Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood (picture) will play; not a big deal to me, since it opens theatrically in the States on Christmas anyway. What's noteworthy, as Variety points out, is that it's the sixth Daniel Day-Lewis film to play at the fest. Also, Anderson's Magnolia played there in 2000 -- and won the top prize, the Golden Bear.
Call me a nerd, but the film that piques my curiosity is S.O.P.: Standard Operating Procedure, a documentary about Abu Ghraib by Errol Morris -- for my money, the best documentary filmmaker currently working. The Fog of War, Mr. Death, The Thin Blue Line -- all stunning. I hope S.O.P. is as good as we've come to expect from Morris.
Already a hit in its native Brazil, The Elite Squad (Tropa Elite) -- about the war between gangs and police in Rio -- will compete. And there's lots more death on the docket: Lake Tahoe (¿Te acuerdas de Lake Tahoe?), about a teen coping with his father's death, from Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke (Duck Season); Germany's Cherry Blossoms (Hanami), by Dorie Dörrie, about a man with cancer whose wife dies; In Love We Trust (Zuo you), about a mother with cancer (directed by Beijing Bicycle's Wan Xiaoshuai); Gardens of the Night, in which children endure some miserable foster care; and previous lifetime achievement award recipient Andrzej Wajda's Katyn, about the Soviets' massacre of Polish war prisoners in 1940. Cheery!