So when I got to Cannes I just didn’t really feel like seeing movies. Just kidding. I saw lots of movies. And mostly very, very good movies.
Here’s a little preview of my five favorites so you, too, can get excited about them. While they won’t all be released in the U.S., some will be coming out next fall and winter.
Meloncholia (dir. Lars von Trier)
- Synopsis: Two sisters prepare in their own ways as a nearby planet travels on a collision course with Planet Earth.
- Genre: Sci-Fi/Drama
- Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland
- The Dish: Von Trier was uninvited from the festival in light of comment he made about being a Nazi sympathizer, but you really have to try to separate the man from his work. He’s stated publicly that he doesn’t like this movie because it has the conventional narrative of a typical American movie, but it nevertheless has the most beautiful slow-motion shots you’ve ever seen. And I’m not a Kirsten Dunst enthusiast (I swear that one of her eyes is always quivering at me.), but she won Best Actress at Cannes for her performance, and rightfully so.
We Need To Talk About Kevin (dir. Lynne Ramsay)
- Synopsis: A mom deals with her grief in the aftermath of a crime committed by her seriously psychotic teen.
- Genre: Drama
- Cast: Ezra Miller, Tilda Swinton, and John C. Reilly
- The Dish: The story structure may give you a headache as it jumps through time but stick with it and you’ll find yourself immersed in the mind of a mother dealing with a son who does everything to make her hate him.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (dir. Sean Durkin)
- Synopsis: A young woman struggles to assimilate into the real world after running away from an abusive cult.
- Genre: Drama
- Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes, Hugh Dancy
- The Dish: Your stomach will be in knots as the most talented Olsen sibling delivers an incredible performance as a girl dealing with a deeply intense and sad psychological trauma after running away from a cult that doesn’t want her to leave.
Drive (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)
- Synopsis: A Hollywood stunt driver finds himself in between a girl and a heist gone wrong.
- Genre: Action/Drama • Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston
- The Dish: It’s a fact that Ryan Gosling is one of today’s most talented actors. The dialogue in this movie is sparse but Ryan acts the shit out of it. He’ll scare you, and you’ll like it. The buzz around Cannes says the movie is Crash meets Kill Bill with cheesy pop songs and the feel of Grand Theft Auto.
The Artist (dir. Michel Hazavanicius)
- Synopsis: A silent move star finds himself enamored by a dancer on the rise as the arrival of talking pictures threatens his career.
- Genre: Romance/Comedy
- Cast: Bérénice Bejo, Jean Dujardin
- The Dish: A refreshing tribute to silent cinema and a reminder that a story can be told without words. You won’t recognize the two lead actors, but their facial gestures and physical gags will keep you entertained in this light and impeccably crafted story.