Pickup prospects

Titles generating interest among industryites

Discussions regarding this year’s Cannes lineup elicited words such as “arty” and “thin” among acquisition execs. With very few available English-lingo pics, hopes are higher for the Cannes Market, where surprises have cropped up in recent years. That said, there are a few titles generating interest:

The Assassination of Richard Nixon – Sean Penn-Naomi Watts starrer about a plot to kill the president is high on most every buyer’s list. Although the dark script has been widely read, no U.S. buyers have stepped up to the plate yet.

Clean – Latest from Cannes regular Olivier Assayas centers on the widow of a has-been rock star struggling to regain custody of her son. Maggie Cheung, Beatrice Dalle and Jeanne Balibar star.

Cronicas – Mexico’s Sebastian Cordero directs John Leguizamo as a sensationalistic Miami newscaster who tracks a serial killer to Ecuador with tragic consequences. Don’t Move The talk’s about Penelope Cruz’s performance as a destitute woman who falls for a successful surgeon played by writer-director Sergio Castellito.

The Edukators – Germany’s buzzed-about Competition entry stars Daniel Bruhl (“Good Bye, Lenin!”) as part of a love triangle of young revolutionaries whose idealism is at odds with the law.

The Heart Is Deceitful … Above All Things – Among a handful of U.S. entries in Directors Fortnight, this dark tale — written, directed by and starring Asia Argento — is an odyssey of prostitution, drug abuse and child foster homes. Cast includes Winona Ryder, Peter Fonda and Marilyn Manson.

Life Is a Miracle – Cannes award winner Emir Kusterica (“Underground”) returns to the Competition with cross-cultural love story involving an engineer who falls in love with a Muslim woman in war-torn Bosnia.

2046 – Wong Kar-Wei’s long-awaited futuristic opus features Tony Leung and Gong Li.