The Stars and Stripes Invasion

Deauville launches its programme.

by Richard Mowe

A scene from Matt Creed's Lily, in Competition at the Deauville Festival of American Cinema.
A scene from Matt Creed's Lily, in Competition at the Deauville Festival of American Cinema.

Deauville, an elegant belle epoque beach resort and equestrian town in Normandy, hosts an annual American Film Festival – partly because of its historical Second World War connections to the United States. The beaches where the landings took place are close by and Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan had its launch there.

This year’s official Competition selection, unveiled in the town this afternoon, will see a host of starry premieres including David M Rosenthal’s A Single Shot with Sam Rockwell, Drake Doremus’s Breathe In with Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones, All Is Lost by J C Sandor with Robert Redford, Ain’t them Bodies Saints by David Lowery with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara and Sweetwater by Logan and Noah Miller with Ed Harris. Among the others in the 12-title section are Jim Mickle’s cannibal picture We Are What We Are, Matt Creed’s debut feature Lily,about a young woman re-evaluating her life following cancer, and Destin Cretton’s children’s home drama Short Term 12.

The Competition will be judged by a jury headed up by French actor Vincent Lindon.

Mainstream titles being given a Deauville airing in the 39th edition before their French release comprise Woody Allen’s latest offering Blue Jasmine with Cate Blanchett (the director's return to New York after London, Madrid, Paris and Rome), Roland Emmerich’s White House Down with Canning Tatum and Jamie Foxx, Ron Howard’s Rush with Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth, Mark Steven Johnson’s Killing Season with Robert DeNiro and John Travolta, Quentin Dupieux’s Wrong Cops with Mark Burnham and Marilyn Manson and David Gordon Green’s Joe with Nicolas Cage.

There will be special tributes to Cate Blanchett, Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, all in their presence.

Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, to be screened in Deauville's preview section.
Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, to be screened in Deauville's preview section.

The opening choice of the Festival, which runs from 30 August to 8 September also has strong star power in Behind The Candelebra, which opens in France in September and will have Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in attendance. Douglas has a strong sentimental attachment to the town where he met his wife Catherine Zeta Jones in 1999. The closing choice has yet been divulged but the Festival organisers promise it will a much anticipated title by a major director.

Song and dance legend Danny Kaye will be the subject of an homage. Producer Gale Anne Hurd’s work also will be celebrated and director Steven Soderbergh who said Behind The Candelabra will be his last project (at least for some time) will be on hand to give a master class.

The Deauville Festival of American Cinema began in 1975 as a venture to prolong tourism past the end of the horse-racing season. It was founded by Michel D'Ornano, who was then Mayor of Deauville. When he moved on to become French Minister of Culture in 1977, his wife, Anne, succeeded him as Mayor and became the real guiding light of the festival. Mrs. D'Ornano, whose husband died in 1991, is still a guiding light.

The Competition

A Single Shot by David M. Rosenthal, with Sam Rockwell, Jeffrey Wright

All Is Lost, by J.C. Chandor, with Robert Redford

Blue Ruin, by Jeremy Saulnier, with Macon Blair, Amy , Hargreaves

Breathe In, by Drake Doremus, with Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones

Fruitvale Station, by Ryan Coogler, with Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz

Ain’t them Bodies Saints, by David Lowery, with Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck

Lily, by Matt Creed, with Amy Grantham, Simon Chaput

Sweetwater, by Logan & Noah Miller, with Ed Harris, January Jones

Short Term 12, by Destin Cretton, with Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr.

Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors, by Sam Fleischner, with Jesus Sanchez-Velez, Andrea Suarez Paz

The Retrieval, by Chris Eska, with Ashton Sanders, Tishuan Scott

We Are What We Are, by Jim Mickle, with Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers


Behind The Candelabra, by Steven Soderbergh, with Michael Douglas, Matt Damon

Blue Jasmine, by Woody Allen, with Cate Blanchett

White House Down, by Roland Emmerich, with Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx

Very Good Girls, by Naomi Foner, with Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen

Joe, by David Gordon Green, with Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan

Rush, by Ron Howard, with Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth

Killing Season, by Mark Steven Johnson, with Robert De Niro, John Travolta

Wrong Cops, by Quentin Dupieux, with Mark Burnham, Marilyn Manson

Planes, by Klay Hall

Documentaries / Les Docs De L’Oncle Sam

Dancing In Jaffa, by Hilla Medalia

Inequality For All, by Jacob Kornbluth

Our Nixon, by Penny Lane

Seduced And Abandoned, by James Toback

Twenty Feet From Stardom, by Morgan Neville

Deauville Season 4 (devoted to American TV series)

The Following, by Kevin Williamson

Once Upon A Time, by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis

Bates Motel, by Carlton Cuse Kerry Ehrin and Anthony Cipriano

Richard Mowe will be reporting, interviewing and reviewing from Deauville from 30 August to 8 September. .

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