Behind the Cannes Curtain with Festival Jurors

The Tree of Life

While the Cannes Film Festival douses the south of France with its high art cinema, like a sea spray wafting up from the region’s infamous mistral winds (plus movie stars, yachts and everything that comes with them), we get a glimpse at the elite festival’s jury. Among this year’s nine jurors is Kirsten Dunst, who proclaims being excited to “hash it out” with her comrades. Joining Dunst is jury president George Miller (Mad Max), Mads Mikkelson, Valeria Golina, Vanessa Paradis and Donald Sutherland. 

The festival is always mum on how it chooses its illustrious Palme d’Or winner each year, but THR delves into the methodologies of some past jury presidents. Steven Spielberg and Isabelle Adjani led with discipline and intense viewing schedules. Former jury head Atom Egoyan recalls watching great films, sharing meals and stories, while realizing: “We had wildly different tastes when it came to making a decision.” Back in the ’60s, Henry Miller spent more time playing golf than ruling the jury with an iron fist and some jurors recall situations when awards were given without even debating or adhering to a voting structure. This is not 12 Angry Men. Power plays in a place like Cannes. 

Check out interviews with last year’s jurors, here, and watch trailers for the past five Palme d’Or winners, below. As far as I’m concerned, at least two were undoubtably worthy winners.

The Tree of Life, 2011

Amour, 2012

Blue is the Warmest Color, 2013

Winter Sleep, 2014

Dheepan, 2015

The Best Movies to Watch Without Leaving Bed: Cannes-Winning Women

Every Tuesday I find myself whispering that old Beckett adage into the morning air: I can’t go on / I’ll go on. No matter how thrilling the day’s prospects, as I settle into the week’s work, that beginning of the week existential stomach ache always begins gnawing away at my insides. But breathe, just breathe, the hours will pass themselves and soon it will all be easier and the weekend will come again—one that’s rife with fantastic films playing in theaters all around the city. But in the meantime, look forward to the evening, when a wealth of wonderful films will be at your fingertips.

With so many great movies streaming online, the nightly decision of what to watch can prove a difficult task. So to help, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Cannes-winning actresses and the films that won them the coveted honor. Cate Blanchett will most likely take home Best Actress award (Prix d’interprétation féminine) this year for her performance in Todd Haynes’ Carol, but while more premieres are still to come, let’s take a look back on some past favorite. From the incredible Jill Clayburgh and Shelley Duvall to Julianne Moore and Juliette Binoche, peruse our list and enjoy.

Shelley Duvall, 3 WOMEN (dir. Robert Altman)

In a dusty, underpopulated California resort town, a naive southern waif, Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek), idolizes and befriends her fellow nurse, the would-be sophisticate and “thoroughly modern” Millie Lammoreaux (Shelley Duvall). When Millie takes Pinky in as her roommate, Pinky’s hero worship evolves into something far stranger and more sinister than either could have anticipated. Featuring brilliant performances from Spacek and Duvall, this dreamlike masterpiece from Robert Altman careens from the humorous to the chilling to the surreal, resulting in one of the most unusual and compelling films of the 1970s. (x)

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Jill Clayburgh, AN UNMARRIED WOMAN (dir. Paul Mazursky)

“Great thought, care, and love must have gone into the writing of An Unmarried Woman, which Mazursky says evolved gradually in his imagination as he began to observe the divorced women in his and his wife’s own circle of friends. But great courage went into the acting, too: Jill Clayburgh takes chances here, and never seems concerned about protecting herself, and reveals as much in a character as anyone has since some of Liv Ullmann’s work for Ingmar Bergman. The luminosity I found in her performance was all the more joyful because, frankly, I hadn’t taken her very seriously before. Gable and Lombard was a turgid mess, and Silver Streak and Semi-Tough weren’t structured to demand revelation or subtlety. Friends said Clayburgh was good in Hustling, made for TV, but I missed it.

Now, suddenly, here she is, creating one of the great recent performances. It’s a lesson for the critics on the dangers of assessing performance in a movie, a medium in which the actors may be more at the mercy of the other craftsmen than we can easily see. Mazursky tested Clayburgh before, he says, for Blume in Love and Next Stop, Greenwich Village. He always thought she had something. This time he decided to go with his intuition, and he was spectacularly right.” (x)

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Irene Jacob, THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE (dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski)

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s international breakthrough remains one of his most beloved films, a ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love, and human intuition. Irène Jacob is incandescent as both Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher. Though unknown to each other, the two women share an enigmatic, emotional bond, which Kieślowski details in gorgeous reflections, colors, and movements. Aided by Slawomir Idziak’s shimmering cinematography and Zbigniew Preisner’s haunting, operatic score, Kieślowski creates one of cinema’s most purely metaphysical works. The Double Life of Véronique is an unforgettable symphony of feeling. (x)

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Bjork, DANCER IN THE DARK (dir. Lars von Trier)

And once again Mr. von Trier’s methods elicit a performance from his lead actress that deserves to be called miraculous. Like Emily Watson in ”Breaking the Waves,” Bjork, in her movie debut, seems to be inventing a new style of film acting, if not an entirely new kind of human being. Her eyes are obscured behind thick glasses and the high cliffs of her cheekbones, but Selma’s capacity for feeling — for joy as well as agony and terror — overwhelms her mousiness….When she hears a song she likes, her tongue darts out between her teeth, and her anxiety registers in her hands and in the tendons of her neck….Like Ms. Watson’s Bess McNeal in ”Breaking the Waves,” Selma is sacrificed on the altar of intellectual bad faith. The earlier film was about the collision between repressive religious orthodoxy and pagan sexual spiritualism, and this one posits an equally schematic conflict between the liberating power of pure imagination and the intractable authority of the market and the state. (x)

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Maggie Cheung, CLEAN (dir. Olivier Assayas)

In “Clean,” Maggie Cheung plays Emily, the wife of a cult rock star who dies of a heroin overdose shortly after the film begins. An addict herself, Emily serves a prison term for supplying the fatal heroin. Mr. Assayas’s movie follows her after her release, as she weans herself off drugs, moves to Paris, and tries to re-establish a relationship with her young son, played by James Dennis, and earn the trust of her father-in-law, played by Nick Nolte.

Ms. Cheung’s performance won her the best actress award at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. It speaks to the state of foreign-film distribution in this country that it has taken “Clean” three years to open here. And it speaks to the strength of the collaboration between Ms. Cheung and Mr. Assayas that they reunited for this film: The two were married following the making of the 1994 “Irma Vep” but divorced a few years later. (x)

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Charlotte Gainsbourg, ANTICHRIST (dir. Lars von Trier)

Lars von Trier shook up the film world when he premiered Antichrist at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. In this graphic psychodrama, a grief-stricken man and woman—a searing Willem Dafoe and Cannes best actress winner Charlotte Gainsbourg—retreat to their cabin deep in the woods after the accidental death of their infant son, only to find terror and violence at the hands of nature and, ultimately, each other. But this most confrontational work yet from one of contemporary cinema’s most controversial artists is no mere provocation. It is a visually sublime, emotionally ravaging journey to the darkest corners of the possessed human mind; a disturbing battle of the sexes that pits rational psychology against age-old superstition; and a profoundly effective horror film. (x)

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Kirsten Dunst, MELANCHOLIA (dir. Lars von Trier)

“Dunst’s performance has been much admired and was indeed a prizewinner at Cannes. Her descent into an almost zombie-like catatonic depression is forceful and very sincere, but it is impossible not to remember that the stunned, glassy-eyed look is something Von Trier has elicited from other leading ladies, including Björk and Nicole Kidman: a Meg-Ryan-on-Parky look. For my money, Gainsbourg gives a far more interesting performance.

Melancholia is an absurd film in many ways, and yet it would be obtuse not to acknowledge those lightning bolts of visual inspiration. When Justine goes out into the fields to look at the awesome blue planet, and then takes her clothes off to bathe in its light – that really is powerfully erotic and strange. In some ways, for all its silliness and self-consciousness, this is the happiest experience I’ve had with Von Trier for some time.” (x)

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Julianne Moore, MAPS TO THE STARS (dir. David Cronenberg)

Starring a dynamic cast of Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusak, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, Evan Bird, and Sarah Gadon, the film centers on the Weiss family—a seedy Hollywood household filled with secrets. As a crude and formerly drug-addicted 13-year-old, Bird plays Benjie, a child-star whose disaffected attitude and violent behavior are sabotaging his young life, while his mother Cristina (Williams) attempts to maintain her sanity and his spiraling career. Husband and father, Stafford (Cusak), is a sleazy and narcissistic TV self-help guru to the stars. But when the final member of the family—a mentally ill young woman, Agatha (Wasikowska), physically scarred by a fire—arrives back in Hollywood, their already hazardous lives are thrown in disarray.

After forming a friendship with a young limo driver, embodied by Robert Pattinson as if he stepped right off the step of Cosmopolis, Agatha begins working for aging actress Havana Segrand. Played by Julianne Moore in one of her finest roles, we see a beaten-down, emotionally raw, and wonderfully uncensored women—who could easily be a long-lost older sister to The Canyon’s Lindsay Lohan—destroyed by her vanity and the still-present pain caused by her deceased movie star mother. Searching for redemption and escape from this hollow earthly existence, Agatha inserts herself into everyone’s life, determined to get what she wants at any cost.

Shot with chilly Cronenberg remove and his wonderful affinity with tantalizing our psyche, Maps to the Stars transcends its satirical beginnings to explore the evocative ways in which we become trapped in the past and our own cycles of destruction. With Wagner’s wild and wonderfully messy touch, we’re given an unflinching and immersive look at the horrors of everyday Hollywood. 



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Juliette Binoche, CERTIFIED COPY (dir. Abbas Kiarostami)

The great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami travels to Tuscany for a luminous and provocative romance in which nothing is as it appears. What seems at first to be a straightforward tale of two people—played by Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche and opera singer William Shimell—getting to know each other over the course of an afternoon gradually reveals itself as something richer, stranger, and trickier: a mind-bending reflection on authenticity, in art as well as in relationships. Both cerebrally and emotionally engaging, Certified Copyreminds us that love itself is an enigma. (x)

Watch on Netflix Instant / iTunes

Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Chus Lampreave, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo, VOLVER (dir. Pedro Almodovar)

What a distinctive filmmaker Almodovar has become. He is greatly influenced, we are assured, by Hollywood melodramas of the 1950s (especially if that decade had been franker about its secret desires). But he is equally turned on, I think, by the 1950s palette of bright basic colors and cheerful optimism that goes without saying. Here the dominant color is red — for blood, passion and Pedro.

In this connection, some mention might be made of Cruz’s cleavage, including one startling shot also incorporating the murder weapon. It seemed impossible not to mention that shot in an interview at Cannes Film Festival (where the film won honors for best script and ensemble cast). Almodovar nodded happily. “Yes, I am a gay man,” he said, “but I love breasts.”

What is most unexpected about “Volver” is that it’s not really about murder or the afterlife, but simply incorporates those awkward developments into the problems of daily living. His characters approach their dilemmas not with metaphysics but with common sense. A dead woman turns up as a ghost and is immediately absorbed into her family’s ongoing problems: So what took her so long?

It is refreshing to see Cruz acting in the culture and language that is her own. As it did with Sophia Loren in the 1950s, Hollywood has tried to force Cruz into a series of show-biz categories, when she is obviously most at home playing a woman like the ones she knew, grew up with, could have become.

For Almodovar, too, “Volver” is like a homecoming. Whenever we are most at ease, we fall most easily and gracefully into our native idioms. Certainly as a young gay man in Franco’s Spain, he didn’t feel at home, but he felt displaced in a familiar way, and now he feels nostalgia for the women who accepted him as easily as if, well, he had been a ghost. (x)


8 Epic Celeb Selfies of Cannes: Julianne Moore, Karlie Kloss + More Get Selfish

Celeb selfies at Cannes might be as glam as a selfie will ever get. Karlie Kloss, Miranda Kerr, Jake Gyllenhaal and more turn the camera on themselves.

But first…let me take a selfie! True for us and true for stars like Doutzen Kroes, Karlie Kloss, Julianne Moore, and even Jake Gyllenhaal. Welcome to Cannes 2015–if you didn’t take a selfie, did it even happen!? Maybe not every celeb can be Kim Kardashian, with a 448-page tome dedicated to the art, but still, celebs can all be a little #selfish.

Here, some of the best from the supers and Hollywood stars alike as they get their glam on and mug for the (iPhone) camera. In a category of Instagram elevated for only some of the world’s biggest stars we bring you Cannes Celeb Selfies, an art form all its own.

Miranda Kerr courtesy of @ctilburymakeup:
Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.50.27 AM

Cara Dalavingne and Zoe Kravitz courtesy of @zoeisabellakravitz:Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.47.39 AM

Karlie Kloss and Julianne Moore courtesy of @karliekloss:Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.09.41 PM

Mara Buxbaum and Jake Gyllenhaal courtesy of @teamid:Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.17.11 PM

Sienna Miller courtesy of @ctilburymakeup:Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.53.44 AM

Karlie Kloss and Doutezen Kroes courtesy of @karliekloss:Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.02.55 PM

Doutzen Kroez courtesy of @lorealparisofficialScreen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.12.12 PM

Karlie Kloss, Liya Kebede, Naomi Watts, Doutzen Kroes and Julianne Moore courtesy of @charlottewillermakeup

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.14.51 PM

11 Chic Cannes Looks to Come out of the Film Festival’s Past, from Amber Heard to Lupita Nyong’o

Photo: Joe Schildhorn/

As the Cannes Film Festival gets underway, beginning today and going on until May 24, we’re eager to see what film’s superstars bring to the red carpet. While we wait, here’s a look at some of the best looks to come out of Cannes in the past, with favorites like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Lupita Nyong’o topping the list. 11 chic Cannes looks to get you ready, right this way…

1. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley attends Roberto and Eva Cavalli host a dinner for friends and celebrities aboard the “RC” yacht in honor of the 67th International Cannes Film Festival

Roberto and Eva Cavalli host a dinner for friends and celebrities aboard the RC yacht in honor of the 67th International Cannes Film Festival
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

2. Coco Rocha dons a white suit, a bold lip, and a wild ear cuff on the RC yacht. 

Roberto and Eva Cavalli host a dinner for friends and celebrities aboard the RC yacht in honor of the 67th International Cannes Film Festival
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

3. Irina Shayk is sexy in sheer black. 

Roberto and Eva Cavalli host a dinner for friends and celebrities aboard the RC yacht in honor of the 67th International Cannes Film Festival
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

4. Alessandra Ambrosio looking every inch a supermodel

Roberto and Eva Cavalli host a dinner for friends and celebrities aboard the RC yacht in honor of the 67th International Cannes Film Festival
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

5. Heidi Klum looking like an angel

Roberto and Eva Cavalli host a dinner for friends and celebrities aboard the RC yacht in honor of the 67th International Cannes Film Festival
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

6. Cara Delevingne, in another angelic look, attends the DE GRISOGONO Hosts “Fatale in CANNES” Dinner Party

Photo: Joe Schildhorn/

7. Amber Heard, doing neutrals, but separates

Photo: Joe Schildhorn/

8. Rosario Dawson looks like there’s nowhere she’d rather be

Photo: Joe Schildhorn/

 9. Paris Hilton ignored the B&W memo everyone else got and went for metallic glam. Not surprised.

HOLLYWOOD DOMINO Cannes Dancing Spies Ball benefitting PCI Media Impact
Photo Credits: Matteo Prandoni/

10. Liya Kebede is ethereal in blue

The IFP, CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION & EUPHORIA CALVIN KLEIN Celebrate Women in Film at the 67th Cannes Film Festival
Photo: Joe Schildhorn/

11. A power trio werkin’ it: Naomi Watts, Lupita Nyong’o, and Julianne Moore all in strapless dresses and minimal heels

The IFP, CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION & EUPHORIA CALVIN KLEIN Celebrate Women in Film at the 67th Cannes Film Festival
Photo: Joe Schildhorn/


The Cannes Film Festival to Open With the First Female-Directed Film Since 1987

Cannes, Film

This Thursday, the Cannes Film Festival will reveal their 2015 lineup, but today it was announced that the May 13 opening night film will be Emmanuelle Bercot’s La Tête Haute. Diane Kurys’ A Man in Love in 1987 was the first and only other time the work of a female director has opened the festival since. “The choice of this film may seem surprising. It is a clear reflection of our desire to see the Festival start with a different piece, which is both bold and moving,” said festival director  Thierry Frémaux. “Emmanuelle Bercot’s film makes important statements about contemporary society, in keeping with modern cinema. It focuses on universal social issues, making it a perfect fit for the global audience at Cannes.”

Starring Catherine Deneuve, La Tête Haute focuses on a “ juvenile delinquent, Malony, and tracks his upbringing as a children’s judge and social worker try to save him from himself.”  

You can watch Bercot’s film On My Way and Polisse (which he wrote) on Netflix streaming now.

See a Radiant Ingrid Bergman on the New Poster for the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

Ingrid Bergman, Cannes, Film, 2015, Cannes 2015

With the 2015 Cannes Film Festival now under two months away, today we’re pleased to see the official poster for this year’s 68th annual celebration, featuring the timeless Ingrid Bergman. Created by Hervé Chigioni and Gilles Frappier, the poster was based on a photograph by David Seymour, alongside an animated video which remixes the festival’s theme song, “The Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saëns, arranged by Patrik Andersson and Andreas Söderström.

Hollywood star Ingrid Bergman was a modern icon, an emancipated woman, an intrepid actress, and a figurehead for the new realism. She changed roles and adoptive countries as the mood took her, but never lost sight of her quintessential grace and simplicity.

This year’s poster captures the actress, who worked with Alfred Hitchcock, Roberto Rossellini and Ingmar Bergman, and starred opposite Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck, in all her beauty, her face lit up by a calm serenity that seems to herald a promising future.

Liberty, audacity, modernity – values also shared by the Festival, year after year, through the artists and films it showcases. Ingrid Bergman, who was President of the Jury in 1973, encouraged this journey…

“My family and I are deeply moved that the Festival de Cannes has chosen to feature our magnificent mother on the official poster to mark the centenary of her birth,” said Isabella Rossellini. “Her outstanding career covered so many countries, from the smallest European independent films to the greatest Hollywood productions. Mum adored working as an actress: for her acting was not a profession but vocation. As she put it, ‘I didn’t choose acting, acting chose me.’ ”

We’ve still got a couple weeks to go before Cannes announces their 2015 line-up, but stay turned as we’ll be keeping a close on our hopefuls for the fest. 


Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’ May Bring Hardcore to Cannes

After the grand Melancholia press conference snafu of 2011, Lars von Trier was deemed ‘persona non grata’ forever at Cannes. Reasonably so, he ruffled more than a few feathers and let his actors lurching for a proper response to their leader’s behavior. However, it’s von Trier and as his five-hour sexual odyssey Nymphomaniac continues to gain momentum and tease us more and more, it looks as though the film festival may be a little more forgiving than we’d expected. 

With Denmark having its Nymphomaniac premiere this Christmas (how fitting), Montages now reveals that the version rolling into theaters will be the “milder softcore version” of the film, with the hardcore version rumored to premiere at Cannes in May. But of course, this only shrouds the film in that much more thrill and anticipation—exacerbated by the fact that a few months ago TrustNordisk Managing Director Rikke Ennis declared that once Nymphomaniac has its premiere, "it "will rock the entire cinema landscape," with Jensen adding that this is, "von Trier’s most ambitious film to date, probably his masterpiece…it brings a smile to my face watching lust and laughter go hand in hand with such a drama."
But what does this mean for Magnolia’s U.S. release? Will we only get to watch the hardcore version from the VOD comfort of our darkened living rooms? Only time will tell.
And incase you haven’t been following the unraveling Nymphomaniac saga for the past year, check out the film’s synopsis below:
The film is a wild and poetic story of a woman’s erotic journey from birth to the age of 50 as told by the main character, the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, Joe (Gainsbourg). On a cold winter’s evening the old, charming bachelor, Seligman (Skarsgård), finds Joe beaten up in an alley. He brings her home to his flat where he cares for her wounds while asking her about her life. He listens intently as Joe over the next 8 chapters recounts the lushly branched-out and multi-faceted story of her life, rich in associations and interjecting incidents.

See a New Poster for ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ + Hear About the Film’s Harrowing Process

Since its premiere at Cannes back in May, Abdellatif Kechiche latest film Blue is the Warmest Color, has been garnering both praise and dramatic headlines. The emotionally-charged three-hour drama that explores the lesbian relationship between two young women won him and his leading actresses—Lea Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos—the Palme d’Or at the festival and will finally be coming to theaters in the states in October. We’ve seen clips and photos from film and an international trailer, but now there’s a new poster for the film—which seems to highlight one of the lighter moments in the stirring feature. 

When we spoke to Seydoux back in October, as she was doing the rounds for her film Sister, she told us that working with Kechiche was “very, very intense…maybe his method is like Lars von Trier,” saying that with a film this emotionally grueling, “you have to adapt yourself to become very strong.” But with the Blue’s release on the horizon, the two stars of the film recently spoke with The Daily Beast for a very candid interview about the making of the film and its psychological effect. In speaking to the controversial 10-minute sex scene in the film, Seydoux said:
He warned us that we had to trust him—blind trust—and give a lot of ourselves. He was making a movie about passion, so he wanted to have sex scenes, but without choreography—more like special sex scenes. He told us he didn’t want to hide the character’s sexuality because it’s an important part of every relationship. So he asked me if I was ready to make it, and I said, “Yeah, of course!” because I’m young and pretty new to cinema. But once we were on the shoot, I realized that he really wanted us to give him everything. Most people don’t even dare to ask the things that he did, and they’re more respectful—you get reassured during sex scenes, and they’re choreographed, which desexualizes the act.
And when asked if the filmmaking experience was enjoyable and if they’d work the Kechiche again, Seydoux replied, “It was horrible,” and “never,” whereas Exarchopoulos said, “ In every shoot, there are things that you can’t plan for, but every genius has his own complexity. [Kechiche] is a genius, but he’s tortured. We wanted to give everything we have, but sometimes there was a kind of manipulation, which was hard to handle,” and “I don’t think so.” But as the first actresses to have won the Palem d’Or alongside their director, you’d assume that might make the troubling process worth it, no? “Well, thank god we won the Palme d’Or, because it was so horrible.” said Seydoux. “
Check out the new poster and trailer below.

Watch Michael Cera and Juno Temple in the New Trailer for ‘Magic Magic’

Can we all agree that Michael Cera has always been creepy and that his face his matured into the perfect mold for a psychologically disturbing character? Okay, great. Because with the new trailer for Sebastian Silva’s Magic Magic, the actor seems to have taken on perhaps his most interesting role yet.

After playing at the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes this year,the psychological thriller starring Juno Temple, Emily Browning, and Catalina Sandino Moreno will be heading straight to DVD. Focusing on an American girl (Temple) visiting Chile with her cousin, she’s soon left alone with her cousin’s less than normal friends who lead her down a path of total mental unhinging. Check out the first chill-enducing trailer below.