Last year, several films that played at the Cannes film festival — including Biutiful, Blue Valentine, Another Year, and Inside Job — ended up scoring major-category Oscar nominations. Now that this year’s Cannes lineup has been announced, let’s take a very preliminary look at which films could become next year’s award contenders.
This Must Be the Place Just look at this photo of Sean Penn as an ’80s new-wave star. Are you as intrigued as I am? The film, directed by Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, is a bit of a mystery, but when Penn takes on a physically transformative role, it usually piques the Academy’s interest.
We Need to Talk About Kevin I’m already hearing great things about Tilda Swinton’s performance as the distraught mother of a school gunman. After her strong turns in Julia and I Am Love failed to gain awards-season traction, it would be terrific to have her back in the game.
Martha Marcy May Marlene Director Sean Durkin’s moody drama (one of the best films I saw at Sundance this year) features another creepy supporting turn from this year’s Winter’s Bone nominee John Hawkes as a charismatic cult leader. And rising star Elizabeth Olsen carries the film with her memorable breakout performance.
The Tree of Life It’s never great when a movie finally has its premiere years after it was shot. But director Terrence Malick’s last three films all received at least one Oscar nomination. And the cast (featuring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and touted up-and-comer Jessica Chastain) certainly has potential.
The Skin I Live In The first feature-length collaboration between Pedro Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas in over 20 years is alone cause for celebration. Though it’s an adaptation of a novel rather than an original screenplay, Almodóvar’s works are always strong contenders to become Spain’s foreign-language submission.
For Cannes updates and Oscar news throughout the year, follow me on Twitter: @davekarger.