The 2013 edition of the Cannes Film Festival kicks off this Wednesday with the international premiere of a film most of us Stateside folks have already seen -- Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby." But after that comes dozens of films that have yet to screen in any public capacity, including new work from Sofia Coppola, Nicolas Winding Refn, Claire Denis, James Gray and Jim Jarmusch (among many, many others).
Indiewire will be on the scene offering updates starting Wednesday, but in the meantime we figured we'd offer the 13 films we're especially looking forward to at Cannes '13. And please note there's plenty more where that came from (it says something about how plentiful Cannes is when the latest from the Coen Brothers, Roman Polanski and Alexander Payne don't make our narrowed personal cut), so check back for the latest reviews and buzz suggesting what the true standouts of the 66th edition of Cannes are.
"All is Lost"
J.C. Chandor's debut feature "Margin Call," a well-acted look at a burgeoning financial crisis, was often more interesting for its visual polish than the vaguely defined story. So it makes sense that Chandor would follow that movie up with something even more cinematically intriguing: "All is Lost" stars Robert Redford and only Robert Redford as a man lost at sea and struggling to stay alive. Early reports indicate that the movie has no dialogue, but don't expect "The Artist"-level gimmickry: This looks like a seriously intriguing tale of mortality featuring an actor overdue for another challenging role. Already set for U.S. distribution with "Margin Call" distributor Roadside Attractions, "All is Lost" screens at Cannes out of competition, but seems well-positioned to gain a boost from international crowds impressed by Redford for the first time in years. [Eric Kohn]
"Behind The Candelabra"
Back in 1989, Steven Soderbergh became the youngest director to ever win Cannes' Palme d'Or with his directorial debut "sex, lies and videotape." Fittingly, his alleged final film -- Liberace biopic "Behind The Candelabra" -- returns him to competition at the festival nearly 25 years later. Based on Scott Thorson’s 1988 memoir, "Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace," the film stars Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Thorson, his longtime lover. It marks the first time a film made for HBO has made it into official competition, and hopefully that suggests Soderbergh has free reign to do Liberace and Thorson's story justice. The director has claimed "Candelabra" was rejected by Hollywood studios for being "too gay," and with Pedro Almodovar's "I'm So Excited" opting out of Cannes, it should give the festival its gayest event. Even if Soderbergh doesn't add another Palme d'Or to his mantle, he seems like a safe bet for the festival's Queer Palm (which awards the best LGBT film at Cannes). [Peter Knegt]
Hong Kong giant Johnny To's action films may not often make it to the U.S., but he remains one of the most successful action directors working today and shows no sign of slowing down. Last year alone saw the release of two new To movies, "Drug War" and "Romancing in Thin Air." At Cannes' midnight section, To will unveil his latest blockbuster, which stars Andy Lau as a cop forced to retire after an accident leaves him blind -- until he decides to chase down some bank robbers one last time. To loves trafficking in clichés and elevating them with a blend of intense visuals, comedy and poetic insights; one hopes that formula holds strong here. [Eric Kohn]