It’s a “seller’s market” at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, according to Deadline. Some US sales include The Amy Adams-starring sci-fi pic Story of Your Life which sold for $20 million to Paramount, and Nicole Kidman’s Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco (which opens in France shortly) finally closed its deal with the Weinstein Co for US distribution.
There are plenty of fascinating-sounding women-directed and women-starring films on offer at the Croisette. Not all are being shown in their entirety at Cannes; many sellers are offering just a sizzle reel and some are looking for financing to get made. Needless to say, a lot of these films — including those by directors Susanne Bier, Jodie Foster, Haifaa Al-Mansour, and Natalie Portman — have us rather excited.
Descriptions below courtesy of Deadline.
DARK PLACES –
Director and writer: Gilles Paquet-Brenner. Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicholas
Hoult, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christina Hendricks. The sole survivor of a violent
home invasion, Libby Day lives with the knowledge that her testimony as a
7-year-old sentenced her brother to life in prison for the horrific crime.
Twenty-five years later, crime enthusiasts convince her to re-examine the
events. Based on the Gillian Flynn novel.
QUEEN OF THE DESERT – Director and writer:
Werner Herzog, Cast: Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, Damian
Lewis. Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, the Lawrence of Arabia of female diplomats
and political attache for the British Empire at the dawn of the 20th century.
KIDNAP – Director:
Luis Prieto. Cast: Halle Berry. A mother tries to stop the kidnapping of her
child in a thriller that plays out in real time.
THE SEARCH – Director:
Michel Hazanavicius, Cast: Berenice Bejo, Annette Bening. Chechnya-set
adaptation of 1948 Oscar winner The Search, which follows an
NGO worker who bonds with a small boy who’s been separated from his mother in
the war-torn nation. Film is playing in competition
ROOM – Director: Lenny
Abrahamson. Cast: Brie Larson. A young mother shelters her 5-year-old son from
the truth that the tiny shed they inhabit is in fact the site of their
incarceration after she was kidnapped years ago as a teenager.
A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS –
Director, writer and star: Natalie Portman. Drama based on Amos Oz’s memoir about his
mother Fania, who struggles with postwar realities while raising her son in
Jerusalem at the end of the British Mandate for Palestine and the early years
of the State of Israel. Dealing with a married life of unfulfilled promises and
integration in a foreign land, Fania battles depression and can only escape in
a world of daydreams.
A STORM IN THE STARS –
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour. The circumstances that led Mary Shelley to write
Director: Sarah Gavron. Script by Abi Morgan Cast: Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Ann-Marie Duff,
Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson. Focus is UK suffragette
movement in 1912 England, culminating in the notorious Derby Day when Emily
Davison died after leaping out in front of the King’s horse.
MISSISSIPPI GRIND –
Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck. Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn, Sienna
Miller. Gambler in debt sets off on a road trip through the Southern U.S. with
a young gambling addict in an attempt to change his luck.
MONEY MONSTER –
Director: Jodie Foster. Cast: George Clooney. Lee Gates is a television
personality whose insider-trading tips make him the guru of Wall Street. That
is, until he’s held hostage on air by a man who has lost all of his family’s
money because of a bad tip. Ratings soar as the entire country tunes in to find
out just how much a man’s life is worth.
THE DIG – Director:
Susanne Bier. Cast: Cate Blanchett. Set in a riverside village in Suffolk on
the eve of WWII, a widowed farmer has her hunch proved correct that the strange
mounds on her land hold buried treasure.