Generally speaking, the Cannes Film Festival likes to open things with a glitzy, star-studded movie, but maybe after last year’s “Grace Of Monaco” flopped and is now going straight-to-Lifetime, they’ve decided to change the game.
Organizers have announced that “La Tete haute” (“Standing Tall“), starring Rod Paradot, Catherine Deneuve, Benoît Magimel and Sara Forestier, will open the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The movie comes from director Emmanuelle Bercot, who has had success on the Croisette, winning the Jury Prize for her short “Les Vacances” in 1997, a 2nd place Cinefondation finish in 1999 for “La Puce,” and the Award Of The Youth in 2001 for “Clément.” The filmmaker’s latest tells the story of a juvenile delinquent, Malony, and his upbringing from childhood to adulthood, as a children’s judge and social worker try to save him.
“The choice of this film may seem surprising, given the rules generally applied to the Festival de Cannes Opening Ceremony,” explains Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Event said in a statement. “It is a clear reflection of our desire to see the Festival start with a different piece, which is both bold and moving. Emmanuelle Bercot’s film makes important statements about contemporary society, in keeping with modern cinema. It focusses on universal social issues, making it a perfect fit for the global audience at Cannes.”
It’s definitely a lower-key opener than we’re used to, and also a firm answer to critic’s concerns about the thin representation of female directors in the lineup at Cannes in recent years. Thursday will be the unveiling of the full lineup. Cannes runs from May 13th to 24th.