The typically strong French selection includes Bluebeard, a dark fairytale by Catherine Breillat, Bellamy, which brings together Claude Chabrol and Gérard Depardieu for the first time, plus the latest works by Jacques Rivette, André Téchiné, Patrice Chéreau and Claire Denis.
Italian highlights include Vincere, a Mussolini biopic lit up by Giovanna Mezzogiorno’s performance as his mistress Ida, and As God Commands, Gabriele Salvatores’ latest study of errant fathers and lost sons, based like his brilliant I’m Not Scared on a novel by Niccolò Ammaniti.
The Ceaucescu regime gets the black comic treatment in Tales from the Golden Age, a portmanteau film by five directors led by Cristian (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) Mungiu. Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow is another attempt to exorcise a country’s violent past. This tale of a young Peruvian woman coming to terms with her history won the Golden Bear in Berlin.
For lighter viewing, try Kamui, a twisty ninja movie based on Sanpei Shirato’s manga epic; One-Zero, a portrait of the celeb set in contemporary Cairo; or Plan B, a wry love story set in Buenos Aires. Middle-class mores are also explored in Tell me Who You Are, Souleymane Cissé’s melodrama about polygamy in Mali.
Don’t forget, most films get two or more screenings, so tickets may still be available for daytime showings of the foreign-language galas: Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner The White Ribbon, Jacques Audiard’s prison drama A Prophet, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s comedy MICMACS and Mia Hansen-Løve’s exploration of family and cinema, Father of my Children.
Public booking starts tomorrow, so get in fast.
By Concetta Sidoti. Image by Hazel Tsoi-Wiles