My colleagues at Indiewire have taken an expansive look at 50 films that they would love to see hit the festival circuit this fall. There are some very interesting women’s films on the list. (All descriptions from Indiewire.)
“The Bling Ring,” written and directed by Sofia Coppola
A year after Francis Ford’s “Twixt” landed with a bit of thud in Toronto, both Sofia and Roman Coppola seem poised to bring their latest to the fall festival circuit. And their respective projects sure look interesting. Two years after controversially taking the Golden Lion in Venice for “Somewhere,” Coppola could return with a film that stars Emma Watson as part of a gang of Beverly Hills burglars (its based on a real-life story… just ask Orlando Bloom). It just wrapped, so it might not be ready in time.
Cloud Atlas,” written and directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer (from the novel by David Mitchell)
Mystery surrounds the German-produced adaptation of David Mitchell’s postmodern instant classic novel “Cloud Atlas.” In the novel, six stories across various times (from the distant past to the distant future) are told in cascading contexts; that is, one narrator tells the tale of the next. While the Wachowski’s (who, of course, brought us “The Matrix”) were not universally praised for their last go at directing, “Speed Racer,” the film still has its ardent fans. And no one’s stopped listening to the directorial duo. But let us not forget that the Wachowski’s are not going this alone. They are joined by German director Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”), who has been busy lately, with films like “Three” and “The International.” With the Wachowski’s and Tykwer’s history in smashing genres and a killer cast (Susan Sarandon, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Keith David, Hugo Weaving, and Xun Zhou), “Cloud Atlas” has us on the edge with anticipation. It was recently announced the film would have an October 26 release date, so a flashy debut at one of the fall fests seems perfect.
“Imogene,” directed by Shari Springer-Berman and Robert Pulcini.
“Imogene” has a really great logline: A playwright has to move in with her crazy mother after faking a suicide attempt to get her ex-boyfriend’s attention. Now, hold on to your hats, because I’m about to tell you who’s playing this mother-daughter pair: Annette Bening and Kristen Wiig. We’re going to miss seeing Kristen Wiig on SNL every week, but if she’s going to be taking on roles like this, we can’t complain. Plus, it’s being helmed by “American Splendor” directors Shari Springer-Berman and Robert Pulcini.
“The Lines of Wellington,” directed by Raoul Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento, written by Carlos Saboga
Raoul Ruiz’s widow, also his editor and director in her own right, Valeria Sarmiento took over the directorial reins to his 19th Century period piece “Lines of Wellington” after the prolific Chilean director (“Mysteries of Lisbon,” “Klimt”) died last year. The film takes a look at the 1810 Battle of Bussaco, documenting the French invasion of Portugal. It stars John Malkovich, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, and Mathieu Amalric, all actors that promise to stun in this dark and dreary look at an understudied moment in European history.
“Lore,” directed by Cate Shortland, written by Shortland, Robin Mukherjee and Rachel Seiffert
Shortland, who previously directed the 2005 film “Somersault” with Abbie Cornish and Sam Worthington, returns now with “Lore,” based around a family of five siblings who make a 900km trek to their grandparent’s house in the middle of World War Two. Adapted from author Rachel Seiffert’s “Dark Room” and shot in Germany, the film had its premiere at the 2012 Sydney Film Festival and is slated for release in Germany in October of this year.
“Love Is All You Need” directed by Suzanne Bier, written by Anders Thomas Jensen
Bier and her regular collaborators, scripter Anders Thomas Jensen and cinematographer Morten Søborg venture into romantic comedy territory after Best Foreign Language Oscar winner “In A Better World,” and Bier’s equally dramatic Danish film’s “After The Wedding,” “Brodre” and “Open Hearts.” “Love Is All You Need,” set in Italy, stars Pierce Brosnan, Paprika Steen, Trine Dyrholm (“In A Better World”) and Kim Bodnia. THR reports the plot revolves around a bunch of people looking for love, their passions and happiness, jealousy and loneliness — which tells us nothing about the actual storyline — but we’re excited nonetheless. Sony Pictures Classics holds the US rights, and given it’s an Italian co-production, Venice seems like a good bet.
“Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out,” directed by Marina Zenovich
Zenovich’s “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” got a major boost from its premiere at Sundance in 2008, followed by a Cannes screening, which not only had audiences chattering about the film’s lively resurrection of an infamous, decades-old celebrity scandal, but also prompted Polanski’s lawyers to re-attempt to dismiss the original case based on evidence presented in the film. “Wanted and Desired” won several Emmys after its HBO airing, and then Polanski was detained in Switzerland in 2009 and put under house arrest for 10 months. Throughout, Zenovich has trained her cameras on the fallout from the first film and Polanski’s evolving predicaments, much as Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky did when their “Paradise Lost” documentary affected real-life events. By early summer Zenovich was putting the finishing touches on the new doc, so barring any new developments in the case the fall fest circuit seems a likely launch pad.
“Untitled Greta Gerwig Project,” written and directed by Greta Gerwig
We don’t know anything about the new Greta Gerwig film, which the rising indie star wrote and directed last year. She dropped a hint about it during interviews for Whit Stillman’s “Damsels in Distress,” but otherwise, mum’s the word. Gerwig hasn’t stepped behind the camera since her mumblecore days, when she collaborated with Joe Swanberg on “Nights and Weekends.”
“Zero Dark Thirty,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow, written by Mark Boal
All eyes are on the Oscar-winning duo’s follow-up to 2009 best picture winner “The Hurt Locker,” which had been launched at Venice and Toronto the year before. To add intrigue to the super-mysterious hunt-for-Osama bin Laden project, Bigelow and Boal managed to stir up political controversy and a Congressional investigation because of the alleged leak of classified info to them by the Obama White House for use in the movie. With 2011’s indie darling Jessica Chastain in the cast, and Joel Edgerton primed for a Jeremy Renner-like breakout, the film could trace a similar awards path to “Hurt Locker” if it has the same vitality, grit and riveting characters. And if Sony hadn’t pushed the release back to Dec. 19, it could have affected the presidential election, too.
“Anna Karenina,” directed by Joe Wright, written by Tom Stoppard (from the novel by Leo Tolstoy)
The latest from Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Hanna”) seems like a lock for Venice’s 2012 competition given Wright’s history with the event (“Atonement” premiered there), and its release date in the U.K. (September 7). Expect to see it pop up shortly after at TIFF to get the awards buzz underway, ahead of its November 9 stateside release. The film finds Wright re-teamed with his “Atonement” leading lady Keira Knightley for an expressionistic take on the Russian classic. Jude Law, Aaron Johnson and Kelly MacDonald co-star.
“Foxfire,” written directed by Lauren Cantet (from the novel by Joyce Carol Oates)
French director Cantent won the Palme D’Or in 2008 for “Entre les murs,” a semi-autobiographical film based on the experiences of Francois Begaudeau, author of the novel the film was based off. This year, Cantet brings to life another author’s work–Joyce Carol Oates’ “Foxfire,” a story of five girls growing up in a troubled atmosphere who form their own gang. Shot in Ontario, Canada and previously adapted by Annette Haywood-Carter in 1996 featuring a young Angelina Jolie, Cantet casts newcomers in his latest endeavor. Producers say they are prepping the film for a release at the Toronto Film Festival this September.
“Passion,” written and directed by Brian De Palma (from the film “Love Crime,” written by Alain Corneau and Natalie Carter)
While Brian DePalma’s latest (a remake of the recent French art house thriller, “Love Crime,” that starred Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier) didn’t go to cameras until earlier this year, footage of the potboiler screened for buyers at Cannes, meaning that it’s likely it will be ready for festivals come late August. Look for the Rachel McAdams/Noomi Rapace starrer to premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where DePalma won Best Director for “Redacted” in 2007.
“Under the Skin,” directed by Jonathan Glazer, written by Walter Campbell (from the novel by Michel Faber)
Glazer brings Scarlett Johansson to the limelight with his adaptation of Michel Faber’s sci-fi novel. In post-production (filming took place in Scotland last year), the film centers around an alien who takes the form of an attractive woman who lures in men. Though this film sounds very similar to the 1995 sci-fi thriller “Species,” it seems to be a lot scarier and emotion-driven, driving the protagonist (alien Johansson) to question her own actions. A release date is not yet known, but it was shot last year so it seems a likely candidate for fall festival season.
“What Maisie Knew,” directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, written by Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne (from the novel by Henry James)
“What Maisie Knew” is a modern adaptation of Henry James’ novel of the same name. The film follows a young girl (Onata Aprile) who shuttles between her divorced parents’ homes, observing their new relationships as they develop. Julianne Moore plays her rock star mother and Steve Coogan plays her art dealer father. McGehee and Siegel’s last film was the little seen “Uncertainty,” but the impressive cast (Alexander Skarsgård also stars) may increase the film’s profile. “Uncertainty” premiered at TIFF in 2008, so “What Maisie Knew” may have a festival life as well. The film does not yet have a release date.
The East,” directed by Zal Batmanglij, written by Batmanglij and Brit Marling
Ever since breaking out of the gate with his stellar directorial debut “Sound of My Voice,” all eyes have been on Zal Batmanglij’s anticipated (and much bigger) follow-up “The East,” which finds him re-teamed with “Sound of Voice” co-writer/star, Brit Marling, and distributor Fox Searchlight. When we caught up with him in late April, Batmanglij told Indiewire that he was in the midst of editing the film, so chances are it will be ready for the fall festival circuit. The film sounds a lot like “Sound of My Voice: Marling stars as a contract worker tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group, only to find herself falling for its leader. Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Julia Ormond and Patricia Clarkson all star.