The Indiewire Cannes Wish List: 30 Films We Hope Make The Festival’s 2012 Lineup

The Indiewire Cannes Wish List: 30 Films We Hope Make The Festival's 2012 Lineup
The Indiewire Cannes Wish List: 30 Films We Hope Make The Festival's 2012 Lineup

Cannes is a sort of annual cinematic Olympics, with almost every country vying for spots in the official selection. But with the official 2012 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 is a roster of films we hope are finished in time, good enough and invited to the Croisette (though we do muse about what’s more likely than others). 

Among the candidates are celebrated filmmakers like Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Olivier Assayas, Jacques Audiard, David Cronenberg, Xavier Dolan, Matteo Garrone, Wong Kar-Wai, Ken Loach, Terrence Malick, Cristian Mungiu, Francois Ozon and Walter Salles.

Movies 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:

All You Need is Love,” directed by Susanne Bier
After winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Feature at last year’s Academy Awards for her drama “In a Better World,” celebrated Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier made “All You Need is Love,” a film she described to Indiewire as a “tiny little romantic comedy.” Written by her longtime collaborator Anders Thomas Jensen (“After the Wedding,” “Brothers”) and starring Pierce Brosnan, “All You Need is Love” marks a big stretch for the director, best known for serious dramatic fare. “I think part of the challenge as an artist is to challenge yourself and do things you haven’t done before,” Bier told Indiewire. “I think it’s the right time now to do something else.” The comedy is currently listed as in post-production. [Nigel M. Smith]

The Angels’ Share,” directed by Ken Loach
Ken Loach won the Palme D’Or a few years back with “The Wind that Shakes the Barley,” and the prolific UK auteur could do it again with “The Angels’ Share.” The Glasgow-set drama follows a young criminal who turns his life around. With a cast of non-professionals and a script from his frequent collaborator Paul Laverty, it’s sure to be another socially conscious, well-acted film from the widely admired director. [Austin Dale]

Beyond the Hills,” directed by Cristian Mungiu
Mungiu stunned Cannes audiences with his intense 2007 Palme d’Or winner “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.” All signs point to his latest, “Beyond the Hills,” a surefire entry into the New Romanian Cinema canon, debuting at this year’s fest. The film, based on a true story, follows Alina as she returns to Romania after spending time away in Germany. She tries to convince her old friend to return to Germany with her. The friend, who has found a home with nuns and priests, turns down Alina’s request. Surely, Mungiu’s camera will move in the realm of the cloisters beautifully, and drama will ensue, but the rest of the details are under wraps. Sundance Selects has already snatched the film up for US distribution. [Bryce J. Renninger]

Big House,” directed by Matteo Garrone
Garrone, who made his biggest splash with his crime world drama “Gomorrah” is busy finishing up “Big House,” an indictment of shows like “Big Brother.” As Europe becomes more and more obsessed with such shows, where strangers live in a house with cameras always on and always pointed on them, Garrone’s take on the phenomenon should be a breath of fresh air. But will it pass the highbrow standards of the fest? [Bryce J. Renninger]

Elefante Blanco,” directed by Pablo Trapero
Following up on his critical hits “Lion’s Den” and “Carancho,” Argentinian director Pablo Trapero’s bigger-budget film will again star Martina Gusman, who plays a social worker working with two priests against the interests of the Church and drug cartels in order to build housing in a Buenos Aires suburb. The intense political drama will feature jungle sequences shot in Bolivia. If his filmmaking track record is any indication (both “Lion’s Den” and “Carancho” premiered at the fest), “Elefante Blanco” seems headed for France in May. [Bryce J. Renninger]

Cosmopolis,” directed by David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg has been working on a far more restrained note in recent years, exploring the realm of interpersonal relationships without the subversive edge of his earlier films. “Cosmopolis” finds him in more ambitious terrain, adapting Don DeLillo’s novel about a hotshot young Wall Street hustler in the near future facing the possibility that he might be the target of an assassination. A dark Cronenberg thriller is reason enough to get excited, but the project takes on a particularly strong amount of curiosity because the leading man role goes to Robert Pattinson (acting opposite Juliette Binoche and Paul Giamatti), who may have finally discovered a director willing to push him in bold new directions. [Eric Kohn]

Gebo and the Shadow,” directed by Manoel de Oliveira
Centenarian Manoel de Oliveira, currently the world’s oldest active filmmaker, is finishing his followup for 2010’s one-two punch of “Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl” and “The Strange Case of Angelica.” “Gebo and the Shadow,” the story of a poor 19th-century patriarch, is based on a novel by Spanish playwright Raul Brandão and the cast is led by international stars Claudia Cardinale, Michael Lonsdale and Jeanne Moreau. [Austin Dale]

The Grandmasters,” directed by Wong Kar-Wai
Wong Kar-Wai has kept under wraps any details about his first film since his 2007 English-language debut “My Blueberry Nights.” But based on a recently-dropped clip, we’re in for a major career change. Wong is bringing his trademark visuals to a Wing Chun action film, with Hong Kong mega-star Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Yip Man, best known as Bruce Lee’s martial arts teacher. The film will also star Kar-Wai regulars Ziyi Zhang and Chang Chen. [Austin Dale]

Holly Motors,” directed by Leos Carax
With the exception of his intentionally goofy short contribution to the omnibus film “Tokyo!” in 2008, French director Leos Carax hasn’t made a movie since the acclaimed “Pola X” in 1999. “Holly Motors” arrives after Carax failed to get a much bigger English-language movie together and decided out of frustration to make a low-budget project on his own turf. If this is an attempt at a comeback, Carax has the right pieces in place, from a top-notch cast (Denis Lavant, Michel Piccoli, Kylie Minogue, Eva Mendes) and a seriously compelling storyline: Carax tracks a day in the life a man who divides his time between several lives: Killing, begging and working as a high-powered businessman. Leave it to Carax to find a way to make those pieces fit together. [Eric Kohn]

In Another Country,” directed by Hong Sang-soo
Hong Sang-soo (a Cannes alum with “Hahaha” in 2010 and “The Day He Arrives” in 2011) is already selling rights to his new film “In Another Country.” The film, shot mostly in English, stars Isabelle Huppert as three characters — all named Anne — who, at different times, all stay at the same beachside hotel. They all encounter the same groups of people (all Korean) and the same wandering lifeguard. Will Sang-soo make it three Cannes visits in a row? With the gravitas of Huppert, it shouldn’t be too hard. [Bryce J. Renninger]

Killing Them Softly,” directed by Andrew Dominik
Five years after “The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford” earned strong reviews and a Venice Film Festival award for best actor, director Andrew Dominik and star Brad Pitt have reteamed for the recently retitled “Killing Them Softly” (formerly known as “Cogan’s Trade”). The film finished production a year ago, and distributor The Weinstein Company is releasing this September — so it’s definitely a possibility for Cannes (perhaps in an out-of-competition slot). Starring Pitt as a man investigating a heist of the mob’s assets, the film also stars Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins and James Gandolfini. [Peter Knegt]

In the House,” directed by Francois Ozon
After winning over critics with “Potiche,” the crowd-pleaser that saw him reunite with his “8 Women” star Catherine Deneuve, popular French director Francois Ozon is back with “In the House.” The film completed shooting early this January and is scheduled to open in France this October, so a Cannes premiere is probably in the cards. Ozon’s worked with some of France’s leading women, including Isabelle Huppert, Charlotte Rampling and Virgine Ledoyen. His latest finds him directing the ever reliable Kristin Scott-Thomas. [Nigel M. Smith]

Laurence Anyways,” directed by Xavier Dolan
With his third feature film, could Quebecois director Xavier Dolan graduate to Cannes’ big leagues? His first film, “I Killed My Mother” played in the Directors Fortnight in 2009, winning the program’s top prize. Then in 2010, his “Heartbeats” screened in the Un Certain Regard section, a considerable step up in prestige. In 2012, Dolan could very well find himself in the offiical competition with “Laurence Anyways,” his first film in which he doesn’t also star. The story of a romance between a man and a woman after the man decided to have a sex change, the film stars Melvil Poupad, Nathalie Baye, Suzanne Clement and Monia Chokri. Production is complete and Dolan is sure to be aiming for a berth at the festival that made him an instantly recognized name on the international film scene. [Peter Knegt]

Love,” directed by Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke’s latest reunites him with his “The Piano Teacher” star Isabelle Huppert. Judging by their collective history with the festival (“The Piano Teacher” netted both acting prizes and the Grand Prize of the Jury in 2001 and Haneke took home the Palme D’Or in 2009 for “The White Ribbon), a Cannes premiere is ideal for the pair. Huppert seems like a lock for Best Actress if the film goes over well. In “Love,” she stars as a musician living abroad with her family; sh suffers a minor stroke, leaving half of her body paralyzed. The film started shooting last February, so it’s no doubt ready for Cannes. [Nigel M. Smith]

Lowlife,” directed by James Gray
James Gray is back at it again with his frequent collaborator Joaquin Pheonix (“The Yards,” “We Own the Night,” “Two Lovers”) in “Low Life,” which co-stars Marion Cotillard. The film, which marks Gray’s first period outing, stars Cotillard as a Polish immigrant who is forced into a corrupt life to provide for her family. Gray and his cast were spotted shooting this January, so a Cannes bow seems like a tall order. Still, don’t count this one out. [Nigel M. Smith]

The Master,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
It was back in 2002 when Paul Thomas Anderson won best director at Cannes for his “Punch Drunk Love.” A full decade and a “There Will Be Blood” later, Anderson could potentially be back with the highly anticipated “The Master.” A veiled take on scientology, the film follows a charismatic intellectual (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who launches a faith-based organization in the 1950s called “The Cause.” A drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes his right-hand man but as the faith begins to gain a fervent following, the drifter finds himself questioning his mentor. Also starring Amy Adams and Laura Dern, the film wrapped last fall. But a Cannes debut still seems somewhat unlikely given its December release date (Venice and/or Toronto would make more sense). Either way, surely one of the most anticipated films of 2012, Cannes or no Cannes. [Peter Knegt]

Moonrise Kingdom,” directed by Wes Anderson
In his first live-action effort since 2007’s “The Darjeeling Limited,” Wes Anderson has characteristically assembled quite the cast in Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis, Jason Schwartzman and Harvey Kietel. But the real stars of the film appear to be young unknowns Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman as a pair of young lovers who flee their New England town, prompting a search party led by many of the aforementioned cast members. The film is being released by Focus Features at the end of May, which suggests it’s certainly their plan to get the film into Cannes. It would mark Wes Anderson’s first trip to the Croisette after playing pretty much every other major film festival with his previous efforts. [Peter Knegt]

Nero Fiddled,” directed by Woody Allen
A year after Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” opened Cannes before exceeding all expectations financially (it became Allen’s highest-grossing film ever), the director could be back with his all-star “Nero Fiddled.” Reportedly told in four vignettes, the Rome-set film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page, Judy Davis, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni and Allen himself. Its Italian setting would suggest Venice might be the more apporopriate festival for “Nero” to debut, but its June release date squashes that possibility and suggests distributor Sony Pictures Classics has Cannes in the plan once again. It would be Allen’s third consecutive film to debut at the festival. [Peter Knegt]

On the Road,” directed by Walter Salles
The Francis Ford Coppola-produced decades-in-the-works adaptation of Kerouac classic will finally see the light of day when it gets released in France on May 23.  Does that mean the Beat road trip flick will get a premiere on the Croisette a few days before? Chances are, yes.  Salles, the director of the Brazilian classic “Central Station” and the Che Guevera biopic “The Motorcycle Diaries” (another classic roadtrip text), has worked with an impressive cast for the film. Among the film’s actors: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Tom Sturridge, Kristen Stewart, Steve Buscemi, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, and Terrence Howard. Let’s hope taking the scenic route was worth it. [Bryce J. Renninger]

The Place Beyond The Pines,” directed by Derek Cianfrance
It took Derek Cianfrance a decade to get “Blue Valentine” made, but since its massive success, he has wasted no time putting together this follow-up. Boasting an all-star cast, “The Place Beyond The Pines” sees Ryan Gosling as a motorcycle stuntman who considers committing a crime to provide for his child. Sounds a bit like “Drive,” right? Perhaps. But this one has the ensemble to beat in 2012: Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta and Bruce Greenwood. [Austin Dale]

Post Tenenras Lux,” directed by Carlos Reygadas
Five years have passed since Mexican director Carlos Reygadas’ brilliant cinematic tapestry “Silent Light” erupted on the festival circuit with one of the most lyrically powerful films of the new millenium (even its detractors agreed as much). “Post Teneras Lux,” which is Latin for “After Darkness, Light,” finds the epically-inclined filmmaker allegedly reigning in his abilities with a far more personal work shot in various countries where the filmmaker has lived over the course of his career. Said to be a highly expressionistic work (no surprise there), “Post Teneras Lux” will almost certainly deliver Reygadas’ trademark penchant for visual splendor. [Eric Kohn]

Rust and Bone,” directed by Jacques Audiard
French director Jacques Audiard has adapted Canadian author Craig Davidson’s short-story collection “Rust and Bone” for his follow-up to 2009’s intensely acclaimed (and Cannes Grand Prix winner) “A Prophet.” Starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, the film (already picked up for US release by Sony Pictures Classics) tells the story of an unemployed 25-year-old man who falls in love with a killer whale trainer. Partially shot in Cannes and nearby Antibes, the film is a very strong contender for the festival. [Peter Knegt]

Something In The Air,” directed by Olivier Assayas
IFC has already picked up Olivier Assayas’ latest, “Something In The Air,” a 70’s-set Parisian coming-of-age story. The loosely autobiographical film promises to be a sweeping and evocative tale of creative growth in a time of political upheaval, and it stars newcomer Clément Matayer across “Goodbye First Love” ingenue Lola Créton. It’s a no-brainer for Cannes, whose history with Assayas goes back to 1994’s “Cold Water.” [Austin Dale]

Stoker,” directed by Park Chan-wook
Acclaimed Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (“Oldboy”) makes the leap into English-language filmmaking with his star laden thriller, “Stoker.” Mia Wasikowska stars as a teenage girl who rekindles a strained relationship with her uncle (Matthew Goode), when he comes back into her life following the death of her father. The Black List script, penned by “Prison Break” star Wentworth Miller, is rumored to involve vampirism, something Chan-wook explored in “Thirst.” Nicole Kidman and Jackie Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”) co-star. Chan-wook has a long history with the festival (both “Oldboy” and “Thirst” played at the festival) and the film’s reportedly in post-production, so a Cannes bow seems likely. [Nigel M. Smith]

The End,” directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s last effort, the meta romance “Certified Copy,” reminded audiences that he remains one of the more distinctive storytellers working on a global stage. “The End” will continue that perception by virtue of its setting alone, as it finds Kiarostami turning his camera on Japan and shooting a movie in that country’s language. Described as a “continuation of ‘Certified Copy,'” the new project also promises a relationship drama, this time centering around a character played by Japanese actress Aoi Miyazaki. No matter the linguistic changes, expect Kiarostami’s analytical approach to narrative to steal the show from his stars–or dominate them. [Eric Kohn]

Untitled Terrence Malick Film” or “Voyage of Time,” both directed by Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick, famous for working at a deliberate pace, may be releasing a film only one year after his Oscar-nominated “Tree of Life.”  From the first still released from the new untitled Malick film, Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams are starring in a romance shot on the set of “Days of Heaven.” Of course, the details are not being tossed around (and, in fact, judging by many reactions to “The Tree of Life,” maybe some people will never be sure of this film’s details either). Javier Bardem, Rachel Weisz, Amanda Peet, Olga Kurylenko and “Tree of Life” star Jessica Chastain co-star in this new one, which may very well be Malick’s second trip to Cannes in as many years. And if it isn’t, there’s also a chance that his documentary “Voyage of Time” — a companion piece to “The Tree of Life” — could make the cut instead. Apparently chronicling the birth and death of the universe, the film is said to be narrated by Brad Pitt. But Malick is said to be shooting for more footage for it, so who knows when it will finally show itself. [Bryce J. Renninger and Peter Knegt]

The We and the I,” directed by Michel Gondry
He may not have struck a chord with “The Green Hornet,” but Gondry has not disappointed with his short films, random passion projects and the episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” he directed. “The We & The I” has Gondry working with children in a story of students on a bus ride, documenting the changing group dynamics as they get off. A mundane pitch, sure, but with any hopes, Gondry can take a simple, unique concept and remind us again of the power of cinema. [Bryce J. Renninger]

The Wettest County,” directed by John Hillcoat
Adapted from Matt Bondurant’s novel “The Wettest County in the World,” John Hillcoat’s anticipated follow-up to “The Road” is set in Prohibition-era Virginia and stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Gary Oldman and Guy Pearce. It was recently delayed from its March release to late August care of distributor The Weinstein Company. Is that suggestive of Cannes? Perhaps not. Harvey Weinstein has said he’s aiming to have the film go to Venice. [Peter Knegt]

What Maisie Knew,” directed by David Siegel & Scott McGehee
The power team of actors Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgard, and Steve Coogan star in McGehee and Siegel’s “What Maisie Knew,” an update of the Henry James novel of the same name. Maisie is the daughter of a dysfunctional family. Her parents, a rock-and-roll icon (Moore) and an art dealer (Coogan), are divorced and use her as a pawn in their power struggles. In the novel, Maisie is court-ordered to shuttle between her parents, six months at a time. The custody ruling for the film version remains to be seen, but we’re sold on the idea of Skarsgard as Moore’s new husband. [Bryce J. Renninger]

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