Cannes Veterans Soderbergh, Polanski, Payne, Coen Brothers Part of Festival Competition Lineup
PARIS – A slew of past Palme d’Or winners and a strong Asian presence mark this year’s Official Selection for the 66th annual Festival de Cannes, unveiled by president Gilles Jacob and artistic director Thierry Fremaux against a big-screen backdrop of this year's official poster at a Champs Elysees theater here Thursday morning.
The Competition lineup, announced at the morning press conference in the French capital and listed in full below, includes Croisette regulars Steven Soderbergh and the Coen Brothers, as well as Roman Polanski who will also bring a special screening to Cannes.
This year, Soderbergh will present his Liberace biopic Beyond the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, the Coens will bring Inside Llewyn Davis, starring Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman, and Polanski will bring Venus in Fur to the Competition.
They are joined in the Competition by the likes of Nicolas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives, which reunites the director with his Drive star Ryan Gosling, Alexander Payne's Nebraska, French favorite Arnaud Desplechin's U.S.-set Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian) with Benicio Del Toro, and Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's French production The Past, starring Berenice Bejo. Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, who will screen Un Chateau en Italie, is the only female director in the Competition.
The Competition and Un Certain Regard sidebar lineups do not include a single British or German film, but show a strong Asian presence. During the conference, Fremaux highlighted the importance of exposing directors from less established filmmaking countries, such as Chad, which is in competition for the first time.
At Thursday's press announcement, which started around 11:15am Paris time, the organizers of the Cannes festival started off by highlighting the continuing importance of cinema, and Fremaux said 1,858 films were submitted to the festival's selection committee this year.
Also screening in Cannes, but Out-of-Competition, are J.C. Chandor's ocean drama All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford, and Blood Ties by Guillaume Canet.
The Un Certain Regard sidebar (full lineup below) will include such films as Flora Lau's Bends, James Franco's As I Lay Dying, Anonymous by Mohammad Rasolouf, Les Salauds by Claire Denis, Fruitvale Station by Ryan Coogler, Omar by Hany Abu-Assad and Death March by Adolfo Alix Jr.
The international media has been buzzing about this year's lineup since Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby was announced as the opening film after a few low-key years. The selection is guaranteed to bring Hollywood glamor to the Croisette, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Mulligan set to walk the red carpet.
The titles that will be shown in Cannes in special screenings are: Roman Polanski's Weekend of A Champion, Jerry Lewis tribute Max Rose by Daniel Noah, Mohammad Ali's Greatest Fight from Stephen Frears, Roberto Minervini's Stop the Pounding Heart, and Cannes exploration Seduced and Abandoned by James Toback, which was shot during last year's festival.
A special session honoring India, this year's special guest country, will show Bombay Talkies, from Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Bajerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar.
Meanwhile, Amit Kumar's Monsoon Shootout and Johnnie To's Blind Detective will get midnight screenings.
Also previously announced, the Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker-starring, South Africa-set thriller Zulu will be the closing night film. French actress Audrey Tautou will host both the opening and closing evenings as the mistress of ceremonies.
"As is tradition, it was late into the night before we finished the selection," Fremaux tweeted before Thursday's press conference. "And, as is tradition, we have a mix of auteurs, new discoveries, surprises and stars."
Steven Spielberg is set to preside over the jury, while Palme d’Or winner Jane Campion will oversee the short film competition category. Danish director Thomas Vinterberg will lead the jury for the popular Un Certain Regard sidebar of the festival, which will be opened by Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring as announced by Cannes organizers late Wednesday.
At the end of the conference, Fremaux hinted that more announcements will come next week. He is known for making last-minute additions to the lineup. The remaining jurors have yet to be announced; the news is now expected next week.
This year’s Cannes festival will run May 15–May 26.
CANNES COMPETITION LINEUP
Nicolas Winding Refn Only God Forgives
Alexander Payne Nebraska
Steven Soderbergh Beyond the Candelabra
Asghar Farhadi The Past
Francois Ozon Jeune et Jolie
James Gray The Immigrant
Roman Polanski Venus in Fur
Arnaud Desplechin Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian)
Joel and Ethan Coen Inside Llewyn Davis
Arnaud Despallieres Michael Kohlhaas
Amat Escalante Heli
Mahamat-Saleh Haroun Grisgris
Jia Zhangke A Touch of Sin (Tian Zhu Ding)
Takashi Miike Shield of Straw (Wara No Tate)
Kore-Eda Hirokazu Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru)
Abdellatif Kechiche La Vie d’Adele
Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi Un Chateau en Italie
Alex Van Warmerdam Borgman
Paolo Sorrentino The Great Beauty
UN CERTAIN REGARD SIDEBAR LINEUP
Alain Guiraudie L’Inconnu do Lac
Valeria Golino Miele
Flora Lau Bends
James Franco As I Lay Dying
Rithy Panh L’Image Manquante
Diego Quemada-Diez La Jaula de Oro
Mohammad Rasolouf Anonymous
Claire Denis Les Salauds
Ryan Coogler Fruitvale Station
Hany Abu-Assad Omar
Adolfo Alix Jr. Death March
Sofia Coppola The Bling Ring
Rebecca Zlotowski Grand Central
Chloe Robichaud Sarah Prefere La Course
Lav Diaz Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan
OUT OF COMPETITION
Guillaume Canet Blood Ties
J.C. Chandor All is Lost
Johnnie To Blind Detective
Amit Kumar Monsoon Shootout
Taisia Igumentseva Otdat Konci
James Toback Seduced and Abandoned
Roman Polanski Weekend of a Champion
Roberto Minervini Stop the Pounding Heart
Stephen Frears Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
JERRY LEWIS TRIBUTE
Daniel Noah Max Rose
GALA SCREENING, TRIBUTE TO INDIA
Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee Bombay Talkies