The weird and wonderful from this year’s Cannes film festival

Only God Forgives
Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn

One of the most hotly anticipated films of this year’s festival was the latest tie-up between Drive duo Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling, Only God Forgives. As in their previous film, Gosling plays a man of few words with tendencies towards extreme violence. It was received by the infamously reactionary Cannes critics with enthusiastic boos, which probably means it’s actually pretty good.

Expect some disturbing scenes in this tale of murder and revenge.

The Past
Dir: Asghar Farhadi

This is the first feature from the Iranian director made outside of his home country. Set in Paris The Past tells a sorry tale of family disintigration centring around a couple divorcing after a long period of separation. Don’t expect many laughs, with bitter revelation following bitter revelation.

However, Farhadi has a superb grasp of the medium, as evidenced by his previous films, About Elly and the Oscar-winning A Separation.

Behind the Candelabra
Dir: Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh’s film about the life of pianist Liberace and the illicit affair he had with young Scott Thorson has been pone of the most talked about films of the festival.

It stars a rejuvenated Michael Douglas in the title role, alongside Matt Damon as his young beau. In keeping with this year’s entires, it is a sad tale of the breakdown of love and humanity, with Liberace transforming from an unusually talented young musician to a jaded, unhappy old man.

Dir: Alexander’s Payne

Nebraska follows Alexander Payne’s critically lauded film Descendents, which starred George Clooney.

It follows a son and his ailing, alcoholic father on an unlikely road-trip to the place of his birth, where the elder man believes he is about to come into a fortune courtesy of a lottery win.

Shot in monochrome, it has an other-worldly beauty and it was warmly received by the Cannes crowd. This is definitely one to look out for.

Shield of Straw
Dir: Takashi Miike

The latest venture from Japanese director Takashi Miike received both boos and cheers when it premiered earlier this week.

It is essentially a cop-drama about two officers transporting a child killer across the country. The twist is a large bounty has been placed on the prisoner’s head by the father of the dead child, meaning annoying vigilante attacks are a persistent menace. It’s silly and somewhat inconsequential, but what do you expect from the director behind Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City?