Allen’s “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone, is said to be a darker, less comedic Allen picture, along the same lines as “Match Point.” Phoenix plays a small-town college professor who starts an illicit relationship with one of his students (Stone). The Sony Classics release opens July 24.
Another contender is Disney/Pixar’s animated “Inside Out,” from director Pete Docter (who co-directed with Ronaldo Del Carmen). Docter’s acclaimed feature “Up” opened the festival in 2009. Set to open June 19, “Inside Out” is a comic fantasy about the life of a young girl, featuring the voice talents of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling and Diane Lane.
Representing North America in Variety’s predictions is Todd Haynes’ “Carol,” a 1950s-set lesbian love story starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. “Carol” will be released this fall, and would mark Haynes’ first appearance at Cannes since 1998’s “Velvet Goldmine,” which received a prize for best artistic contribution from the jury.
Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario” is another North American contestant. The crime drama, set against the backdrop of a Mexican drug trade, stars Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin. Lionsgate is planning to release the film in September.
Slots may also be taken up by Jeff Nichols’ “Midnight Special,” a science-fiction thriller starring Adam Driver and Michael Shannon, and Gus Van Sant’s “The Sea of Trees,” a suicide drama starring Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe, about two men who meet by chance in Japan’s infamous “Suicide Forest.”
Among the international list of possibilities, Variety predicts director Yorgos Lanthimos (“Dogtooth”) may present his bigger budget sci-fi “The Lobster,” starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly. Natalie Portman’s feature directorial debut, the Jerusalem-shot drama “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” could be up for the Un Certain Regard section.
Cannes’ 68th annual festival runs from May 13-24. The full official-selection lineup will be revealed on April 16. Stay tuned to Indiewire in the coming days for more Cannes predictions.