The lineup for Cannes 2016 was released this morning, and it’s absolutely loaded with talent. From legends to newbies and everything in between, anyone attending the Festival will certainly see some of the most anticipated films of the year (that are not tied to existing comic properties).
Let’s start with the big dogs: Steven Spielberg’s The BFG will debut out of competition, alongside Jodie Foster’s Money Monster – which is steadily growing more intriguing to me – and Shane Black’s noir comedy The Nice Guys. The opening film is yet another Woody Allen ensemble, Cafe Society, starring Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg (trying to wash the stink of BvS off him), Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Parker Posey, Judy Davis… you get the idea.
The competition section of Cannes 2016 includes a fascinating cross section of eccentric directors, newcomers, and seasoned vets. There is a new Pedro Almodovar film, Julieta, another one of his explorations into a woman on the verge of a breakdown. French-Canadian director Xavier Dolan has a new picture, It’s Only the End of The World (Juste La Fin du Monde). On the heels of Midnight Special, Jeff Nichols has another film, Loving, with Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton in starring roles. Loving focuses on an interracial couple in 1958 Virginia who are persecuted for their marriage, quite a departure from Midnight Special.
Then there is Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon, starring Keanu Reeves, Jena Malone, Christina Hendricks, and Elle Fanning. The story: “When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.” Ref is a fascinating director, compelling even when his films don’t entirely work (Only God Forgives). This promises to be the divisive entry at Cannes 2016.
And Paul Verhoeven has emerged from the depths to enter the Cannes 2016 competition with Elle, and judging from this synopsis he appears to be channeling Brian DePalma:
Michèle seems indestructible. Head of a successful video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game-a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.
Other highlights include Sean Penn’s next directorial effort, The Last Face, starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem, a midnight screening of Kim Jarmusch’s Gimme Danger, and Agassi, the latest from Oldboy director Chan-wook Park (I doubt it has anything to do with tennis).
For the full Cannes 2016 lineup go here.