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The movies that will keep buzzing after Cannes

2015-05-26 20:00

Cannes — The Cannes Film Festival is a grand hierarchy with strictly defined elevations of movies and media access, where films are met by high praise or lowly boos.

But what is a hit on the Croisette is sometimes a blip back home. As the glow of Cannes fades, here are the films from the festival that may sustain the buzz they earned on the Riviera:

What you’ll hear about come Oscar season:

Premiering just days before Ireland legalised gay marriage, Todd Haynes' Carol is grippingly contemporary despite the lushness of its period drama. Based on the 1952 Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt, the film stars Blanchett and Rooney Mara as two women — one married with a child, the other a mousy shop girl — who are intractably drawn together, but who must cloak their budding romance in disguised gestures and subtle glances. Mara shared in the best actress award at Cannes, but Harvey Weinstein, who is distributing, will ensure that's not the last honor for Carol. Also look for the tender Pixar tale Inside Out, Cotillard's empathetic Lady Macbeth and the veteran stars of Paolo Sorrentino's Youth (Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel) to find some award season attention.

The Palme winner that pitted critics vs. Coens

Moviegoers who see Audiard's Dheepan will have a choice between siding with Cannes critics or the Coen brothers. Though many Cannes scribes didn't embrace the French filmmaker's latest as warmly as his previous efforts, the jury led by Joel and Ethan Coen surprisingly picked Dheepan for the Palme d'Or. Outside of the festival, Dheepan may resonate better for its tale of Sri Lankan refugees posing as a family in order to gain asylum in France. Few filmmakers capture transformation like Audiard, the director of Rust and Bone and A Prophet.

The thriller genre fans can be excited for

Cannes isn't known for its genre thrills. But just as the cinematic horror hit It Follows drew raves at the festival last year, The Green Room, by Jeremy Saulnier, should be marked by thriller fans. In his second film following the lean revenge film Blue Ruin, Saulnier steps confidently into a bigger production, co-starring Patrick Stewart, about a touring hardcore punk band that runs into trouble at a backwoods gig for Neo-Nazi skinheads. Denis Villeneuve's Sicario, about an FBI agent (Blunt) roped into a covert task force sent into Mexico, will also excite many for its sure-handed muscularity.

What will have art house swooning

Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin, a martial arts drama, may seem like stuff of genre, too. But the Taiwanese filmmaker's latest, which won best director, bares little with the fast-paced action usually found in the genre. It was, undoubtedly, the most gorgeous film at Cannes; nearly every image is breathtakingly composed. Some, however, thought it lacked in substance behind the splendid imagery.

Hardest film to watch but you should

A harrowing Holocaust drama set among the Jewish workers of a concentration camp is precisely the kind of film many feel obligated to see, rather than enthusiastic to watch. But Son of Soul, the first feature by Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes, is something wholly unique: a visceral, bone-chilling, first-person plunge into darkness.

The oddities worth your curiosity

The Lobster and Tale of Tales — two films bound by a wry surrealism and John C. Reilly — vied for most bizarre of the Cannes competition. In Yorgos Lanthimos's The Lobster, middle-aged, unmarried singles (Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Reilly) gather at a remote Irish hotel where, if they don't couple up, they're turned into an animal. Weirder still was Tale of Tales, Matteo Garrone's adaptation of grotesque 17th century Neapolitan fairy tales.

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