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The Price of Salt is at a market high according to our critics. While Le Film Francais have Mia Madre in the pole position and Screen Daily have a pair in a tie among their voting clan, our sixteen strong have place Todd Haynes’ Carol firmly at the top of the leader board with average 3.8 grade. In a year where French cinema was a little off-balance, where Italy cinema didn’t disappoint, where Asian films were especially strong and where a first time work from Hungary stole the show, it is one portrait and one love story in 1950’s America that is tops.
In our inaugural year, our Cannes Critics’ Panel favored Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In by one point over the Dardenne’s The Kid With a Bike, von Trier’s Melancholia, Nicolas Refn’s Drive and Malick’s Palme d’Or winning The Tree of Life. »
- Eric Lavallee
Given the number of films in competition (19), the correspondingly infinite number of possible award/talent configurations, and the sheer impossibility of guessing at the individual and collective tastes of nine jurors, predicting the major award winners at the Cannes Film Festival is obviously a fool’s errand — and one that our critics on the Croisette have gladly undertaken.
Palme d’Or: “The Assassin.” Word on the street — and among British bookies — is that my own favorite film of the fest, Yorgos Lanthimos’ high-wire relationship fantasy “The Lobster,” is the one to beat, though whether that’s based on honest hearsay or a projection of the Coen brothers’ taste for dryer-than-dust comedy, I can’t say. As much as it would thrill me to see such a singular combination of concept-y formalism and perverse heart-tugging take the prize, I have a hard time seeing it as the unifying consensus »
- Guy Lodge and Justin Chang
★★★☆☆ Following the impressive The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005), the excellent A Prophet (2010) and the melodramatic Rust and Bone (2012), Jacques Audiard returns to Cannes with Dheepan (2015), a mix of Loachian social realism and Death Wish-style violent fantasy. This outsider in Paris tale begins with a Tamil freedom fighter burning the bodies of his dead comrades and throwing his uniform into the fire. Disillusioned with the war he adopts the identity of one of the dead men, Dheepan (Jesuthasan Antonythasan) and, with the help of the smuggler, recruits a young woman to pose as his wife (Kalieaswari Srinivasan) and an orphaned child (Claudine Vinasithamby) to be their daughter.
- CineVue UK
We’ll be better able to assess whether this Jacques Audiard’s seventh feature film was triumphant, faltered or flatlined when more results trickle in, but for the time being this looks to situate itself quality-wise underneath 2009’s Grand Prix winning A Prophet. It got his Cannes debut back in 1994 with Regarde Les Hommes Tomber in the Critics’ Week, saw 1996’s Un héros très discret land him Best Screenplay, and his last showing was for Rust & Bone in 2012. Starring relative unknowns in Antonythasan Jesuthasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan and Claudine Vinasithamby, (supporting players also include Vincent Rottiers and Marc Zinga), Dheepan has all the earmarks from his other films: the immigrant story, criminal underpinnings, protagonist with odds against them, Paris, a visceral photography and on the tech side: a continued partnership with co-writer Thomas Bidegain. Make sure to click on the chart below for a larger version.
- Eric Lavallee
It’s only his fourth feature film, but his eighth trip to Cannes, Gaspar Noé hasn’t let go of the short or long format. He first broke into the fest with the Directors’ Fortnight included Carne (1991), La Bouche de Jean-Pierre (short – 1996), Seul Contre Tous (short – 1998), Irreversible (2002), Sida (short – 2006), Enter the Void (2009), 7 Days in Havana (one of seven short films – 2012). If we only received a small sampling of critic grades for the 8:30 a.m. screening of Jacques Audiard’s Dheephan, it might have a lot to do with the conflict of interest and sleep deprivation associated to Noé’s Love 15 minutes past midnight screening. This year we made an exception in our Critics’ Panel, including this tantalizing 3D offering which our Nicholas Bell only reminds us that “Noé was already beaten to the punch by Michael Winterbottom with his film 9 Songs“. For many, this might be the filmmaker’s »
- Eric Lavallee
It's a family plot. At the start of Jacques Audiard's Tamil emigre drama "Dheepan," our title character (Jesuthasan Antonythasan) is thrust together with two strangers, young woman Yalini (Klieaswari Srinivasan) and a nine-year-old orphan she just collected at a Sri Lanka refugee camp (Claudine Vinasithamby) to form a makeshift, instant family unit. They are impersonating another dead trio, and take their passports in order to fly to Paris, where they are eventually settled as the caretakers of a rough gang-infested housing complex. All three are barely recovering from their battle scars and losses, while needing to survive in a foreign country with a language only the young school girl learns quickly. ("Don't all countries burn down schools?" the parents ask each other after a confounding school entrance interview.) Audiard, a gracefully instinctive director, uses meticulously researched detail (the actors are natural and believable) to throw us into »
- Anne Thompson
"Jacques Audiard has made his name, in films such as A Prophet, Rust and Bone and The Beat That My Heart Skipped, for a kind of ecstatic violence of the soul," begins the Guardian's Andrew Pulver. "Dheepan, his new film about a former Tamil Tiger fighter looking for a new life in France, certainly has some of the director’s trademark ferocity, especially in its final minutes, but it displays what I can only describe as dialed-down Audiard. Indeed, much of the time it even ambles, peacefully, with nothing much happening." We've got more reviews and a clip. » - David Hudson »
The more things change, the more they stay the same for the Sri Lankan refugees of Jacques Audiard’s “Dheepan,” who flee their war-torn homeland only to find themselves in a new kind of conflict zone in the housing projects of Paris. A typically unpredictable career move by the prolific and varied Audiard following the unabashedly melodramatic romance “Rust and Bone” and the searing crime drama “A Prophet,” this almost entirely Tamil-language immigrant drama unfolds in solidly involving, carefully observed fashion for much of its running time, until it takes a sharp and heavy-handed turn into genre territory from which it never quite recovers. Commercially, this will be a far more specialized item than Audiard’s other recent work, especially in the U.S., where the film was acquired by IFC in advance of its Cannes bow.
There’s certainly no disputing that one of the breakout stars of Cannes this year is Antonythasan Jesuthasan, »
- Scott Foundas
The last decade or so has seen Jacques Audiard establish himself as one of the best, and best known, French filmmakers currently working. He first gained international attention with 2001's "Read My Lips," and then with the terrific "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" in 2005. But it was 2009's prison epic "A Prophet" that really made his name by winning the Grand Prix at Cannes, picking up an Oscar nomination and becoming a cult hit worldwide. 2012's melodrama "Rust and Bone" continued the trend, with stellar reviews and awards buzz, bringing him to his largest audience yet, thanks to the presence of megastar Marion Cotillard. His follow-up, however, marks something of a return to his roots, a lower-budget drama starring a cast of unknowns, while simultaneously feeling like new territory. Perhaps not coincidentally, it's also absolutely terrific, and one of the strongest things he's made so far, a film containing all Audiard's strengths and. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
The name Thomas Bidegain may not be particularly familiar, but he might be the best-known screenwriter in the French film industry, and international audiences are likely familiar with his collaborations with Jacques Audiard on "A Prophet," "Rust & Bone" and the director's latest film "Dheepan." But he's ranked up big credits beyond that, too, on films including Joachim Lafosse's "Our Children," Bertrand Bonello's "Saint Laurent," and the biggest Gallic hit of last year, "The Bélier Family." Read More: The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 Whether or not it was their intention at first, many screenwriters end up moving into directing, and Bidegain is no exception with his first feature, "Les Cowboys." With some surface similarities to his work with Audiard while ploughing its own furrow, it's an ambitious first movie for a filmmaker, and one that ultimately bites off rather more than it can »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Jacques Audiard hit my radar in 2009 when I placed his film A Prophet at #1 on my top ten of 2009. His follow-up, Rust and Bone, made my top ten in 2012. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to his latest, Dheepan, which is set to premiere at this year's Cannes Film Festival and today we get a batch of the first pictures from the movie along with a clip. Antonythasan Jesuthasan stars in the lead role as a Sri-Lankan Tamil fighter who is a political refugee in France, where he works as a caretaker on an 'unruly' council estate in the Parisian suburbs. Along with a young woman and a little girl, the group pose as a family and end up settling in a housing project outside Paris. They barely know one another, but try to build a life together. Sundance Selects will hopefully bring this one to theaters later this year. Check »
- Brad Brevet
Filmmaker Jacques Audiard first gained prominence in the international film community for his screenwriting capabilities, most notably winning the Best Screenplay award at the 1996 Cannes film festival for Un héros très discret, also known as A Self-Made Hero. Over the past decade, however, Audiard has also received acclaim for his directorial work, most notably for the 2009 feature Un prophète, also known as A Prophet, which went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film of the year. With his last feature coming in 2012, many were excited to learn that the filmmaker would be coming to the 2015 incarnation of the Cannes film festival once again with his latest feature.
Dheepan is a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who flees to France and ends up working as a caretaker outside Paris.
- Deepayan Sengupta
French filmmaker Jacques Audiard was well on his way to international acclaim. He won best screenplay at Cannes for 1996’s “A Self-Made Hero,” while "Read My Lips" and "The Beat That My Heart Skipped," were two of the best French films of the early aughts. But it wasn’t until 2009 that he was back at Cannes and won the Grand Prix with his arresting crime film “A Prophet,” a stunning drama some might argue should have won the Palme d’Or. The picture was also nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards and thus thrust the director into a new stratosphere. Following “Rust And Bone” in 2012, Audiard is back in Palme d’Or contention with “Dheepan” a drama about a Tamil freedom fighter who flees to Europe near the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War. With a makeshift family hoping to claim asylum, they »
- Edward Davis
“Saint Laurent” helmer Bertrand Bonello is set to make a radical turn with “Paris Is Happening,” a action-packed drama about ordinary young people coming from all social classes who riot and drift into senseless terrorism.
“Paris” is produced by Edouard Weil and Alice Girard for Rectangle Prods. Wild Bunch has taken international sales rights. The film will star Vincent Rottiers (who headlines Jacques Audiard’s Palme d’Or contender “Dheepan”) and Finnegan Oldfield (who toplines Thomas Bidegain’s “Les Cowboys,” which played at Directors Fortnight). The rest of the cast is almost entirely made up of non-pros aged between 17 and 22.
“After directing two costume movies – ‘House of Tolerance’ and ‘Saint Laurent’ – I really had the urge the direct a movie that’s extremely grounded in contemporary society,” said Bonello, whose “Saint Laurent” played in competition at Cannes last year.
The film starts out right into an action scene with no prelude or explanation. »
- Elsa Keslassy
Thomas Bidegain, a longtime and close collaborator of Jacques Audiard, is a Cannes veteran — and yet this year he’s also a sort of neophyte. Bidegain has been in Competition twice for writing the screenplays of films directed by Audiard: Rust And Bone and A Prophet. Last year, he was here with Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent which he also wrote and which went on to be the French Foreign Language Oscar submission. The tables have turned somewhat and he’s now here, in… »
The spirit of the American West lives on in France, of all places, where devotees don their cowboy hats and jeans to attend carnivals where they ride horses and dance to country music. While the hard-scrabble attitude endures, one can’t help but wonder where the lawless frontier itself now lies — precisely the question screenwriter Thomas Bidegain explores in “Les Cowboys.” Bidegain, who for years has served as the muscle behind Jacques Audiard’s scripts, advances his ongoing deconstruction of genre-movie masculinity in his uncompromising, anti-romantic directorial debut, transposing the myth of John Ford’s “The Searchers” to the modern era when one of these ersatz cowboys’ daughters disappears, sending her Marlboro-man father off in hopeless pursuit. Here, instead of being abducted by Comanches, the girl converts to Islam, touching on still-raw racial prejudices in a pared-down, elliptical art film that’s tough to watch, yet continues to haunt in the weeks that follow. »
- Peter Debruge
Veteran Italian distributor Valerio De Paolis first came to Cannes in 1971 and slept on Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s yacht. At that time, he was working with John Heyman, the legendary British producer, talent agent and film financier who had Joseph Losey’s “The Go-Between” at the fest. There was much celebration when that pic won the Grand Prix. De Paolis subsequently founded Italy’s Bim Distribuzione, known for releasing Palmes, Lions and Bears. He maintains this knack with his new company, called Cinema, which bowed by purchasing Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi” before it won the top prize at Berlin earlier this year.
Got any stories about picking those Palme d’Or winners?
One has to do with the restaurant Chez Tetou. In 2003 (British sales exec) Alison Thompson and I decided to go there for dinner the evening before the festival opened. We met at the Majestic, took my car, »
- Nick Vivarelli
Films In Competition – Cannes 2015 Trailers La Tête Haute (Emmanuelle Bercot) Umimachi Diary (Kore-Eda Hirokazu) Il Racconto Dei Racconti (Matteo Garrone) The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos) Saul Fia (László Nemes) Mia Madre (Nanni Moretti) Sea of Trees (Gus Van Sant) Mon Roi (Maïwenn) Carol (Todd Haynes) La Loi du Marché (Stéphane Brizé) Louder Than Bombs (Joachim Trier) Sicario (Denis Villeneuve) Marguerite & Julien (Valérie Donzelli) Youth (Paolo Sorrentino) Shan He Gu Ren (Jia Zhang-Ke) Dheepan (Jacques Audiard) Nie Yinniang (Hou Hsiao-Hsien) Chronic (Michel Franco) Valley of Love (Guillaume Nicloux) MacBeth (Justin Kurzel) »
The eagerly awaited Official Selection for this year's 68th Cannes Film Festival (13-24 May) was announced in Paris this morning. As previously revealed, celebrated sibling filmmakers and Cannes regulars Joel and Ethan Cohen will preside over the jury this time around. Emmanuelle Bercot will become the first female director to open the festival in 28 years with her comedy-drama La Tête Haute (Head Held High), starring Catherine Deneuve and Rod Paradot. Meanwhile, highlights of this year's Palme d'Or race include new films from Jacques Audiard, Matteo Garrone, Todd Haynes, Jia Zhangke, Paolo Sorrentino, Gus Van Sant and Denis Villeneuve. Directors whose latest films appear to have missed out this year include Terence Davies, Michael Haneke and Ben Wheatley.
- CineVue UK
For a still-young subgenre, it can feel as if the narrative possibilities of the War in Afghanistan soldier study are approaching exhaustion — until a film like Clement Cogitore’s clever, curiosity-stoking “The Wakhan Front” points out the pockets of uncanny experience that lie within it still. A portrait of tense frontline routine in which the most urgent threat to troops’ survival takes a distinctly metaphysical form, this brooding broadcast from the Twilight War Zone stars the steadfast Jeremie Renier as a committed French army captain whose authority gradually deserts him when his men begin unaccountably disappearing. Though its disquieting premise never quite combusts into a full-scale psychological thriller, Cogitore’s accomplished, arresting debut should reverberate widely on the festival circuit; select distributors may proceed with caution.
- Guy Lodge
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