As we step into the twilight of summer 2014, the world's oldest film festival dusts off its red carpet for the 71st time. The competition here might not always have the razzle dazzle of its shiny French coast rivals but with its timely arrival and decadent A-list-friendly surroundings, it still boasts enough brawn to send out some award season waves.
Messrs. Paul Thomas Anderson and David Fincher decided to trot their respective Oscar horses elsewhere, but there are still plenty of morsels to savor on the Lido this year. Here's the five that caught our eye.
5. The Look of Silence
Joshua Oppenheimer seemed to change the documentary rulebook with The Act of Killing last year. His follow up sees him return to Indonesia to help a local optician confront the men responsible for his brother's death.
4. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
With the most pretentious title imaginable, Swedish film maker Roy Anderson returns to finish the surreal, absurd, jet black comedy trilogy he began almost 14 years ago.
After a mid career slump, David Gordon Green looks emphatically back on track. Al Pacino, regrettably, does not. For Manglehorn, Green casts the old pro as a lonely locksmith who's in love with his cat.
Harmony Korine has a role in it too.
We are so very much in.
2. 99 Homes
After a startling hat-trick of American recession themed debuts, Ramin Bahrani experienced his first stumble with At Any Price here two years ago but, with Michael Shannon bringing his stone faced brilliance to proceedings, it will surely be no fall.
Michael Keaton plays some mad Meta version of himself; Alejandro González Iñárritu- World cinema's angel of gloom- tries his hand at comedy; and Emmanuel Lubezki shoots it all like only he can do.
Jon Favreau claims the film has no cuts.
We can't wait to find out.
Stay tuned later today for our [Birdman](movie:780317) review.