedaya

Special Screenings
“Silver Water,” Mohammed Ossama
“Maidan,” Sergei Loznitsa
“Red Army” Polsky Gabe
“Fantasies of Democracy” Stephanie Valloatta
“Bridges of Sarajevo,” multiple directors

Midnight Screening
“The Rover,” David Michôd
“Salvation,” Kristian Levring
“The Target,” Chang

What are you most excited for at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival?

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