2013 movies hope to get that 'Cannes effect'

05:00 AM, May 13, 2013

Taissa Farmiga, left, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Katie Chang and Claire Julien star in 'The Bling Ring,' a new film by Sophia Coppola that is already garnering buzz at the Cannes Film Festival. Merrick Morton, A24 Films/

Written By by Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY

It’s never too early for films to start courting awards-season buzz, and an impressive roster begins that process Wednesday when the 66th Cannes Film Festival launches its 12-day run along the French Riviera.

Though most attention will focus on the May 26 announcement of the juried festival’s prize winners, films also can benefit when they simply premiere at Cannes — the debuts of 2011’s The Artist and 2012’s Amour propelled those films onto American awards success the following fall and winter.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux calls it “the Cannes effect,” and this year’s lineup — featuring premieres from big-name directors Alexander Payne, Steven Soderbergh and the Coen brothers — could follow the same pattern.

There are several movies we marked as award contenders even before they were announced at Cannes. Now they are highlighting the festival,” says Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a very exciting year.”

Awards potential has taken on greater importance at Cannes, the granddaddy of film festivals, Fremaux says. “For us, it is very important because it shows the impact of the international festival. Cannes does not end with the closing ceremony. Cinema continues to live. With Cannes, it’s consistent. Show beautiful films and allow them to live a great adventure.”

Payne says he’s coming early to the gathering to check out as many works as possible. “It certainly looks like a very good lineup, and I’m proud to be a part of it. The films smell good. But you never know until you get there.”