Sunny Cannes beckons

The French film fiesta that promises your yearly fix of glitz, glamour and impressive films begins tomorrow

Don’t forget your umbrella. Remember the torrential rains last year?” reminded a friend. Yes, Cannes 2013 had been a rain soaked affair with the red carpet remaining wet most of the days. This time, however, the weather bureau predicts sunny days for the entire festival, starting Wednesday.

Not only are the weather gods smiling on Cannes, an impressive collection of films in the main sections of the festival are also set to brighten our mood and whet our cinematic appetite.

Grace of Monaco by Olivier Dahan will open the festival on May 14. Starring Nicole Kidman in the lead, the film is based on Hollywood actress Grace Kelly who gave up her acting career to become the Queen of Monaco. It has already created adequate heat and Prince Albert of Monaco and his siblings are reported to have criticised the film as ‘pure fiction’.

The director took the biopic route in his earlier film La Vie en Rose, based on singer Edith Piaf and starring Marion Cotillard to net two Oscars and several other awards, including the best actress for Cotillard. We will know in a couple of days whether the director has managed to pull off another successful biopic.

New Zealander Jane Campion, who won the Golden Palm and Oscar for The Piano heads the feature film jury dominated by five artistes — Carole Bouquet of France (That Obscure Object of Desire by Luis Bunuel), Leila Hatami from Iran (Separation by Asghar Farhadi), Jeon do Yeon from South Korea (Secret Sunshine by Lee Chang Dong for which she received the best actress award in Cannes), Willem Dafoe from United States (Platoon by Oliver Stone, Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist) and Mexican Gael Garcia Bernal (Amorres Perros by and Babel by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu).

American Sophia Coppola, director and screen writer (Somewhere, Bling Ring), director, screenwriter and producers Nicholas Winding Refn from Denmark (Valhalla Rising, Drive, Only God Forgives) and Chinese Jia Zhangke (Touch of Sin) complete the Jury.

Veteran Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami heads the short film jury and will be supported by well known directors Noemie Lvovsky (France), Daniela Thomas (Brazil), Mahamat Saleh Haroun (Chad) and Joachim Trier (Norway).Argentinian director, script writer and producer Pablo Trapero will preside over the Un Certain Regard jury.

The competition features a galaxy of veterans like Canadian director David Cronenberg (History of Violence, Cosmopolis), Belgian Dardenne brothers (Son, The Child), Canadian Atom Egoyan (Adoration, Chloe), French master Jean Luc-Godard, French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius whose Artist bagged several Oscars, American Actor Tommy Lee Jones, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach… The competition also features some young filmmakers who have screened their films earlier in Cannes and have become internationally popular like Bertrand Bonello (House of Tolerance), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Three Monkeys), Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother, Laurence Anyways), Naomi Kawase (Hanezu), Abderrahmane Sissako (Bamako) and Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena).

Of the 21 films in Un Certain Regard, seven are by debut directors, including the Indian film Titli by Kanu Behl and actor Ryan Gosling’s Lost River. They will also compete for Golden Camera along with other debut films from Directors’ Fortnight and Critics Week section.

Veteran German director Wim Wenders’ The Salt of The Earth will also screen in Un Certain Regard, while masters Andre Techine and Zhang Yimou’s new films will feature in Out of Competition.

Clearly, the fair looks tempting with so many fabulous films in the fray. Let us take the leap.

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