The buzz about the Cannes Film Festival has begun. With the festival, undoubtedly the queen of all, set to roll on May 11, some of the titles that will -- or probably -- play there are being tossed around.
Jodie Foster’s Money Monster with that irresistible George Clooney (last seen in the Berlin opener, Hail! Cesar) and Julia Roberts (best known for her earlier Pretty Woman, Sleeping with the Enemy and Erin Brockovich) has got a berth at Cannes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Also, for Roberts, this will be her first-ever trip to the festival with a movie.
Money Monster from the Sony stable will ensure that there is at least one major Hollywood studio in attendance at the French Riviera. Now, art-house fans will grumble about major film festivals’ obsession with big American studios, but rightly or wrongly, it is they who bring in the top stars and the much needed glamour. Every festival needs these as much as they must have in their selections a good package of meaningful titles. Cannes has managed to do this with splendid ease.
Watch the trailer of Money Monster starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts here:
Foster -- whose Beaver also debuted at Cannes in 2011 -- has worked out a gripping piece of narrative in Money Monster where Clooney portrays a television personality, Lee Gates, (reminded me of Clooney’s 2005 historical drama, Good Night, and Good Luck where he essays a co-producer of a television show during the early days of broadcast journalism in the 1950s). Gates runs into trouble when he is taken hostage by a viewer (Jack O’Connell), who alleges that he has been ruined financially. Roberts is the executive producer of Gates’ show and his lover.
And we have already written that Woody Allen’s Cafe Society -- about the 1930s cafe culture in America of the 1930s -- will open the festival on May 11.
And, now for our guesses that are also the titles that Cannes regulars -- 5000 journalists and others -- are hoping to watch at the 12-day event on the French Riviera. Here are some.
Sean Penn’s first outing as director after his 2007 Into the Wild -- The Last Face -- will have his former girlfriend Charlize Theron as a director of an aid agency in Africa and her affair with a doctor there essayed by Javier Bardem, the fantastic Spanish actor and husband of Penelope Cruz.
Xavier Dolan -- whose Mommy clinched the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2014 -- is all ready with It’s Only the End of the World. Marion Cotillard, Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Lea Seydoux and Vincent Cassel (what a starry affair) will help narrate the story of an awkward family reunion.
The Unknown Girl by the Dardenne Brothers (their Rosetta won the Palm d’Or in 1999) will tell us the tragic story of a doctor trying to find the identity of a girl who dies after saying no to surgery.
The Spanish giant, Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta is all about an elderly woman who reflects on her youth and wonders where her relationship with her daughter went wrong.
Ken Loach (with his I, Daniel Blake), Park Chan-Wook’s (with his South Korean drama, The Handmaid), Oliver Stone (with his Snowden biopic, Dark Horses) and Christian Mungiu (Family Photos) are among many other waiting for April 14, when the Cannes supremo, Thierry Fremaux will unveil the list in Paris at a press conference.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran has covered the Cannes Film Festival for 26 years.)