What does the Cannes Film Festival 2014 have in store?

Every May, the Cannes International Film Festival rolls around, showcasing some of the year’s finest films. Whether or not they’re competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or, most – if not all – of the films manage to make an impression on the viewers. In recent years, films like Blue Is The Warmest Color, Moonrise Kingdom, Melancholia, Blue Valentine and We Need To Talk About Kevin have won the hearts of both critics and viewers.

With the impressive line-up, it looks like the festival’s 67th edition will churn out just as many wonderful films this year. Here are five films we’re looking forward to this year:

Grace of Monaco

Grace of Monaco, starring starring Nicole Kidman, is based on the life of Grace Kelly. It chronicles the starlet’s troubled personal life, set in the backdrop of a dispute between Prince Rainier III and Charles de Gaulle. The film, directed by Olivier Dahn, will open the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. It joins the likes of Up, Moulin Rouge! and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, that have also opened the prestigious festival.

Unlike its predecessors, things haven’t been smooth sailing for Grace of Monaco. The movie, which was slated for a November 2013 release, has been constantly pushed back. One might even say that it’s jinxed. Though the trailers made Nicole Kidman seem like the frontrunner for the 86th Academy Awards, Grace of Monaco has since struggled to even get a release date. Will Olivier Dahn‘s film finally take off?

Maps to the Stars

Cannes isn’t the same without David Cronenberg. The filmmaker, who won the lifetime achievement award at the festival’s 59th edition, is back with Maps to the Stars. The movie stars Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore and John Cusack, among others! Apart from its star cast, the satire has also generated buzz due to its plot. Maps to the Stars follows a typical Hollywood family, that includes everyone from the "momager" to the drug-addicted teenager.

Maps to the Stars is currently one of the films most eagerly anticipated by the audience. However, audiences might want to keep their expectations more realistic. Cosmopolis, which also saw Cronenberg and Pattinson work together, was a huge let-down.

Still the Water

As prestigious as it is, the Cannes Film Festival isn’t exactly known for incorporating diverse filmmakers. The film festival has gained a fair share of criticism for the lack of female directors featured. Though it seemed like things had changed for the better this year, the claims were more than just a little misleading. Out of the 19 films competing for the Palme d’Or, only two of them are directed by women.

Still the Water is directed by Naomi Kawase, who is no stranger to the Festival de Cannes. This time, she’s back with Still the Water, which takes place on the Japanese island of Amami-Oshima. It follows the story of a 14-year-old boy who finds a dead body floating in the sea. What happens when he enlists his girlfriend to help him solve this mystery? There’s only one way we’re going to find out! 

Lost River

Ryan Gosling is slowly but surely becoming a favourite of the Cannes Film Festival. However, he’s now set to charm audiences in a whole new way! Yes, the Drive actor’s directorial debut Lost River will be screened at Cannes.

Earlier known as How To Catch a Monster, the film follows a family that lives in a desolate town of the same name. As his single mother strays towards a dark lifestyle, a young man discovers an undercover utopia, all while struggling to stay true to their roots. Though the plot doesn’t give much away about the film, the stellar cast makes this worth looking for. Saoirse Ronan, Christina Hendricks, Matt Smith and Eva Mendes — we’re certainly intrigued!

Mr. Turner

Inspite of all the other remarkable names on the line-up this year, Mr. Turner is undoubtedly the frontrunner for the Palme d’Or.

Mike Leigh‘s film follows J. M. W. Turner, played by Timothy Spall, in the last 25 years of his life. Mr. Turner explores the man, his working life and his relationships. It also chronicles the tension seen in his most famous works. Director Mike Leigh also said, "I also see rich tragic-comic potential in his often turbulent relationship with the English Art Establishment, especially in his later years, when his increasingly radical work was misunderstood and derided."

The cast also includes Marion Bailey, Lesley Manville and Oliver Maltman, who have collaborated with Leigh before, giving Mr. Turner an edge over the other Palme d’Or competitors.

Honorable mentions: Foxcatcher, Mommy, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Titli and The Search.

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