cannes plays host to controversy

All eyes are on the Amy Winehouse drama before the competition kicks off...

by Colin Crummy
13 May 2015, 1:39pm

'Amy' film still

The 68th Cannes Film Festival opens today where all eyes, initially at least, will be on the films screening out of competition. The festival begins with Emmanuelle Bercot's La Tete haute, the first female directed film to open Cannes in 28 years. But it's the special midnight screening of Amy, the documentary about the late singer's life that has already caused a stir.

The film by Senna director Asif Kapadia was made with the assistance of the Winehouse family, who have since distanced themselves from it. The singer's dad, Mitch Winehouse, has said the documentary is unbalanced in its portrayal of him.

In competition, the drama is no less intriguing. Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe star in Gus Van Sant's The Sea of Trees, as two men who meet accidentally in Japan's 'Suicide Forest' where they have both gone to commit suicide.

The stuff of Tinder nightmares, The Lobster is set in a dystopian future where single people are forced to mate within 45 days or be turned into animals and dumped in the woods. It stars Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Lea Seydoux and is Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' first English language film.

Also in competition: Carol, Todd Haynes' adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel about a department store sales assistant who falls for an older woman starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Quebec director Denis Villeneuve's Sicario is a Mexican drug trade crime drama starring Emily Blunt. A new adaptation of Macbeth from Australian director Justin Kurzel stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, the only actor not attempting a Scots accent for the film. Natalie Portman's directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness, is based on Israeli writer Amos Oz's memoir. Youth from Paolo Sorrentino, the director of the Oscar winning The Grand Beauty, will also screen. 

Crowning the winners will be a jury led by the Coen Brothers and including directors Guillermo del Toro and Xavier Dolan, actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Sienna Miller. Also hitting the red carpet and out of competition will be Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron for Mad Max: Fury Road, Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix, the stars of Woody Allen's Irrational Man. Pixar, which opened Cannes in 2009 with Up, will screen the worldwide premiere of its new animation Inside Out.

The festival runs May 13 - 24. 


Text Colin Crummy

film festival
amy winehouse
Inside Out
mad max
natalie portman
Cate Blanchett
Rooney Mara
The Lobster
a tale of love and darkness
irrational man
la tete haute
the sea of trees