Wes Anderson goes to camp, Matteo Garrone gets real, and Olivier Dahan seeks Grace.
19 Jan 2012 - 4:09 PM  UPDATED 5 Nov 2012 - 9:30 PM

It is five years since Wes Anderson last made a live-action movie, although his personal stamp was certainly on 2009's stop-motion animation adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox he directed. If there was a sense that his latter films, such as The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited, had become sealed off and lost the brio of Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, then the test will be the forthcoming Moonrise Kingdom. Set in 1965 America, it's the story of a pair of lovestruck 12-year-olds, played by Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, who run away together from their respective summer camps.

The supporting cast of adults pursuing them features a mix of Anderson veterans and intriguing newcomers. The former includes the talismanic Bill Murray and Jason Schwartman, while those new to Anderson's intricately designed adventures number Ed Norton, Bruce Willis (as the local sheriff) and Frances McDormand. The filmmaker's writing foil, a position once held by Owen Wilson, now belongs to Roman Coppola, although as the trailer indicates this is still undeniably Wes' world: a vintage record player, children's theatre productions, some slow motion, precocious kids, and Bill Murray announcing that he is off to chop down a tree.

Italian director Matteo Garrone (pictured) made one of 2008's best pictures with Gomorrah, his multi-layered take on a contemporary Naples where organised crime is not so much a contributing element as a way of life. The filmmaker is now preparing for the release of his follow-up, also set in Naples but looking at a very different influence. Big House will examine how reality shows and changed perceptions of reality have had an impact on the Italian psyche. His cast includes Claudia Gerini (Don't Move, The Unknown Woman) and Nunzia Schiano (Welcome to the South).

The absence of strong leading roles for women has long, and correctly, been commented on, but one flourishing genre appears to be offering a measure of compensation. Audience interest in stories concerned with famous 20th century women is currently being measured by the success of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, while next month sees the local release of My Week with Marilyn, where Michelle Williams inhabits the doomed glamour of a screen legend.

La Vie en Rose director Olivier Dahan, who helped augment the trend with his casting of Marion Cotillard as singing great Edith Piaf, will now film Grace of Monaco. Set in 1962, it details the role former Hollywood star Grace Kelly played as the wife of Monaco's ruler Prince Rainier when the tiny Mediterranean principality came into conflict with the French government of Charles De Gaulle over the question being a tax haven. The script posits Kelly's Princess Grace, then a glamorous 33-year-old, as the key negotiator behind the scenes. Dahan and his casting team just need to find an actress who resembles a Hitchcock blonde and has the technique to embody a diplomat trying to save her husband's domain.