Cannes jury members
Snapshots of the jury members who will anoint Cannes' Competition winners.
A top studio director, Burton arrives in Cannes on the heels of his biggest boxoffice success, "Alice in Wonderland." But that doesn't mean he'll automatically favor mainstream films. Like his friend Johnny Depp, Burton has an affinity for outsider art and could be the wild card in deciding this year's Palme d'Or winner.
As head of the Venice Film Festival from 1999-2001, Barbera opened the event to the East, and all three Golden Lion winners under his tenure notably were for Asian films: Zhang Yimou's "Not One Less," Jafar Panahi's "The Circle" and Mira Nair's "Monsoon Wedding." Still, he's also head of Italy's National Film Museum in Turin and knows film history inside out.
Brit actress Beckinsale may seem to be a sop to Hollywood, given her mainstream credits in such films as "Pearl Harbor," "Van Helsing" and the "Underworld" franchise, but she also has deep roots in acting and her father, the late Richard Beckinsale, was one of the best. Look for her to veer toward actor-friendly features.
The token Frenchman on this year's jury, writer-director Carrere is a former movie critic who provides a link between film and the literary world. His big themes--in films like his 2005 feature debut, "La moustache," or his recent novel "Un Roman russe"--are madness and obsession. That could help more literary submissions and play against Burton's visual orientation.
Del Toro was on the receiving end in Cannes two years ago, when he took best actor as the iconic Cuban revolutionary in Stephen Soderbergh's "Che." Despite his arthouse cred, Del Toro is solidly in the Hollywood stable--whether as "TheWolfman" in Universal's recent remake or as Moe in the Farrellys' upcoming "Three Stooges" film.
With just three features in his decades-long career, director Erice makes Terrence Malick look downright prolific. But the trio--"The Spirit of the Beehive" (1973), "El Sur" (1983) and "The Dream of Light" (1992)--have been enough to establish him as one of Spain's greatest filmmakers. An artist to the core, Erice will likely favor real auteur work versus solid professionalism.
Bollywood meets Hollywood in the person of director producer Kapur. His features "Elizabeth" (1998) and "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (2007) made Cate Blanchett a star and got Kapur noticed stateside. His latest project, "Paani," is set to bridge the Holly-Bollywood divide. Kapur wrote and directed the sci-fi feature, with Barrie Osborne ("The Lord of the Rings") and new age guru Deepak Chopra producing.
Italian darling Mezzogiorno has made a career in that very European genre, the politically tinged period piece. She won an Italian Golden Globe for her performance as Mussolini's secret lover in "Vincere" and also starred in Mike Newell's "Life in the Time of Cholera." But Mezzogiorno is not averse to the modern world--as seen in her gripping performances in the Oscar-nominated "Don't Tell" (2005) and Cannes Competition entry "Palermo Shooting" (2008).Like Beckinsale, expect her to favor actor-oriented pics.