12 films to watch out for at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

  • 12 films to watch out for at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

In a week's time, the south of France will play host to a dazzling array of stars as Cannes kicks off its much-heralded film festival on 13 May.

But what will be the toast of the town? Which films will be runaway successes? 

We're on hand with the 10 films we're expecting to make a big impact, and those who have designs on picking up the coveted Palme d'Or...

1. Carol

Starring: Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett
Genre: Drama

One of the most anticipated films at Cannes this year, an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel, sees a 1950s department store clerk who dreams of a better life (Rooney Mara) seduced by a wealthy older woman in the form of Cate Blanchett.

With a glittering cast and interesting source material, this is odds-on favourite to set the French film festival alight.

2. The Assassin

Starring: Qi Shu, Chen Chang
Genre: Action

Boasting two martial arts film heroines Qi Shu (The Transporter) and Chen Chang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), The Assassins has been in production since 2010.

Legendary Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien is eyeing-up the coveted Palme d’Or with his first directorial output since 2007's Flight of the Read Balloon.

3. The Tale of Tales

Starring: Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel
Genre: Fantasy

Directed and written by Matteo Garrone, who previously brought us Italian gangster flick Gomorrah, has taken on fairy tales this time, adapting the 'Pentamerone' fairy tales of 17th century Italian poet Giambattista Basile.

With an impressive cast including Salma Hayek and John C. Reilly, it is also in the running for the Palme d'Or.

4. The Lobster

Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux
Genre: Sci-Fi

An unusual concept from Dogtooth director Yorgos Lanthimos, in a dystopian future, single people are transferred to a creepy hotel and given 45 days to find a mate or be transformed into animals and released into the woods.

Going on its cast and high-concept idea alone, The Lobster has set itself up for a glowing Cannes reception.

5. Macbeth

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard
Genre: Drama

The adaptation of Shakespeare's play about a murderous Scottish couple aspiring to be king and queen, it's straightforward what we can expect storyline-wise.

With its main cast of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, big things are expected.

6. Louder Than Bombs

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Rachel Brosnahan
Genre: Drama

With soon-to-be Lex Luthor, Jesse Eisenberg and House of Cards' Rachel Brosnahan teaming up to play a family dealing with major loss.

Made by young Norwegian director Joachim Trier, this movie has been shrouded in secrecy, so the anticipation to see it is made that bit higher.

7. Amy

Starring: Amy Winehouse
Genre: Documentary

Set for a midnight screening at the festival, Asif Kapadia's Amy Winehouse documentary has already seen anger from the late singer's father Mitch as he believes it “is both misleading and contains some basic untruths”.

Following on from Sundance's showing of the Kurt Cobain documentary Montage of Heck, chronicling a tragic singer that died too young - check out the Amy teaser trailer here.

8. The Sea of Trees

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts
Genre: Drama

Winner of 2003's Palme d'Or, Gus Van Sant has Matthew McConaughey starring as a suicidal American who travels to Japan's 'Suicide Forest', and meets a Japanese man (Ken Watanabe) there for the same reason.

With McConaughey's star soaring in Hollywood at the moment this is being labelled a must-see at this year's festival.

9. Sicario

Starring: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro
Genre: Crime

Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve has a go at a bigger, bolder crime thriller, which sees FBI agent Emily Blunt getting lured into working with Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro to take down a Mexican cartel boss

A more 'Hollywood' movie that most of the other films at the festival, is Sicario gunning for the top prize?

10. Irrational Man

Starring: Emma Stone, Joaquin Phoenix
Genre: Mystery

From the magnificent mind of Woody Allen, a philosophy professor (Phoenix) in existential crisis gives his life new purpose when he enters into a relationship with his student (Emma Stone) - watch the trailer here.

Allen's 2011 film Midnight in Paris opened the festival that year and the director has recruited his Magic in the Moonlight co-lead Emma Stone and teams her up with Joaquin Phoenix to provide us with an interesting formula, and one that might just capture the attention of those in Cannes.

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