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Cannes Wish List: 40 Films We Hope Make The Festival's 2014 Lineup

By Indiewire | Indiewire March 18, 2014 at 11:46AM

Cannes is a sort of annual cinematic Olympics, with almost every country vying for spots in the official selection. But with the official 2014 Cannes Film Festival announcement a little over a month away, Indiewire is offering its annual Cannes wish list.
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Cannes

Cannes is a sort of annual cinematic Olympics, with almost every country vying for spots in the official selection. But with the official 2014 Cannes Film Festival announcement a little over a month away, Indiewire is offering its annual Cannes wish list. 

Indiewire's annual Cannes wish list isn't so much about officially predicting the lineup, but rather a roster of films we hope are finished in time, good enough and invited to the festival. Thus we're not including films that seem to have zero chance of making the cut (Todd Haynes' "Carol" or Werner Herzog's "Queen of the Desert," for example, neither of which will be finished in time) or the one film we officially know is in -- "Grace of Monaco," which will open the festival.

Among the candidates are celebrated filmmakers like Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Olivier Assayas, Tim Burton, JC Chandor, David Cronenberg, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Xavier Dolan, Mia Hansen-Love, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Terrence Malick, Thomas Vinterberg, Lars Von Trier, Wim Wenders, among many others (including Ryan Gosling and Jon Stewart, no less).

Films that don't get a spot in Cannes (and there will definitely be a few) will immediately become hot topics for a fall fest berth in Venice and/or Toronto. Either way, let the guessing games begin:

“The Assassin”
Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Known for being a large figure in the Taiwanese New Wave movement, Hsiao-Hsien has remained relatively unknown stateside. Despite this, the director has been nominated for the Palme d’Or six times, with his last film being the critically acclaimed 2007 film “Flight of the Red Balloon.” His most recent film, “The Assassin” is a historical drama set in the Tang Dynasty, and we'd be surprised if it didn't end up marking the director's lucky seventh trip to the Croisette.

"Big Eyes"
Directed by Tim Burton
Tim Burton -- who headed the Cannes jury two years back -- has gotten a lot of flack as of late thanks to big budget, critically panned films like "Alice in Wonderland" and "Dark Shadows." But he's making a return to fantasy-free, low-budget fare in 2014 -- really for the first time since 1994's "Ed Wood" (which is perhaps his most critically acclaimed film).  Could it mean a trip to the Croisette? With a script from "Wood" screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, "Big Eyes" takes on the true story of husband and wife artists Walter and Margaret Keane (Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams), the former of whom rose to fame in 1950s for his paintings of big-eyed kids. It sure sounds great on paper, and here's hoping -- Cannes or no Cannes -- it makes us completely forget about "Dark Shadows" and anticipate a whole new era of work from Burton.

"Birdman"
Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Inarritu's past films to have gotten into the Cannes Film Festival have been grim, foreign-language dramas that tackle issues of global and social importance. His upcoming film "Birdman," on the other hand, is an American comedy starring Zach Galifianiakis, Emma Stone and Michael Keaton about an actor trying to regain his former glory on Broadway when his days playing a famous superhero have long been gone. But whether the acclaimed director makes an independent drama or a studio comedy, there's little doubt that Inarritu has enough artistic integrity to get even the most mainstream of films into Cannes.

"Clouds of Sils Maria"
"Clouds of Sils Maria"

“Bird People”
Directed by Pascale Ferran
Is "Bird" gonna be the word at Cannes? Alongside Inarritu's latest, French director Pascale Ferran could be in the mix for "Bird People."  The director hasn’t been up to much since her acclaimed 2006 feature “Lady Chatterly,” a drama based on the romance novel “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” by D.H. Lawrence. The film, which won Ferran numerous awards including a Cesar for best film, undoubtedly established her as someone to watch. Now almost a decade later, Ferran returns with “Bird People,” a drama about an American man who arrives to Paris and tries to create a new identity for himself.

"Clouds of Sils Maria"
Directed by Olivier Assayas
After choosing the Venice route instead for his last film "Something in the Air," Olivier Assayas could very well return to Cannes with his latest film "Clouds of Sils Maria" (in fact, it seems like a certainty at this point).  And if/when he does, he'll bring along some American celebrities that we're sure will make the folks at Cannes' red carpet happy. Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace-Moretz join Juliette Binoche in this English language film about an established actress (Binoche) and her loyal assistant Valentine (Stewart) who isolate themselves in the small Swiss town of the film's title. It's definitely a new direction for Assayas, and one that could potentially do a lot of good to the careers of Stewart and Grace-Moretz.

“Coming Home”
Directed by Zhang Yimou
It’s quite an achievement if you’re the person behind the first Chinese film to be nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film. Yimou did just that with his his 1990 film “Ju Dou” and then again in 1992 (with “Raise the Red Lantern") and 2002 (for “Hero"). And while he received mixed reviews for his last film, the historical drama “The Flowers of War,” starring Christian Bale, this year Yimou will be returning with “Coming Home,” about a man who is forced into a labor camp after escaping to America to avoid a marriage.

“Eden”
Directed by Mia Hansen-Love
At only 33, Mia Hansen-Love has already established herself as a director to watch. She won the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for her drama “The Father of my Children.” Her latest project, “Eden,” follows the life of a French DJ who’s credited with inventing “French house” or the “French touch,” a type of French electronic music that became popular in the 1990s. Best of all? It stars “Frances Ha” star Greta Gerwig. 

"Everything Will Be Fine"
Director: Wim Wenders
Following up his remarkably successful, Oscar nominated 3D documentary "Pina," Wim Wenders returns to narrative filmmaking, but we'll still be wearing the 3D glasses. From a script by Bjorn Olaf Johannessen, the film tells the story of a writer (James Franco), who loses control of his life after a car accident which kills a young boy. It follows him over a period of 12 years as he tries to find self-forgiveness, with Rachel McAdams (in a role originally set for Sarah Polley) playing his girlfriend Kate. While clearly the plot does not sound like your typical 3D fare, leave it to Wenders to offer us an entirely new utilization of the format (as he did with "Pina").

This article is related to: Cannes Film Festival, Wish List, Big Eyes, Inherent Vice, A Most Violent Year, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Mommy, Maps to the Stars





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