Eyes wide open
'Blindness' tapped to kick off CannesAfter keeping everyone in the dark for days, Festival de Cannes organizers took the wraps off the remaining lineup Tuesday, unveiling Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles' "Blindness" as the May 14 opening-night film (HR 4/25).
"Blindness," the English- language adaptation of Jose Saramago's best-selling mystery novel, stars Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover and Gael Garcia Bernal in a story about a city struck by a strange blindness pandemic.
Meirelles is a familiar face on the Croisette. The director's acclaimed Rio-based crime drama "City of God" screened at Cannes in 2002 before launching an international career that has included "The Constant Gardener" and "City of Men."
Miramax has U.S. rights to "Blindness," and Pathe will release the film in France and the U.K.
Also added to the festival lineup were a pair of Competition titles. Laurent Cantet's "Entre les Murs" will be the third Gallic title in the section, while James Gray's "Two Lovers," starring Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow, also will vie for this year's Palme d'Or.
Cantet's "Murs" is an adaptation of prolific French author Francois Begaudeau's novel about a French teacher at a secondary school in a rough neighborhood. Begaudeau, who penned the script alongside Cantet and Robin Campillo, also stars as himself.
As expected, Barry Levinson's "What Just Happened?" starring Robert De Niro, will close the festival May 25 (HR 4/16).
De Niro will serve double duty on closing night. In addition to presenting the Levinson film, the actor will bestow the Palme d'Or on the Competition winner.
Rounding out the Sean Penn-chaired jury are two new members: Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian author and director of last year's animated Cannes hit "Persepolis," and French actress Jeanne Balibar.
Steve McQueen's "Hunger" will open Un Certain Regard on May 15. (partialdiff)