With Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth, the Festival is assured of a spectacular ascent of the steps. But the interest of the evening goes beyond that since the director of the film is French and will also generate a lot of attention.
Fearless and (therefore) controversial, Olivier Dahan has obtained the support of the festival, which will present the director’s cut to the world this Wednesday, while it is whispered that another version, more watered down and romantic, has been made in the United States.
Versatile filmmaker, Olivier Dahan is best known for having directed La Môme, one of the outstanding films of the last decade of French cinema, which offered a golden role to… Marion Cotillard.
And if there is a star who is the focus of all the media attention during this Cannes period, it is indeed her who plays the main role in Two Days, One Night, the latest opus of the Dardenne brothers (produced by Les Films du Fleuve) that Wallimage also co-financed. Better! Wallimage is the biggest public investor ! A great first and the pinnacle of a magnificent history since we remember that the fund was born in 2000 on the basis of the Cannes triumph of Rosetta. We will not conclude that the circle is thus closed, because the adventure is far from being finished, but the global logic of the Walloon approach is reinforced.
Faithful partner of the brothers, Wallimage has participated with them in four successful Cannes campaigns: in 2002, Le Fils won Olivier Gourmet an interpretation prize. In 2005, the brothers won a second Palme d’Or with L’Enfant, starring Jérémie Renier and Déborah François. In 2008, Le Silence de Lorna won the screenplay award while in 2011, Le Gamin au Vélo won the Grand Prix (2nd prize of the festival).
With Two Days, One Night, the most famous siblings of the European cinema have, once again, a serious chance to appear in the Palmarès. Not only is the film remarkable, with a hallucinating strength and a diabolical precision, but Marion Cotillard ‘s performance is simply exceptional.
On French soil, with a jury president as sensitive to great female characters as Jane Campion, all hopes are allowed. Really!
It is at the Directors’ Fortnight that Wallimage lines up its third film of the 2014 crop. Alleluia by Fabrice Du Welz is the second part of the Ardennes trilogy started with Calvary. The film is not a sequel, but it plunges us into a new tale of ordinary madness, a hysterical love story between a nurse and a handsome forty-year-old man without scruples or empathy who has chosen to swindle the women he meets for a living.
A genre film, Alleluia is first and foremost a very personal work of art that develops strange climates served by a rather astonishing photography and an interpretation without net. A film that risks setting festival-goers on fire and perhaps dividing the critics… which is the least we can do for such a daring and peculiar proposal.
Even if Wallimage has nothing to do with it, we also salute the participation in the official competition of short films of the young Laura Wandel with the moving, modest and very challenging Les corps étrangers. At the heart of a selection of nine titles chosen from nearly 4,000 candidates, Laura proves from the outset that she is destined to be one of the great directors that Cannes will follow closely over the years. This is very reassuring. And very rewarding.