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Cannes Wish List 2010: 40 New Films to Hope For

Cannes Wish List 2010: 40 New Films to Hope For

With just over two weeks until the expected announcement of the Cannes Film Festival lineup on April 15th, speculation surrounding the 2010 roster is intensifying. indieWIRE picked 40 films to consider right now.

Cannes is a sort of annual cinematic Olympics, with countless countries vying for spots in the official selection.

Already announced is Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” as a big studio opener for this year’s fest, while earlier this week Anne Thompson said that insiders should keep an eye on Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street 2,” Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” and Woody Allen’s latest, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.”

iW’s annual Cannes wish list isn’t based on side conversations with distributors and sales agents, but rather is a roster of films we hope are finished in time, good enough, and subsequently invited to join the annual South of France party. Numerous sites, from The Playlist and Ion Cinema, to trade papers like Screen (and many others) have been speculating about the lineup. Such talk will heat up in the next two weeks and then, we’ll know for sure.

Now at 63 years old, there’s no question that the Festival de Cannes remains the world’s leading annual film showcase. Its lineup includes new work by the cinema’s leading auteurs screening alongside a few hand-picked movies from Hollywood.

The festival sets the tone for the year in cinema, paving the way for the lineups of numerous other fall film fests and elevating a few titles to annual Oscar consideration. Conversely, some films may play poorly with the thousands of often-finicky international critics and then fight an uphill battle with some audiences.

Movies on this list that don’t get a spot in Cannes will immediately become hot topics for a fall fest berth in Venice and/or Toronto. So, let the games begin.

Another Year,” directed by Mike Leigh (UK)
Leigh opted for Venice (“Vera Drake”) and Berlin (“Happy-Go-Lucky”) with his two previous universally praised titles, but it looks like he could make a return to the Croisette (he won the Palme d’or for “Secrets & Lies” back in 1996), with “Another Year.” The film reunites him with “Drake” actors Imelda Staunton, Jim Broadbent and Lesley Manville. Like most of Leigh’s works (often born out of rehearsals and the ideas that come out of them), little is known about the film. The only official information of any kind indicates that viewers can expect an “Intimate portrait of people’s lives.” While that easily could be said about any Leigh film, it doesn’t make “Another” any less exciting to anticipate. [Peter Knegt]

Area 51,” directed by Oren Peli (USA)
The project is Oren Peli’s follow up to 2007’s low budget blockbuster “Paranormal Activity,” which earned him a Spirit Award nod for Best First Feature. Starring Sandra Staggs (“An American Rhapsody”) and newcomer Ben Rovner, “Area 51” is a sci-fi thriller about a group of teenagers who stumble upon an area in the Nevada desert that is thought to have been visited by aliens. [Brian Brooks]

Aurora,” directed by Cristi Puiu (Romania)
The new film from Puiu, who won the Un Certain Regard in 2005 with his critically-heralded “The Death of Mister Lazarescu,” seems an obvious choice for inclusion in Cannes’ lineup. Like “Lazarescu,” “Aurora” is part of the Romanian director’s “Six Stories from the Outskirts of Bucharest,” an homage of sorts to Rohmer’s “Six Moral Tales,” a series of thematically connected but standalone films that the director has described as “love stories.” While the story and cast have been largely kept under wraps, it’s reported that “Aurora” is a crime drama with Puiu taking the lead role, a divorcee and father of two who quits his job to make a major change. [Basil Tsiokos]

A scene from Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables.”

The Beaver,” directed by Jodie Foster (USA)
A dark horse for inclusion here, but wouldn’t it be something if it found its way? Starring Mel Gibson as a clinically depressed toy company CEO who finds solace through a beaver hand puppet (!), which he uses to communicate to his wife (Foster). A bizarre but intriguing choice for Foster’s long-awaited directorial follow-up to 1995’s “Home For The Holidays,” its script – by Kyle Killen – topped the 2008 “Blacklist,” which ranks the best unproduced screenplays. Filming was completed in November 2009, and while neither Foster nor Gibson are exactly on career rolls right now, Cannes could be a fascinating place for them each to show us what could be quite the comeback (or quite the misfire). [Peter Knegt]

Biutiful,” by Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu (Spain)
Following his Best Director win for “Babel” at the 2006 edition of Cannes, Oscar nominee Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu would be wise to screen his latest “Biutiful” for this year’s jury. His first film entirely in Spanish since his breakout “Amores Perros,” the film marks Inarritu’s first time working with Spain’s hottest export, Javier Bardem. Not much is known about the plot, apart from Bardem playing a man embroiled in shady dealings who is confronted by a childhood friend, who now happens to be a policeman. The film, shot mainly in Barcelona, is listed as in post-production stages, and is already being touted as an Oscar contender, despite its foreign pedigree. [Nigel Smith]

Black Swan,” by Darren Aronofsky (USA)
Assuming it’s ready to go, Aronofsky’s latest should be a Cannes shoe-in. His thriller, “Black Swan” stars Natalie Portman, Winona Ryder and Vincent Cassel in his follow up to “The Wrestler” (which premiered at the 2008 Venice and Toronto film festivals and went on to receive a bevvy of accolades including Oscar nominations for stars Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei. In “Black Swan,” a young ballarina finds success in professional ballet, but she is soon faced with a rival who looks like her. [Brian Brooks]

Carlos,” directed by Olivier Assayas (France)
French director Olivier Assayas is certainly no stranger to Cannes, having screened in competition three times with “Clean” in 2004, “Demonlover” in 2002 and “Les destinees sentimentales” in 2000, so barring any surprises, Assayas could be hitting the Croisette again in 2010. This time, with a five hour film version of a TV series. Starring Edgar Ramirez and Alexander Beyer, it centers on Venezuelan revolutionary Ramirez Sanchez, who lead a terrorist organization that raided OPEC headquarters in 1975 before being caught by French police. [Brian Brooks]

The Expendables,” directed by Sylvester Stallone (USA)
Sylvester Stallone played himself in Bollywood film “Kambakkht Ishq,” which screened in Cannes last year, and he hit the red carpet in 1993 for Renny Harlin’s “Cliffhanger,” which he starred in. This time around, if speculations pans out, the “Rocky” star will return as a director and star in action-adventure/thriller “The Expendables.” Also starring Jason Statham, Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren, the film focuses on a team of mercenaries who travel to a South American country to overthrow a dictator. [Brian Brooks]

Fair Game,” directed by Doug Liman (USA)
Doug Liman traveled to Cannes as a director in 1994 with “Getting In.” Since then he went on to direct such notables as “Swingers” (1996), “Go” (1999) and “The Bourne Identity” (2002). With stars Naomi Watts and Sean Penn potentially walking the red carpet, the drama/thriller has a more than fair chance of debuting in Cannes. Based on a true story that rocked the Bush presidency, Watts plays outed CIA agent Valierie Plame whose status was revealed by a White House source in retaliation for her husband’s outspoken criticism of the administrations justification for invading Iraq. [Brian Brooks]

A scene from Gregg Araki’s “Kaboom.”

The Fighter” (or ” Nailed“), directed by David O. Russell (USA)
It’s been six years since “I Heart Huckabees,” and David O. Russell could very well give us a double dose of a return in 2010: Completed Christian Bale-Mark Wahlberg boxing drama “The Fighter,” and Jake Gyllenhaal-Jessica Biel political comedy “Nailed,” which is actually Russell’s pre-“Fighter” project, but ran into serious financial troubles with a completion date still unknown. “Fighter” (which also stars Amy Adams and Melissa Leo) seems like the safest bet of the two to end up in the South of France come May, but “Nailed” – which follows a small town waitress who gets a nail accidentally lodged in her head, causing unpredictable behavior that leads her to D.C. – is an unlikely but fun dark horse to keep in mind. A more likely scenario may be that neither film makes the cut and are instead Toronto-bound come September. [Peter Knegt]

The Grand Master,” directed by Wong Kar-Wai (Hong Kong)
From auteur Wong Kar-Wai (“In the Mood for Love,” “Chungking Express,” “2046”) comes a bio-pic about martial-arts master Ip Man, a breakthrough figure who instructed the legendary Bruce Lee. Tony Leung stars. Unknown is whether the film is actually finished. But, if it is, Cannes would be an obvious place for a premiere. So, we hope. [Eugene Hernandez]

Here,” directed by Braden King (USA)
King’s dramatic feature debut (he’s previously helmed documentaries and shorts) boasts an impressive pedigree, with support from the major players in the film festival world, including the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Lab, Rotterdam’s Cinemart Producer’s Lab, the Sundance/NHK Award, Tribeca’s Rockefeller/Renew Media Fellowship, and, most Croisette-relevant, the Cannes Atelier. Starring Ben Foster, now higher profile thanks to his turn in the acclaimed “The Messenger,” “Here” is a road movie about a transformative romantic encounter between two loners – an American satellite-mapping engineer and an expatriate Armenian photographer – who find themselves in Armenia traveling together through unexplored terrain. [Basil Tsiokos]

Hereafter” by Clint Eastwood (USA)
Post-production is reportedly near complete on “Hereafter,” the nearly 80-year-old Clint Eastwood’s 10th directorial effort in just as many years. This suggests it may be heading Cannes’ way, as Eastwood’s recent “Changeling” and “Mystic River” both did. Teaming up with “The Queen” writer Peter Morgan and his “Invictus” actor Matt Damon for this supernatural thriller centered on three people touched by death in different ways, Eastwood is taking a step into a genre he’s rarely played with. Whether or not it works out is anyone’s guess, but it’s more than likely that if Clint has “Hereafter” ready for the Croisette, it will screen there. [Peter Knegt]

Kaboom” by Gregg Araki (USA)
“Kaboom,” Araki’s follow-up to the criminally under-seen stoner comedy “Smiley Face” (which some might be surprised to learn screened in Director’s Fortnight in 2007), would be a welcome addition to a program at the festival. A sci-fi story centered around the sexual awakening of a group of college kids, “Kaboom” stars (ridiculously attractive) up-and-comers or near-unknowns including Roxanne Mesquida, Thomas Dekker, Rooney Mara, and Haley Bennett, in addition to Araki alum James Duval (“Totally Fucked Up,” “Nowhere”). [Peter Knegt]

A scene from John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole.”

Little White Lies,” directed by Guillaume Canet (France)
Guillaume Canet last directorial effort “Tell No One” was an unqualified success for the young wunderkind (and French heartthrob), placing him at the forefront of European directors to watch. A celebrated actor back in France, Canet seems poised to take Cannes by storm with his latest directorial effort “Little White Lies.” It helps that he cast Marion Cotillard in the lead. Set for an October release in France, his film follows a successful restaurant owner and his eco-friendly wife who stage a grand vacation for friends at their beach house. Predictably, all hell breaks loose. [Nigel Smith]

Love, Imagined” (Les Amours imaginaires), directed by Xavier Dolan (Canada)
It was only last May that then 20-year old Quebecois Xavier Dolan took the film world by storm on the Croisette, winning the top three prizes in the Director’s Fortnight for his semi-autobiographical drama, “I Killed My Mother.” It seems that despite being busy promoting “Mother” on the world festival circuit, Dolan found time to complete production on a follow-up. What better place to silence critics who suggested Dolan was a one-hit-wonder than by returning to Cannes a year later. His “Love, Imagined” is the story of three friends – played by Dolan, “Mother” co-star Niels Schneider, and newcomer Monia Chokri – who become involved in a love triangle. It could be the film that officially let’s us all know we have a budding auteur on our hands. [Peter Knegt]

Machete” by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis (USA)
Rodriguez last went to Cannes with “Sin City” in competition, and he may be back this year debuting his latest crime/drama, “Machete.” With decent star wattage, the film – about a dismissed law enforcement official who seeks revenge against his former boss – seems well poised to ascend the red steps at the Palais in May. Danny Trejo plays the title roll, joining the likes of Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and even Cheech Marin. It could be quite a spectacle! [Brian Brooks]

Meek’s Cutoff,” directed by Kelly Reichardt (USA)
Reichardt’s last film, “Wendy & Lucy,” debuted to very warm notices in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival (even winning the Palme Dog prize for its co-star, Lucy). In her ambitious follow-up, a western entitled “Meek’s Cutoff,” Reichardt re-teams with “Wendy” star Michelle Williams, as well as Paul Dano, Bruce Greenwood, and Zoe Kazan. Set in 1845 on the Oregon Trail, it follows a wagon team of three families as they head through the Cascade Mountains. Production finished late last year, so here’s hoping “Cutoff” makes the cut. [Peter Knegt]

Miral,” directed by Julian Schnabel
Artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel did quite well for himself with his first Cannes outing, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” Schnabel won the prize for Best Director in 2007 and the festival could be a natural place to launch it. The new movie stars Freida Pinto, Willem Dafoe and Alexander Siddig. This time around, Schnabel focuses the lense on another true story. “Miral” takes a look at Hind Husseini and her quest to build an orphanage in Jerusalem in the wake of the establishment of Israel in 1948. [Brian Brooks]

Norwegian Wood,” directed by Anh Hung Tran (Japan)
Way back in 1993, Vietnamese director Anh Hung Tran won the Camera D’Or and the youth award for “The Scent of Green Papaya” (he went on to win France’s Cesar and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film). He followed it up ith “Xich Lo” in 1995, winning the Golden Lion in Venice. His latest, based on the novel by Haruki Murakami, stars Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel”) and Kenichi Matsuyama about a couple whose relationship is haunted by the death of their best friend years before. Also of note is a score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood who also did music for “There Will Be Blood.” Fortissimo, always a tour de force in Cannes, is repping the film. If this isn’t in, I’ll eat my hat. [Brian Brooks]

Potiche,” directed by Francois Ozon (France)
While its November French release suggests the Gallic auteur may opt to debut his latest film in Toronto, as he did with his last film, “Le Refuge” and the earlier “Under the Sand,” the prolific Ozon has had a history of premieres at all the major fests, so if the film is ready, it could be introduced on the Croisette. Ozon was at Cannes five years ago with “Time to Leave,” and before that with “Swimming Pool,” and has a further home court advantage with “Potiche,” an adaptation of a French play set in a bourgeois province in 1977 and starring a veritable who’s who of the country’s best thesps, including Gerard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Ludivine Sagnier, Cecile De France, and Jeremie Renier. [Basil Tsiokos]

Rabbit Hole,”directed by John Cameron Mitchell (USA)
John Cameron Mitchell caught more than a few folks off guard when it was announced that his third feature (and follow-up to controversial Cannes entry “Shortbus”) would be an adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Rabbit Hole.” It marks both the first time Mitchell’s directed someone else’s screenplay, and the first time he’s worked with big-name actors – in this case Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. Mitchell has some considerably promising material to work with here. Following a family coping with the death of their young son, “Rabbit Hole” was a major success on Broadway, earning Cynthia Nixon a Tony for the role Kidman is now playing. And even if it’s a far cry from “Hedwig,” if there’s one thing Mitchell can bring from that work it’s his ability to translate from stage to screen. The film has completed production, so perhaps we’ll find out whether that’s true come May. [Peter Knegt]

A scene from Cam Archer’s “Shit Year.’

The Revenge,” directed by Susanne Bier (Denmark)
Danish director Susanne Bier, director of the original 2004 film “Brodre” (to which the 2009 American remake “Brothers” can barely compare), wrote and directed this drama about a Holocaust survivor who meets the twin sister he believed had died in the concentration camps. The film also star’s “Brodre’s” Ulrich Thomsen. [Nigel Smith]

Room in Rome” (Habitacion en Roma), directed by Julio Medem (Spain)
While Medem has had a history of premiering films at the Toronto fest (“Sex and Lucia,” “Chaotic Ana”), there’s a chance his newest, reportedly completed or close to it, could find its way to France come mid-May. The film tells the story of a passionate night of casual sex between two women in a hotel room. IFC Films made the unusual move of acquiring “Room in Rome” while still in production, suggesting they really liked what they saw. Given the stunning visuals of its sexually-explicit trailer, we expect the film to generate heat wherever it ends up screening. [Basil Tsiokos]

The Rum Diary,” directed by Bruce Robinson (USA)
Director Bruce Robinson, best known for cult classic “Withnail & I,” hasn’t directed a film since “Jennifer Eight” (1992), but he’s rounded up some A-list talent for his newest effort. More importantly “The Rum Diary” reunites Johnny Depp with Hunter S. Thompson (“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”), upon whose novel the film is based. In the movie, Johnny Depp stars as Paul Kemp, a freelance journalist who goes through a mid-life crisis while writing for a run-down newspaper in the Caribbean of all places. Rounding out the cast is Aaron Eckhart, Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Jenkins and Amber Head. [Nigel Smith]

Shit Year,” directed by Cam Archer (USA)
Archer’s stylized Sundance 2006 debut feature, “Wild Tigers I Have Known,” executive produced by Gus Van Sant, capitalized on the promise the then-24-year-old showed in his acclaimed 2003 short “Bobbycrush.” With the involvement of Ellen Barkin and Melora Walters, “Shit Year” should make for an accomplished sophomore effort that could find a place in Director’s Fortnight or Un Certain Regard. The film promises a tour de force performance from Barkin, playing a has-been Hollywood actress having a hard time facing retirement who begins an affair with a much younger actor, played by Luke Grimes (TV’s “Brothers & Sisters”). [Basil Tsiokos]

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A scene from Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere.”

Socialisme,” directed by Jean Luc Godard (France, Switzerland)
Called, “A symphony in three movements,” this film seems to be a project by a number of directors including the revered Jean-Luc Godard. Singer/artist Patti Smith is supposedly starring. Assuming this is ready to go, one cannot imagine a new film by Godard wouldn’t find its way into the Cannes roster. [Brian Brooks]

Somewhere,” directed by Sofia Coppola (USA)
Two of Coppola’s three features (“The Virgin Suicides” and “Marie Antoinette”) debuted on the Croisette, and while some reports have suggested her fourth, “Somewhere,” may go the way of “Lost In Translation” (which debuted at the Telluride-Toronto-Venice trifecta), recently buzz has suggested that might not be the case. The film follows Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), a Hollywood bad-boy, stumbling through a life of excess at the Chateau Marmont when he receives an unexpected visit from his 11-year-old daughter, played by Elle Fanning. Scenes from the film are said to be somewhat inspired by Coppola’s own childhood experiences with father Francis Ford Coppola. [Peter Knegt]

Tamara Drewe,” directed by Stephen Frears (UK)
Frears has directed six women to acting Oscar nominations, including Helen Mirren (who won in 2006) for “The Queen,” Glenn Close and Michelle Pfeiffer both in “Dangerous Liaisons” (1988). Frears went to Cannes in 1987 with “Prick Up Your Ears and again in ’96 with “The Van,” both films playing in competition. Though it remaines to be seen if this film (starring Gemma Arterton and Luke Evans) will be ready for a May premiere, the comedy – about a writer who returns to the English countryside where her childhood home is going up for sale – just might be a ripe return to Cannes for Frears. [Brian Brooks]

The Tempest,” directed by Julie Taymor (USA)
Once suggested for a late 2009 release (it finished shooting in January of last year, delays could find Julie Taymor’s Shakespeare adaptation “The Tempest” ending up in Cannes instead (though it’s definitely a dark horse). Featuring an impressive ensemble cast (Helen Mirren, David Strathairn, Djimon Hounsou, Alan Cumming, Alfred Molina, Chris Cooper, Ben Whishaw and Felicity Jones), the fantastical thriller would be Taymor’s first film to hit Cannes, after “Frida”‘s debut in Venice and “Across The Universe” in Toronto (“Titus” didn’t do the festival circuit). [Peter Knegt]

Three,” directed by Tom Tykwer (Germany)
Director of the vastly overlooked “Heaven” (based on a screenplay by the late Krysztof Kieslowski), Tom Tykwer’s latest marks a return to his German roots, following the high profile films “The International” and “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.” The Berlin-set drama, currently listed as in post-production, centers on a 40-something couple who separately fall in love with the same man. Sounds juicy. [Nigel Smith]

The Tree of Life,” by Terrance Malick (USA)
Much speculation has surrounded whether this film is heading to the Croisette or not. Conflicting reports suggest that Malick’s fifth feature film (in a career that now spans just as many decades) is either a lock for Cannes, or most definitely not going to be finished in time. If the former is indeed the case, this will be one of the festival’s most anticipated offerings. This week, Anne Thompson reported that the film is done. The reclusive and greatly acclaimed filmmaker brings together actors Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in what is said to be a 1950s period piece about a Midwestern boy’s journey from childhood to adult years in which he is “a lost soul in the modern world.” Malick’s four previous efforts (“Badlands,” “Days of Heaven,” “The Thin Red Line” and “The New World”) each have their fair share of passionate supporters, and there’s no reason to believe “Life” will be any different. [Peter Knegt]

Toy Story 3,” directed by Lee Unkrich (USA)
Co-director of1999’s “Toy Story 2,” as well as “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo,” Lee Unkrich returns to beloved toys Woody, Buzz, and the rest of their friends, following what happens to the group with their aging owner Andy heads to college. And yes, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen’s voices star. Will Pixar’s latest 3-D summer title follow in the footsteps of “Up” and head to the Croisette? [Sophia Savage]

The Turin Horse,” directed by Bela Tarr
According to Ion Cinema, Tarr’s latest is, “freely inspired by an episode that marked the end of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s career.” Enough said. Hope it’s in Cannes. [Eugene Hernandez]

Untitled,” directed by Gus Van Sant (USA)
Formerly known as “Restless,” Van Sant’s latest began shooting in November and is reportedly still in post, so a Cannes berth is uncertain. The helmer has been on the Croisette with “Paranoid Park” (2007), “Last Days” (2005), and “Elephant” (2003) – all works that lack the whimsy implied by his newest film’s synopsis. Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”) stars in this story about a mortality-obsessed teenage couple who crash funerals and are regularly visited by the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot. The film also includes the notable involvement of the progeny of Hollywood luminaries, including co-producer Bryce Dallas Howard and actors Henry Hopper (son of Dennis) and Schuyler Fisk (daughter of Sissy Spacek). If the film is finished, it would seem like an obvious Cannes choice. [Basil Tsiokos]

La Vida Util,” directed by Federico Veiroj (Uruguay)
A local Uruguayan film critic stars as Jorge, the cinematheque owner in “La vida util” whose life has been defined by his cinephilia. With his film archive in crisis, it’s an understatement to say that he’s facing a dramatic transition as the structures of his existence crumble. The black-and-white movie, made with film stock that Veiroj won at a film festival, is the director’s second feature, a follow-up to 2008s “Acne,” which debuted in Cannes before winning a number of other fest prizes. [Eugene Hernandez]

A scene from Peter Weir’s “The Way Back.”

Wall Street 2,” directed by Oliver Stone (USA)
Following an aggressive marketing campaign for an April 23rd release, Fox heads made the surprising decision to bump Oliver Stone’s sequel to “Wall Street” to September 24. While this surely affords more time for Stone to polish the movie, many are speculating that shift was made to accommodate a Cannes worldwide premiere, thereby giving the film a global promotional push. Earlier this week, Anne Thompson reported that a Cannes berth is likely. [Nigel Smith]

The Way Back,” directed by Peter Weir (USA)
Peter Weir (“The Truman Show,” “Dead Poet’s Society”) is already generating Oscar buzz for his direction of “The Way Back.” With a cast that includes Colin Farrell, Ed Harris and Saoirse Ronan, the fact-based drama centering around a group of soldiers who escaped from a Siberian gulag in 1940, is bound to generate more buzz at Cannes and beyond. [Nigel Smith]

What’s Wrong With Virginia?” directed by Dustin Lance Black (USA)
“Milk” writer Dustin Lance Black’s “What’s Wrong With Virginia” appears to be nearly ready to go and while it’s a significant question mark in Cannes’ regard (he is still untested in directorial efforts), it’s definitely one to watch for. The film stars Ed Harris as a sheriff who sees his state senate bid slide out when his daughter (Emma Roberts) begins dating the son of a psychologically disturbed woman (Jennifer Connelly) who he has had a two-decades long affair with. It’s difficult to tell where this film belongs, but Black’s cred was recently boosted by the news he would be writing the latest project (a Herbert Hoover biopic no less) from another potential Cannes 2010 player, Clint Eastwood. [Peter Knegt]

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” directed by Woody Allen (USA/Spain)
After a brief trip back to the US for “Whatever Works,” Woody Allen returns to Europe for his annual addition to his filmography, London-set “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.” It’s said to have already screened for the Cannes committee to a warm response, so it seems like a good bet for a slot. Starring Naomi Watts, Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin and Freida Pinto, not too much is known about “Stranger,” though the film’s Facebook page (that’s right) reads: “A little romance, some sex, some treachery, and apart from that, a few laughs. The lives of a group of people, whose passions, ambitions and anxieties force them all into assorted troubles that run the gamut from ludicrous to dangerous.” Sounds like quintessential Woody. Thompson on Hollywood says it’s a sure bet for the fest. [Peter Knegt]

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