Get set for a flurry of foreign film buzz and red carpet overload – tonight is the Opening Night of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
The world’s most prestigious film festival opens in the decadence of Southern France, with the highly anticipated new Wes Anderson film Moonrise Kingdom (which is also set to premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in a matter of weeks). The man whose films define quirky brings us a star-studded story of two runaway eleven-year-olds in love, and the ridiculous search party that ensues.
There are 22 films in this year’s Official Selection, with each wildly original story competing for the coveted Palme d’Or award – last year won by Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life. While each of the films is generating industry excitement, the selection has also drawn criticism for not including a single female director. A statement in Le Monde decried the films chosen, saying “Men love depth in women, but only in their cleavage”.
However this year sees a strong contingent of Australians involved in front and behind the camera of Cannes selected films. Nicole Kidman is set to make a career comeback with her lauded portrayal of a suburban seductress in The Paperboy alongside Zac Efron, while Ben Mendelsohn appears next to Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly, from Australian director Andrew Dominik (Chopper).
Competition film Lawless is an Australian affair with director John Hillcoat (The Proposition) working with homegrown actors Guy Pearce and Mia Wasikowska. There is also excitement about the appearance of Kylie Minogue in French indie film Holy Motors.
Australia has also received exciting news before the festival has even begun, with The Weinstein Company picking up the international distribution for The Sapphires which is set to premiere at Cannes this Saturday. The Sapphires stars Deborah Mailman and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), and follows the true story of an Aboriginal girl group. Last year at this time The Weinstein Company picked up a little French film called The Artist, and led it to worldwide success and the Best Picture Oscar.
We will be blogging about the Cannes Film Festival throughout the next two weeks, and are also screening Cannes award-winning films every night this week. Next week we will be premiering news documentaries straight from the festival next week, so check our Facebook for all the latest information.