Cannes official selection unveiled, includes Leigh, Iñárritu

Posted by · 2:17 am · April 15th, 2010

Okay, before you ask, “The Tree of Life” is reportedly not ready — though the Cannes selection has apparently seen a cut, so never say never. Four slots in the competition lineup have yet to be filled.

That aside, many of the expected names are present and correct, including former Cannes champs Leigh, Kiarostami, Mikhalkov, Tavernier, Weerasethakul and González Iñárritu. (Beefing up the veteran auteur quotient, Jean-Luc Godard shows up in the very appetizing Un Certain Regard strand, as does 101 year-old Manoel de Oliveira.)

On paper — which is all we have at the moment, after all — it’s the first two of the aforementioned directors that I’m most excited to see in competition: “Another Year” will mark Leigh’s first trip to Croisette since the undervalued “All or Nothing” in 2002, and boasts the almost unfeasibly Leigh-ian cast of Imelda Staunton, Jim Broadbent, Phil Davis and Lesley Manville.

Meanwhile, Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy” — a romantic drama starring Juliette Binoche, and the director’s first film to be shot outside his native Iran — has had me curious for the better part of two years now. I sensed this might be afoot when Binoche was revealed as the official face of this year’s festival.

(More thoughts, and a complete list of films in the official selection, after the cut.)

The most mainstream title gunning for the Palme d’Or, however, is Doug Liman’s “Fair Game”: not, regrettably, a remake of the classic 1995 Cindy Crawford vehicle of the same name, but a political thriller-biopic starring Naomi Watts as unmasked CIA agent Valerie Plame, and Sean Penn as her husband Joseph Wilson. Jeff Wells has been champing at the bit for this one; however it turns out, a Cannes competition slot is quite a rebound for a filmmaker who last hit screens with, er, “Jumper.”

Meanwhile, as was widely anticipated, Woody Allen and Oliver Stone will both present their new features out of competition, lending the festival some star wattage in the process; joining them is Stephen Frears, with his Gemma Arterton-starring graphic novel adaptation “Tamara Drewe.”

Finally, a reminder that I’ll be attending this year’s festival, so we’ll be bringing you first-hand festival reports for the very first time. Stick around for joy, as The Sugarcubes would say. I’ll discuss the lineup more in due course, but for now, here it is:


“Another Year” (Mike Leigh)
“Biutiful” (Alejandro González Iñárritu)
“Burnt by the Sun 2” (Nikita Mikhalkov)
“Certified Copy” (Abbas Kiarostami)
“Fair Game” (Doug Liman)
“Housemaid” (Im Sang-soo)
“La Nostra Vita” (Daniele Luchetti)
“Of Gods and Men” (Xavier Beauvois)
“Outrage” (Takeshi Kitano)
“Outside the Law” (Rachid Bouchareb)
“Poetry” (Lee Chang-dong)
“The Princess of Montpensier” (Bertrand Tavernier)
“A Screaming Man” (Mohamed-Saleh Haroun)
“Tournée” (Mathieu Amalric)
“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” (Achitpong Weerasethakul)
“You, My Joy” (Sergei Loznitsa)


“Robin Hood” (Ridley Scott) (opening film)
“Tamara Drewe” (Stephen Frears)
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (Oliver Stone)
“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” (Woody Allen)


“Adrienn Pál” (Ágnes Kocsis)
“Aurora” (Cristi Puiu)
“Blue Valentine” (Derek Cianfrance)
“Chatroom” (Hideo Nakata)
“Chongqing Blues” (Xiaoshuai Wang)
“The City Below” (Christoph Hochhäusler)
“Film Socialisme” (Jean-Luc Godard)
“Ha Ha Ha” (Hong Sang-soo)
“Heartbeats” (Xavier Dolan)
“Life Above All” (Oliver Schmitz)
“The Lips” (Ivan Fund and Santiago Loza)
“Octubre” (Daniel Vega)
“Rebecca H. (Return to the Dogs)” (Lodge Kerrigan)
“R U There” (David Verbeek)
“Simon Werner Has Disappeared” (Fabrice Gobert)
“The Strange Case of Angelica” (Manoel de Oliveira)
“Tuesday, After Christmas” (Radu Muntean)
“Udaan” (Vikramaditya Motwane)


“Blackhole” (Gilles Marchand)
“Kaboom” (Gregg Araki)


“Abel” (Diego Luna)
“Chantrapas” (Otar Iosseliani)
“Draquila: L’Italia Che Trema” (Sabina Guzzante)
“Inside Job” (Charles Ferguson)
Nostalgia for the Light” (Patricio Guzman)
“Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow” (Sophie Fiennes)

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18 responses so far

  • 1 4-15-2010 at 2:26 am

    Glenn said...

    How did Doug Liman’s “Fair Game” get into the main competition? That strikes me as a bit odd.

    I wonder if the Un Certain Regard field will, yet again, prove more exciting than the main competition with its fresher faces.

  • 2 4-15-2010 at 3:24 am

    maurier said...

    Hey, where is Julian Schnabel’s Miral??? I thought this film would surely be in the main competition.

  • 3 4-15-2010 at 3:28 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    There are never any certainties with the Cannes selectors: remember, these guys turned down “Vera Drake” in 2004.

    Bear in mind, however, that the competition strand has four slots yet to be filled — the lineup isn’t quite complete.

  • 4 4-15-2010 at 5:11 am

    Charlie said...


    When are the other 4 competition slots announced (EST)?

  • 5 4-15-2010 at 5:40 am

    Princess of Peace said...

    Jeffre Welles said that he spoke to Julian Schnabel last night and that Miral will unveil at Venice and Toronto.

  • 6 4-15-2010 at 5:42 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Charlie: Could be at any time in the coming weeks.

    Princess: Yes, that’s true. Was just about to post that.

  • 7 4-15-2010 at 6:23 am

    Michael said...

    Dude, Guy, you just mentioned The Sugarcubes and I just about did a backflip out of my chair! I am so excited you get to go to Cannes this year, that is so awesome for you! I can’t wait to read your write-ups, b/c the films that you tend to champion are films that I end up really liking whenever they finally become available to me. Not a really overly exciting line-up this year but I am sure there will be some good films in there.

  • 8 4-15-2010 at 6:28 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    The UCR is the more exciting selection, I must say. Not sure how Cristi Puiu has failed to ascend to Competition status after “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu.”

  • 9 4-15-2010 at 7:59 am

    John said...

    Guy, could you post the languages of each film as well?

  • 10 4-15-2010 at 8:01 am

    Bing147 said...

    New films from Weerasethakul and Kitano are enough to excite me.

  • 11 4-15-2010 at 8:40 am

    Filmoholic said...

    Guy, it’s good to hear that you’ll be attending Cannes this year.

    Looking forward to your write-ups.

  • 12 4-15-2010 at 10:10 am

    red_wine said...

    The competition seems intriguing. Though let me join the chorus, how did Fair Game manage a competition slot! The new Mike Leigh & Kiarostami certainly seem to be the most exciting. I was hoping for the new Assayas too. And Weerasethakul’s first feature after the glorious Syndromes And A Century, certainly eager to see how that one turns out.

    And of course I’m extremely happy that you’ll be at Cannes this year. So if we have another unveiling of a certified instant classic modern movie masterpiece (A Prophet, it really is that good and much more) you’ll be at hand to proclaim it so and not by proxy.

    Off topic but the race for critics no. 1 movie of 2010 is already over unless something more monumental than A Prophet comes along which is highly unlikely.

  • 13 4-15-2010 at 12:06 pm

    Ben M. said...

    Fair Game was already high on my list of potential oscar contenders, and this looks like a big get for the film. Obviously the reaction at Cannes will let us know how strong a player it is, but with 10 slots it could become a likely nominee if it is viewed as a major success at the festival.

  • 14 4-15-2010 at 4:35 pm

    LePuu said...

    Again, Guy, the given name is Alejandro, the family name (paternal) is González, and the second family name (maternal) is Iñárritu. Tecnically, his last name can be “González” or “González Iñárritu”, but not “Iñárritu”.

  • 15 4-15-2010 at 11:47 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Yes, LePuu, I was aware of that, and I offer my apologies — as you can see, he is correctly named in the article. But headlines offer limited space, and I’m hardly the only writer on the net to abbreviate it as such. (Using only “González” simply wouldn’t be recognizable to most readers.)

    I do appreciate being corrected, but it’d be nice if you brought something to the conversation at hand too!

  • 16 4-17-2010 at 4:01 am

    Mimi Rogers said...

    Please let ‘Rabbit Hole’ in!

  • 17 4-17-2010 at 6:48 pm

    The Dude said...

    I can’t be the only one that founds Un Certain Regard more interesting than the main competition. Puiu, Godard and Oliveira not making the main list is absurd.

  • 18 4-18-2010 at 1:12 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    You certainly aren’t the only one, The Dude. That is the rapidly emerging consensus among the journos and Cannes attendees I’ve spoken to.