Cannes: Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman Named to Star-Studded Jury

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Ang Lee

Christoph Waltz, Daniel Auteuil and Lynne Ramsay also will serve on the Steven Spielberg-led jury.

PARIS -- A slew of Oscar and Palme d’Or winners including Ang Lee, Christoph Waltz and Nicole Kidman will join president Steven Speielberg on a star-studded jury for the 66th annual festival, the organization announced early this morning.

“We have only one criteria and that is already done for the president – the legitimacy,” festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux told The Hollywood Reporter. “So for the jury, Steven Spielberg will be the center and we are finishing it with great people.”

“We have a lot of filmmakers coming from all over the world. They need to be sure that those who make the decisions about the awards have their own legitimacy and the respect to do that,” he said. 

Fremaux certainly stacked the jury with Cannes regulars and respected award winners.

Two-time Oscar winner Lee, who beat out Spielberg this year with his win for Life of Pi, will join the Lincoln director to hand out awards. On the acting side, Palme d’Or and two-time Oscar winner Waltz and Oscar winner Kidman will also join. Kidman graced the carpet last year with The Paperboy.

Her latest film, Grace of Monaco, with Kidman starring as legendary actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, had been rumored for a competition slot early on, until The Weinstein Co. hung it out as Oscar bait with a Dec. 27 release date.

PHOTOS: Cannes Awards 2012

Romanian director Cristian Mangiu, who won the Palme d’Or in 2007 for his controversial drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days and best screenplay for last year’s Beyond the Hills, will also return to the Croisette.

Annother Cannes regular, Scottish director Lynne Ramsay, will return. Ramsay's first film, Ratcatcher screened in the Un Certain Regard sidebar in 1999, and her follow up, Morvern Callar won the festival's Award of the Youth in 2002. We Need to Talk About Kevin premiered at the festival in 2011 and led to several awards and nominations for star Tilda Swinton. Ramsay recently departed the beleaguered film Jane Got a Gun after several cast changes, allegedly feuding with producers and failing to show up for the first day of filming.

Japanese director Naomi Kawase won the Camera d’Or in the Director’s Fortnight for Suzaku in 1997, and followed it up a decade later with the Cannes Grand Prix for The Mourning Forest

Actor Daniel Auteuil, who also took home a Palme d’Or in 1996 for The Eighth Day, will represent France and Bollywood star Vidya Balan will round out the jury.  India comes to Cannes as the special guest country of this year’s festival, celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema.

As previously announced, Oscar and Palme d’Or-winning director Jane Campion will head up the Short Films and Cinefondation jury.

French actress Audrey Tautou will preside over the opening and closing ceremonies for the festival, which runs from May 15 - 26.