So it’s time once again for next year’s Oscar class to begin the long journey off palm-pressing and baby-kissing in order to get enough critical swagger to garner a nomination. Cannes film festival has kicked off and Movie Drawer has tipped us off to some of the early front-runners. Let’s dissect:
On The Road
This adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s generation defining novel looks like it will definitely be a serious contender. It has the right mix of young stars like Tron 2.0‘s Garret Hedlund, a four-language speaking indie Director in Walter Salles, veteran character actors like Terrance Howard, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi and of course the all important period element, see old cars and Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss. I’m excited to see this movie as it’s one I can get away with on date night but will still have all the sex drugs and rock and roll you can handle. The biggest problem I see is Kristen Stewart. I applaud her for broadening her horizons and early reports are that she does a fine job but unfortunately like the Manning’s of the NFL she will always have the “Stewart Face” no matter how well she does.
Next up is another period piece based on a novel…
Lawless used to be called “The Wettest County in the World” which was the name of the novel that it is based on but it got Hollywooded up a bit on the way as the producers quickly realized they needed a name that captured the violence of the story and that people would easily remember. This has another great ensemble cast including Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy who will be the hottest thing since sliced toast after The Dark Knight Rises and Guy Pearce who has begun to relish the bad guy role. The only potential stick in the spoke is the lead character being played by Shia LaBeouf. I don’t have anything against Shia personally but I don’t know if he has the depth needed to play a complicated tough guy like Jack Bondurant. Either way I’ve been excited for this movie to drop for a long time now.
Well you can forget about this next one as an Oscar nominee unless it’s in the foreign category because it’s so very French.
Here is the modern tale of a cross-dressing man who wants to become a woman. I guess the twist is that he is in a heterosexual relationship but is still trying to become a woman. It looks pretty compelling and for the lead actor’s sake it’s too bad that it isn’t an American film because cross-dressing drama is Oscar Gold stateside.
Another French film has been garnering a lot of buzz apparently…
I guess this is on of those cases of “you gotta be there to see it” as the trailer doesn’t give away a whole lot except that it’s about aging relationships and the sanity of a crotchety old man.
One more foreign film being heralded as “Scotland’s Full Monty”…
The Angel’s Share
No subtitles on this one but you might need them as the scotch accent is thicker than the guy who tries to sell you the lawn seed. This seems like the classic feel good story of a neer-do-well that does good against the forces of classism. You may remember Director Ken Loach from such films as… well you porbably won’t remember Ken Loach from anything you’ve seen unless you are into the indie circuit but he is a talented and accomplished filmmaker who has surely produced a gem here.
That’s the early rub from Cannes so pick up your wine glasses, turn on your public radio and look forward to enjoying these “indie” films in your local art house not too long from now.