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Cannes Critics’ Week announces lineup

Caouette, Ionesco, Donzelli will present films

The Cannes Film Festival’s 50th Critics’ Week will include Sundance title “Take Shelter,” from helmer Jeff Nichols, in the main selection plus a special screening of director Jonathan Caouette’s “Walk Away Renee,” the long-awaited follow-up to autobiographical docu “Tarnation.”

The slate was due to be officially unveiled on Monday night in France on the program’s own website, but a savvy hacker got the info a few hours early, and it was then picked up by several film sites.

A Critics’ Week press rep confirmed to Daily Variety that the leaked list was correct.

Critics’ Week will open with local noncompeting title “La Guerre est declaree,” from actress-turned-helmer Valerie Donzelli. Pic stars Donzelli as well as her real-life partner, thesp Jeremie Elkaim, in an autobiographical story about how they coped when their child was diagnosed with cancer.

“Quite a few films this year are autobiographical,” section topper Jean-Christophe Berjon told Variety. “They are intelligent adaptations of the filmmakers’ own lives that are, artistically speaking, strong and independent rather than voyeuristic.”

Besides the opener and Caouette’s second feature, another strongly autobiographical and noncompeting film is “My Little Princess” from French-Romanian helmer Eva Ionesco. Pic stars Isabelle Huppert as the actress-turned-director’s mother, photog Irina Ionesco, who became notorious in the 1970s when she made her pre-teen daughter pose for semi-pornographic pictures.

Berjon describes “Princess” as “another very perceptive film about a personal tragedy.”

Meanwhile, Nichols’ “Take Shelter” is, Berjon said, “a genre entertainment, a true audience treat, as well as a refined psychological portrait that makes clear this is the work of an auteur.”

The competing films in Critics’ Week in many ways mirror the competish of the Cannes fest proper, with a title each from Australia (Justin Kurzel’s “Snowtown”) and Israel (Hagar Ben-Asher’s “The Slut”), both singled out last week by general fest topper Thierry Fremaux as countries with particularly strong films.

The strong femme flavor of the Cannes main selection is also present in Critics’ Week, which includes two competing and three noncompeting entries directed by women. Besides “The Slut,” the other femme-driven competish title comes from Gallic sisters Delphine and Muriel Coulin. Their “17 Filles” is based on a true story involving 17 schoolgirls who decide to become pregnant at the same time.

The competish is rounded out by Argentine title “Las Acacias” from helmer Pablo Giorgelli, “Ave” from Bulgaria’s Konstantin Bojanov and “Sauna on Moon,” from Chinese director Zou Peng.

Katia Lewcowicz’s local noncompetiting title “Pourquoi tu pleures?” will close Critics’ Week, which runs May 12-20. South Korean helmer Lee Chang-Dong will preside over the feature jury.

And the Critics’ Week lineup is:


“Las Acacias,” Argentina, Pablo Giorgelli

“Ave,” Bulgaria-France, Konstantin Bojanov

“17 Filles,” France, Delphine Coulin, Muriel Coulin

“The Slut,” Israel, Hagar Ben Asher

Snowtown,” Australia, Justin Kurzel

“Sauna on Moon,” China, Zou Peng

“Take Shelter,” U.S., Jeff Nichols


“La Guerre est declaree,” France, Valerie Donzelli (opening film)

“Pourquoi tu pleures?,” France, Katia Lewcowicz (closing film)

“Walk Away Renee,” U.S.-France-Belgium, Jonathan Caouette

“My Little Princess,” France, Eva Ionesco


“Alexis Ivanovitch vous etes mon heros,” France, Guillaume Gouix

“Black Moon,” U.S., Amie Siegel

“Blue,” New Zealand, Stephan Kang

“Boy, U.S., Topaz Adizes

“Bul-Myul-Ui-Sa-Na-Ie,” South Korea, Moon Byoung-gon

“Dimanches,” Belgium, Valerie Rosier

“In Front of the House,” South Korea, Lee Tae-ho

“La inviolabilidad del domicilio se basa en el hombre que aparece empunando un hacha,” Uruguay-Argentina, Alex Piperno

“Junior,” France, Julia Ducournau

“Permanencias,” Brazil, Ricardo Alves Junior

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