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Festival de Cannes 2014: Films on our must-watch list
Nikhil Taneja  7th Jun 2014

Timothy Spall won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Turner in Mr Turner

e may not hold it against you if the mention of "Cannes 2014" immediately triggers images of a jaw-droppingly beautiful Aishwarya Rai on the red carpet. We may hold it against you, however, if what it reminds you of is Freida Pinto and Sonam Kapoor's alleged BFF rumours. But if what you think of immediately is Mallika Sherawat, especially in a year that she *gasp* covered herself, you should take a deep look inwards and examine your choices in life.


Because at the Festival de Cannes 2014, India had more to be proud of this year than the assembly line of fashionistas it churns out annually.

Titli: Chief among India's growing presence at Cannes was first time director Kanu Behl's Titli, about the youngest member of a family of criminals in the "badlands of Delhi's dystopic underbelly" (according to the synopsis), who teams up with his newly-wed bride to try and escape the family business.

Produced by Dibakar Banerjee and distributed by Yash Raj Films, the film was featured in the prestigious Un Certain Regard category at Cannes and opened to glowing reviews with Hollywood Reporter describing it as "an enjoyable, character-driven Indian yarn" and Variety calling it "a grittily impressive noir debut."

Grace of Monaco: Yash Raj Films had even more glory coming their way, as they unveiled the Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace of Monaco, their first ever film produced under the banner of their Hollywood-based division, Yash Raj Entertainment (YRE), headed by Uday Chopra. The film, distributed by indie powerhouse The Weinstein Company, got the honour of opening Cannes, and despite dismal reviews, it was probably the first time Uday Chopra was a sight for sore eyes, as he proudly represented YRE and India alongside director Olivier Dahan, Kidman, Tim Roth, the very hot Paz Vega,and several other international names.

True Love Story: Another proud achievement was the selection of filmmaker Gitanjali Rao's 18-minute animation film about a coming-of-age Bollywood-fantasy romance, selected as one of the 10 short films at the Cannes Critics' Week. Rao' silent film won her well-deserved accolades at Cannes.

At the Festival de Cannes 2014, India had more to be proud of this year than the assembly line of fashionistas it churns out annually.


Of course, no matter how much the Indian media tries to showcase Cannes as the sister-festival of the International Film Festival of India in Goa, the hard truth is that Cannes has a lot more to offer than Sonam, Freida, Mallika and Jacky Bhagnani (yes, he was there too). So here's a look at the most-talked about films at Cannes 2014:

Foxcatcher: Moneyball director Bennett Miller's swan song that won him Best Director, Foxcatcher features a non-funny Steve Carrell as a creepy, schizophrenic millionaire, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo as wrestlers, and recounts a real-life tragic story set around the 1996 Olympics.

Mommy: Canadian indie film prodigy, Xavier Dolan, 25, continued giving everyone an inferiority complex with his fifth film in as many years. Mommy, about an Oedipal relationship between a single mother and her son, won the Jury Prize.

Winter Sleep: At a runtime of 196 minutes, you'd think the film's name would be a sign of its outcome. But Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylon took home the Palme d'Or and had critics and fans mesmerised about the brilliance of the class-divide drama.

Two Days, One Night: Even though the name suggests otherwise, this French film directed by the Dardene Brothers is not a romcom, but a character-study about a woman fighting depression. Two words: Marion Cotillard.

Leviathan: The Andrey Zvyagintsev-directed drama, about an ordinary man fighting against the system, took home the Best Screenplay award, and is said to be the best Russian film in years. Thankfully, it comes with subtitles.

Maps to the Stars: A scandalous take on the Hollywood film industry through the eyes of two former child stars. The film, being hailed as David Cronenberg's return to form, won Julianne Moore the Best Actress award.

Mr Turner: Director Mike Leigh's biopic of controversial 19th century British artist, J.M.W. Turner won Timothy Spall the Best Actor award for his portrayer of Turner.

It Follows: An indie horror film that's actually scary! David Robert Mitchell got everyone talking about his film about a teenager who has nightmarish visions after a sexual encounter.

Wild Tales: The following words have been used often in reviews of Damian Szifron's comic thriller, a multiple-story revenge saga: Dark, noir, comic, outrageous, twisted and violent. Yes, it's an ode to Pulp Fiction.

The Tribe: A film without a single dialogue sounds exactly like the kind of arty film you'd prefer to avoid, but Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's thriller, set in a boarding school for deaf students, is being hailed as a masterpiece. It also has graphic sex.

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