Cannes 2015 Preview: Get To Know Your Palme d'Or Contenders

Contributor; Paris
It's that time of year again, boys and girls. The 2015 Cannes Film Festival begins next week and you can rest easy knowing ScreenAnarchy has got you covered from beginning to end.   

Our coverage (and you can expect a lot more of it in the coming week) begins with a look at the nineteen films competing for this year's Palme d'Or. Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen will be presiding over a jury that also includes directors Guillermo del Toro and Xavier Dolan, actors Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Rossy de Palma & Jake Gyllenhaal, and singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré.   

There are a number of themes in this year's selection, including a larger-than-average crop of French films, a whopping nine(!) English language entries and the Official Competition debut of several up-and-coming international talents.  

So without further ado, here they are, your 2015 competitors. Feel free to share your thought below, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and right here at for up to the minute updates from the film frenzy known as Cannes. 

The Assassin dir. Hou Hsiao Hsien

To call The Assassin ‘eagerly awaited’ would be something of an understatement. The martial-arts epic, about a Tang Dynasty killer sent to snuff out the man she loves, has been in production since 2012, with some early photography dating back to 2010. Some prognosticators had it pegged for last year’s festival, though it appears the film was not done in time.

It is now. And there are many us curious to see what the Taiwanese auteur, famous for his studied minimalism and his never-ending takes, has cooked up with his biggest budget yet, working in a mythic register he’s never been known for.

Indeed, Hou came to prominence as one of the banner directors of the Taiwanese New Wave, a film movement that was all about pivoting away from chopsocky and historical remove, in favor of politically engaged, here-and-now tales of modern Taiwanese life. Hou developed a style big on improvisation and naturalistic performance, and there’s no reason to think he’s simply thrown that all away now that he’s gonewuxia. Rather, it will be fascinating to see how he paints his deeply intimate style into a genre that usually calls for the broadest of brush strokes.

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