Cannes film festival: the Oscar contenders


The next Academy Awards ceremony may be nine months away, but as the 64th Cannes film festival is ending, here are the films and actors that already have people thinking Oscar in the South of France.

The Artist The happiest surprise of the festival was director Michel Hazanavicius’ crowd-pleasing black-and-white silent film starring two French actors you’ve probably never heard of (Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo). But trust me: You’re going to love it. And so will the Academy. The Weinstein Co. will release the film in the late fall.

The Tree of Life To say Cannesgoers were mixed on Terrence Malick’s latest opus would be a distinct understatement. Still, Malick’s last three films all earned at least one nomination. This visually-sweeping meditation on our existence (which Fox Searchlight is releasing next week) could be a contender for picture, director, actor (Brad Pitt), and cinematography.

Tilda Swinton The past supporting-actress winner (for Michael Clayton) delivers a riveting performance as the mother of a teenage killer in Lynne Ramsay’s acclaimed We Need to Talk About Kevin. It’s not an easy sit, but she’s nothing short of mesmerizing. With the right distributor, she could be a Best Actress nominee next year.

Woody Allen Opening the festival with the delightful Midnight in Paris, the writer/director found himself with one of his best-received films in years. He may just score his 15th career screenplay nod?

Michael Shannon and Linda Cardellini Shannon, a previous nominee for Revolutionary Road, won raves as a working-class dad growing increasingly mentally ill in Sony Pictures Classics’ Take Shelter, while former ER costar Cardellini turned in an impressively understated performance as a servicewoman just back from war in Return. The films are quite small, but if their buzz continues, they could end up as nominees at next year’s Spirit Awards.

Meryl Streep She’s back! The Weinstein Co. snapped up The Iron Lady, featuring Streep as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, after watching just a five-minute sizzle reel. Those who saw it say the two-time winner is in rare form.

Comments (35 total) Add your comment
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  • Entertainment2u-Twitter

    Just give the Oscar to Streep now. carry on!

    • Adwina Lambert

      tru! tee-hee! viva la streep!!

    • Jem

      So sick of Meryl Streep and everyone treating her like she should automatically win just because she’s Meryl Streep not because they’ve even seen the film! Just because she hogs all the great roles for older actresses doesn’t mean she’s the only great older actress around!

  • Joseph

    Thanks, Dave. Very much appreciated. Looking forward to these films.

  • AS

    This will be Streep’s 5000th nomination?

    • Woot

      Really? Come on now, lets be realistic. It will be her 5,432nd nomination.

    • kurt

      Yes, but she hasn’t won in a long, long time.

      • @kurt

        You’re right. It’s been over five hundred years.

      • claudenorth

        What does that have to do with anything? She has two Oscars. She is not entitled to a third. NO ONE is entitled to a third. No one is entitled to one Oscar, for that matter.

  • The Dude

    No mention of Albert Brooks in “Drive?” The movie itself has shocked reviewers because it’s one of the best at Cannes despite being a violent genre-movie, but there’s been a whole lotta buzz around Brooks. He supposedly plays against type and steals the movie (no easy task when you’ve got Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Bryan Cranston). I’d add him to the list of contenders to watch for in the coming months.

    • Lu

      What about Ryan Gosling? I know the Academy snubbed him twice before (Lars and the real girl, Blue Valentine last year). But hes an amazing actor, and by the looks of the clips, he’s excellent in it.

      • Joan

        Gosling will probably be nominated for The Ides of March, which, on paper, seems like it could well be a general frontrunner.

  • Liz Lemon

    I think Tilda Swinton will win. I’ve heard some amazing things about “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

  • melissa

    I like how this article is about Cannes and Tilda Swinton has a bunch of cans behind her… ha… ha…

    • Horace Slughorn


  • jfms777

    Go Meryl.

  • pln

    uhm I am am confused all of the reviews of Tree of Life I have seen have called it a masterpiece and as for the booing I have heard it was everything from a couple of people to half of the theater…I guess I am going to have to not trust any of the critics and judge for myself on that one.

    • Rich

      Which makes the experience of the film more interesting, I guess.

    • Angela

      Yeah, I also feel like I just have to see for myself. Really, it was pretty much going to be either absolute raves or completely polarizing. The polarized reaction actually makes me more intrigued.

    • Lifeafterlost

      that’s what I said to myself when I heard that people started to boo and stuff. I mean when they booed I was kinda confused it looked pretty solid and i think it’s supposed to be a semiautobiographical poetic film about life which IMHO is a pretty huge feat to try and accomplish but whatever I’m gonna watch it and decide. I heard that Terrence had been collecting random footage for years

  • MWeyer

    Well, the Academy owes Swinton nominations for “Julia” and “I am Love” anyway.

    • Chichi

      They owe her the nominations and wins.

      • Pittner

        They should also take away her win for Michael Clayton and give it to Amy Ryan or Cate Blanchett.

      • ludivine

        Disagree. She was astonishing in Michael Clayton.

  • Jody

    it’s hard to say yes to either one…but I’d love to see Tilda Swinton win this year, this performance just sounds so amazing. Meryl will win again, but since she’s signed on for August:Osage County she should win for the year that it’s distributed whether it be this upcoming Oscar season or next.

  • sabrina W

    i’m super happy to see that jean dujardin might finally get recognition outside of france, he’s an amazing french comedian, was in very popular sitcom “un gars une fille” sketches about couple life, then he went to have a very successful transition in films with films like “brice de nice” and “oss117″ franchise! can’t wait to see it!

  • K. Bowen

    I keep reading that the critics are mixed on Tree of Life. How are they mixed?

    It’s over 90 on both RT and Metacritic last I checked. It won the poll of French critics and finished third in a poll of international critics.

    Again, where is the evidence of a mixed reaction?

    • Woot

      Well EW’s own critic gave it a mixed review, and I’m guessing a lot of the people that booed didn’t actually write a review and submit it to rottentomatoes.

  • ADL

    Do you think Elizabeth Olsen could be the Hailee Steinfeld or Carey Mulligan next year? She’s been getting really good reviews for her performance.

    • m1

      I think Olsen will end up being more like Jennifer Lawrence. I get a Winter’s Bone-vibe from her film’s trailer, too.

  • Sonja

    The did not only fought hard to pick up the rights for “The Irin Lady”, they also fought for the rights for Meryl’s other movie “Great Hope Springs”.
    Amazing to hear how much wanted Meryl is at her age now! (+60)

  • Lad

    So are we really just going to pretend that Melancholia doesn’t exist now due to the director’s comments. That’s sad, it got sensational reviews before that, especially for Dunst, whose in need of comeback buzz. I would hope that people could appreciate the art apart from their feelings on its creator.

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