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The 2016 Cannes Film Festival lineup was unveiled Thursday, featuring a slew of projects from Hollywood A-listers like George Clooney, Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Keanu Reeves, Michael Shannon, Adam Driver, Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard and more. The fest will open with Woody Allen's Jesse Eisenberg-starrer Cafe Society and, for the first time, close with the winner of the Palme d'Or — which currently has no clear frontrunner.
Woody Allen's latest film will open the fest on May 11 in an out-of-competition slot. Jesse Eisenberg plays a young man who arrives in Hollywood during the 1930s hoping to work in the film industry and then finds himself swept up in the vibrant cafe society that defined the spirit of the age. Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Parker Posey and Steve Carel round out the buzzy cast. This will be Allen's 14th film to screen in Cannes, all out of competition.
The Sony thriller stars George Clooney as Lee Gates, the Wall Street newsman who offers stock advice on his hit show and gets held hostage onscreen by an irate investor (Unbroken's Jack O'Connell) after one of his tips turns out badly. Directed by Jodie Foster, the film unfolds in real time as Gates and his producer (Julia Roberts) must figure out how to deal with their captor and Wall Street's lies.
Jeff Nichols' drama – starring Joel Egerton, Ruth Negga and Nichols regular Michael Shannon – tells the real-life story of an interracial couple (Richard and Mildred Loving) who were sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying, a sentence that was suspended on condition that they be exiled from the state. They would spend much of the next decade fighting to return home, resulting in the landmark Loving vs. Virginia ruling in 1967 that overturned all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the U.S. Nichols remarkably lands the Cannes slot after his Midnight Special debuted at Berlin earlier this year.
Steven Spielberg helms Disney's fantasy-adventure adaptation of the popular novel by Roald Dahl, which centers on a young Londoner named Sophie and the mysterious giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Mark Rylance plays the titular "Big Friendly Giant" opposite newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie. Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Michael David Adamthwaite, Daniel Bacon, Chris Gibbs, Adam Godley, Jonathan Holmes, Paul Moniz de Sa, Penelope Wilton, Rebecca Hall and Olafur Olafsson also star.
Olivier Assayas reunites with Kristen Stewart — who became the first American actress to win France's equivalent of the Oscar for their Clouds of Sils Maria collaboration last year — for the ghostly thriller that takes place in a fashion fantasy world of Paris.
'The Nice Guys'
Set in the '70s, the Warner Bros. comedic thriller stars Ryan Gosling as a private investigator and single father who teams with Russell Crowe as a hired leg-breaker on sleaze-ridden quest to track down a missing girl and solve the case of a porn star's death. Kim Basinger, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley and Ty Simpkins also star in the film directed by Shane Black (Iron Man 3).
'The Neon Demon'
Drive's Nicholas Winding Refn directs Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks in Amazon Studios' hotly anticipated American-Danish horror film. The film focuses on an aspiring young model who moves to L.A., only to find herself immersed in a group of beauty-obsessed women who will go to any lengths to have what she has.
'The Last Face'
Directed by Sean Penn, the drama stars Charlize Theron as the director of an international aid organization working in Liberia who embarks on a love affair with a stubborn and impulsive relief-aid doctor (Javier Bardem). However, their mutual passion for the value of life is matched by the intensity of their opposing opinions on how to best solve the conflict that surrounds them, creating a seemingly insurmountable rift. Penn and Theron were romantically involved when they filmed The Last Face in summer 2014; they called off their engagement not long after last year's Cannes but reunited professionally later in the summer for reshoots.
Andrea Arnold's drama stars newcomer Sasha Lane as a teenager who runs away from home with a traveling sales crew. Also starring Shia Labeouf, Riley Keough and a host of young actors in their onscreen debuts, it is one of just three films from female directors in the 2016 main competition and one of two from the U.K. (alongside Ken Loach's latest).
Cannes regular Jim Jarmusch directs Adam Driver as a bus driver who shares the name of the New Jersey city in which he lives a quiet, routine life. With a secret gift for poetry, he resides with his free-spirited, creative wife (Golshifteh Farahani). The Amazon release is one of two Jarmusch titles at this year's fest; the doc Gimme Danger looks at Iggy Pop and his legendary punk band, The Stooges.
Marking Paul Verhoven's French-language debut, the thriller sees Isabelle Huppert as the impenetrable, ruthless head of a top video games company who hunts down her rapist after she is attacked in her own home.
'It's Only the End of the World'
Xavier Dolan directs Marion Cotillard and Lea Seydoux in It's Only the End of the World, the drama inspired by Jean-Luc Lagarce's play that zooms. in on a writer who returns home after twelve years away to announce his impending death, spurring a family reunion with his family that follows. It is one of two Cotillard-starring titles at Cannes this year, the other being Nicole Garcia's From the Land of the Moon.
Bruno Dumont’s Slack Bay directs Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Luchini and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi in a dark comedy about an investigation into a slew of odd disappearances on the beaches of northern France, after a local river flows into the sea at high tide. The detectives involve two opposing family clans, whose worlds are shaken when a romantic relationship between its young ones ensue.
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