The Assassination of Jesse James helmer Andrew Dominik re-teams with Pitt for crime drama Killing Them Softly that once again brings the Hollywood A-Lister to the Croisette. Pitt has spent a lot of time in Cannes in the last decade. He came to the Riviera in support of 2007's A Mighty Heart, which he prodiced, and he and Angelina Jolie had the paparazzi out in full force in 2009 when they walked the red carpet for the premiere of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. It may be hard to follow up last year though, when Pitt came to Cannes to promote Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, which ended up winning the Palme D'Or. Will he have the same luck this year?
The veteran filmmaker has been to Cannes as a visitor more than as a filmmaker . But the movies he has brought certainly confirmed his status as one of Europe’s most respected and prized filmmakers of the last 50 years. In 1981 he treated the French to a masterclass in Italian filmmaking with The Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man, returning in 1996 in support of Stealing Beauty, starring Jeremy Irons and Liv Tyler. Now in his 70s, the veteran filmmaker can sit back and bask in an Out-of-Competition slot for his latest endeavor, Me and You, about a teenager who tells his parents he’s going skiing but spends the time alone in his basement.
Murray has strong cult following in Europe and it will leave festival-goers broken hearted if he doesn’t make the trip to Cannes in support of filmmaker friend Wes Anderson’s fest opener Moonrise Kingdom. Murray memorably made the trip in 2005 for Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers, where he effortlessly amused the world press and confessed worrying that his mostly dramatic turn in the film might be savaged by the French audience while he was in the theater. It wasn't.
Kidman must feel at home in Cannes by now, having made regular trips there over the years. In 2001, she was in town as part of the Moulin Rouge cast. A couple of years later, she came to the festival to promote Dogville from Lars von Trier, who back then wasn't persona non grata just yet. This year, Kidman is not in the competition, but is expected to make an appearance in support of Philip Kaufman's Hemmingway & Gellhorn, a drama about one of the famed writer's rather complicated romances, which is screening out of competition.
The Mexican auteur is making his latest trip to Cannes with Post Tenebras Lux (Light After Darkness), a semi-biographical drama that he has compared to an expressionist painting. A fixture at the festival for the past decade, his debut feature, Japon, received a special mention in Cannes in 2002. In 2005, he had Battle in Heaven in the competition, and in 2007 his drama Silent Light won the jury prize. If that isn't enough for you, the 2004 Un Certain Regard section winner was Sangre, which Reygadas produced.
It might be a stretch to bill Rock as a Cannes veteran, but he certainly created buzz the last time he was there. The Brooklyn-raised standup hurtled into Cannes in 2007 alongside fellow funny man Jerry Seinfeld for a glorified photo call to support the animated release Bee Movie, courtesy of DreamWorks Animation. He’d also been to the Riviera for Nurse Betty in 2000, providing laughs while the movie’s writers, James Flamberg and John C Richards, picked up writing plaudits from the fest jury that year.
The Canadian Cannes veteran has had three competition films at the festival over the years: Crash (1996), Spider (2002) and A History of Violence (2005). This year, all eyes will again be on him — and his star — when he unveils the competition title Cosmopolis starring Twilight's Robert Pattinson. And Cannes will be a family affair for Cronenberg this time around as his son Brandon will be in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival with his debut feature Antiviral.
For some it wouldn’t be Cannes without Ken Loach. The British auteur has won prizes in Cannes dating back to 1979's Black Jack, and took home the Palme d’Or last time he was there for 2006's The Wind That Shakes The Barley. In all Loach has negotiated the Croisette's famous red carpet a staggaring 10 times. His latest, The Angel's Share, teams him with writer Paul Laverty for an uncharacteristically lighthearted romp about some down-on-their-luck ex cons trying to go straight.
The Cannes Film Festival loves Haneke and the German director has every reason to love Cannes. His drama The White Ribbon won a Palme d’Or in 2009, he himself won a director plaudit for Cache in 2005 and in 2001 The Piano Teacher — starring Cannes regular Isabelle Huppert — picked up the Grand Jury Prize. But for many it was 1997's detached and terrifying official selection entry Funny Games that really put him on the Cannes map . A U.S. remake by Haneke of his original German-language movie followed 10 years later with Naomi Watts, Tim Roth and Michael Pitt.
Back in 2004, the Brazil born filmmaker Salles purred into Cannes with his In Competition The Motorcycle Diaries. Not only did it confirm the international star status of actor Gael Garcia Bernal, the film also won a trio of Cannes prizes, including that year’s Ecumenical jury prize. And he came back in 2008 with Linha De Passe, the film's lead, Sandra Corveloni, won an actress nod on the Croisette. This year Salles is in town with some serious star power in the shape of Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley,Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen, who star in the director's adaptation of Jack Kerouac beat generation classic On The Road.