Coens in the Cannes

We look at the films set to compete on the Croisette this year.

by Richard Mowe

Cannes 2013 Poster
Cannes 2013 Poster

The Coen brothers Joel and Ethan will be back on the Croisette for their Sixties-set folk music extravganza Inside Llewyn Davis as part of the official Cannes Film Festival Competition line-up revealed in Paris this morning by artistic director Thierry Fremaux and president Gilles Jacob.

Judging from the online trailer it is trademark Coen siblings with lashings of dry wit and perplexing angst. The film follows Oscar Isaac as Llewyn Davis, a struggling, aspiring musician living in Greenwich Village at the height of folk scene in the 1960s. It has been inspired in part by musician Dave van Ronk’s posthumous memoir The Mayor of MacDougal Street.

The line-up which demonstrates a strong American flavour, has been selected from more than 1858 submissions, according to the organisers. It looks top heavy with many Cannes veterans, among them Steven Soderbergh with his Liberace biopic Behind The Candelabra with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon and Roman Polanski with Venus In Fur, a French-language adaptation of a two-hander Broadway play by David Ives and featuring Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric.

Fremaux told the assembled media horde: “Soderbergh had initially wanted to present Candelabra out of competition, but I implored him via email to ‘say yes’ to a competition slot, and he agreed. After all his first film, Sex, Lies, And Videotape, played at Cannes and won the Palme d’Or, and we wish him the same fortune with this his latest film.”

Polanski who won the Palme d’Or for The Pianist just over a decade ago, also figures in a special out-of-competition slot with a motor-racing documentary Weekend Of A Champion.

Inside Llewyn Davis
Inside Llewyn Davis

Of the newer generation Nichlas Windig Refn is reunited with his Drive star Ryan Gosling for Only God Forgives, an ultra violent revenge thriller with Gosling playing a British gangster in Bangkok’s criminal underworld. Alexander Payne fields Nebraska. James Gray, another Festival favourite, will present The Immigrant with Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner.

Iran’s Asghar Farhadi (who made the memorable A Separation) will appear in competition for the first time with The Past, a romantic drama set in Paris and starring Berenice Bejo (The Artist) and Tahar Rahim (A Prophet).

Several French directors are to the fore including François Ozon’s Jeune Et Jolie, Arnaud Desplechin’s Jimmy Picard with Benicio del Toro and set in the US as well as Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi’s Un Chateau En Italie. Outside the competition Guillaume Canet (Tell No One) makes his English-language directing debut with Blood Ties, a thriller starring Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard and Mila Kunis.

They will all be vying in competition for the coveted Palme d’Or and other prizes discerned by a jury headed by Steven Spielberg in the festival’s 66th edition, which runs from 15 to 26 May.

The Un Certain Regard section, which often springs more surprises than the Competition, opens with some glitz in the shape of Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring while French director Rebecca Ziotowski’s career is on an upward trajectory with her second feature Grand Central, a complex romance against France’s nuclear power industry, featuring Tahar Ramin and Lea Seydou.

The Sundance prizewinner Fruitvale Station by Ryan Coogler has a berth alongside Claire Denis’s The Bastards and James Franco’s As I Lay Dying.

The Un Certain Regard jury is headed up by Swedish director Thomas Vinterberg (also a Cannes fave).


Only God Forgives by Nicolas Winding Refn

Borgman by Alex Van Warmerdam

The Great Beauty / La Grande Bellezza by Paolo Sorrentino

Behind The Candelabra by Steven Soderbergh

Venus In Fur / La Venua À La Fourrure by Roman Polanksi

Nebraska by Alexander Payne

Just 17 / Jeune & Jolie by François Ozon

Shield Of Straw / Wara No Tate by Takashi Milke

La Vie D’Adele by Abdeliatif Kechine

Soshite Chichi Ni Naru by Kore-Eda Hirokazu

Tian Zhu Ding by Jia Zhangke

Grisgris by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

The Immigrant by James Gray

Le Passe by Asghar Farhadi

Heli by Amat Escalante

Jimmy P / Un Indien Des Plaines by Arnaud Desplechin

Michael Kohlaas by Arnaud Despallières

Inside Llewyn Davis by Ethan and Joel Coen

Un Chateau En Italie by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi


Blood Ties by Guillaume Canet

All Is Lost by J.C Chandor

The Great Gatsby By Baz Luhrmann Opening film on 15 May out of competition

Zulu by Jérome Salle) Closing film on 26 May out of competition

The Bling Ring
The Bling Ring


The Bling Ring by Sofia Coppola Opening film on

Grand Central by Rebecca Zlotowski

Sarah Préfère La Course by Chloé Robichaud

Anonymous by Mohammad Rasoulof

La Jaula De Oro by Diego Quemada-Diez

L’Image Manquante by Rithy Panh

Bends by Flora Lau

L’Inconnu Du Lac by Alain Guiraudie

Miele by Valeria Golino

As I Lay Dying by James Franco

Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan by Lav Diaz

Les Salauds by Claire Denis

Fruitvale Station by Ryan Coogler

Death March by Adolfo Alix jr.

Omar by Hany Abu-Assad


Otdat Konci by Taisia Igumentseva

Seduced And Abandoned by James Toback

Weekend Of A Champion by Roman Polanksi

Stop The Pounding Heart by Roberto Minervini

Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight by Stephen Frears

Blind Detective by Johnnie To

Monsoon Shootout by Amit Kumar

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We're looking forward to the Glasgow Film Festival and the Berlinale.

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