Cannes favorites from 2011

On the sandy white beaches of the French Riviera lies the resort town of Cannes – the home of the world’s largest film festival.

For many natives and visitors, Cannes is the unofficial “Capital of Cinema.” The festival has seen the debut of countless classic films like Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.”

True to Cannes form, this year’s lineup is littered with prominent names in cinema, as well as promising newcomers screening their films both in and out of competition.

Scene & Heard navigates through the long list of Cannes entries to find a few we’re highly anticipating and try to pinpoint when they will arrive on the sunny shores of Tampa.

“The Tree of Life”

Enigmatic director Terrence Malick returns to feature films with “The Tree of Life,” his first since 2005’s engaging but overlong “The New World.”

Starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, the film looks to return Malick to what he does best – searching for life’s answers through intimate personal struggles and beautiful imagery.

The film will be released in Tampa on June 24 and play at the historic Tampa Theatre.

“Sleeping Beauty”

“Sucker Punch” star Emily Browning plays the title character, a young college student named Lucy who allows herself to be fully unconscious while men have their way with her – simply for money.

The film’s taboo subject matter has already caused a divide amongst critics, leading many to write it while Salon’s Andrew O’Heir writes that first-time director Julia Leigh has made “a strikingly impressive debut.”

“Sleeping Beauty” does not yet have an American release date or any for Tampa.


Between the “The Mechanic” remake and “Fast Five,” a fair amount of heist films with fast cars have made their way to theaters recently. What sets “Drive” apart from the pack is that it has the visual and storytelling prowess of “Bronson” director Nicolas Winding Refn behind the wheel.

Academy Award-nominated actor Ryan Gosling plays a Hollywood stunt driver who has a price on his head after a heist gone wrong. Joining Gosling is an exceptional cast that includes actress Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks and “Hellboy” star Ron Perlman.

The film’s Sept. 16 release date is still a ways off, but with the much-talked about film still scheduled to screen at Cannes, who’s to say an overwhelmingly positive response couldn’t inch that release date a bit closer?


Director Lars Von Trier is perhaps one of the most divisive filmmakers working today. With a well-documented and hostile relationship with actors, critics and audiences alike, it’s no wonder people may approach “Melancholia” with a sense of skepticism.

Film blog The Playlist says, “Lars Von Trier confronts depression head-on” in “Melancholia” but ultimately, “Von Trier continues to be his own best friend and worst enemy.”

While the intensity of the subject matter may turn some away, a star-studded cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland should bring the film some attention upon its Nov. 4 release.

“The Skin I Live In”

Academy Award-nominated Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodvarlooks to bring his own unique vision to the revenge film genre, which already houses “The Godfather” trilogy, “Kill Bill” and Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook’s 2003 film “Oldboy.”

Antonio Banderas plays a plastic surgeon who’s looking to exact his revenge on the men who raped his daughter. If the film’s first promotional trailer is anything like the rest of it, it will surely be a haunting trip down the road of vengeance.

The film is set for a limited release on Nov. 14, so there is a good chance it won’t make it to Tampa unless it secures a significant amount of buzz come awards season.