Arthouse mavericks and Hollywood royalty head to 65th Cannes festival

Arthouse directors and Hollywood royalty will converge on the French Riviera for two weeks from tomorrow as the Cannes Film Festival rolls out the red carpet for the giants and mavericks of the movie galaxy.

David Cronenberg, Ken Loach and Michael Haneke are among the 22 international film makers vying for the Palme d’Or award at the 65th anniversary edition of the leading world cinema showcase which runs from tomorrow until May 27.

Star-wise, the 2012 line-up promises to dazzle with Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Jessica Chastain, Kylie Minogue, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Brad Pitt just a few of the A-listers expected in town.

“Cannes is still the place to be if you’re in the movie world,” enthused the festival’s general delegate Thierry Fremaux, who cherry-picked the official selection — the Palme d’Or contenders plus 17 films in the new talent section, ‘Un Certain Regard’, from almost 1,800 entries.

Palme d’Or winner Nanni Moretti of Italy heads up the nine-strong jury which also includes actor Ewan McGregor and fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, while ‘Un Certain Regard’ is chaired by British actor-director Tim Roth.

US director Wes Anderson will strike a joyous keynote with the opening film, Moonrise Kingdom, a pre-teen elopement story whose star-packed cast includes Bruce Willis as a small-town cop.

American stories loom large throughout the line-up, though sometimes told by foreign directors, with films billed as bridging the gap between studio blockbusters and offbeat indie flicks.

Two US mavericks are in the running for Cannes gold: Lee Daniels’ keenly awaited The Paperboy, the tale of a reporter investigating a death-row case; and Jeff Nichols’ surprise entry, Mud, about two teenage boys and a fugitive.

Canada’s Cronenberg brings Manhattan thriller Cosmopolis, adapted from Don DeLillo’s novel and starring Robert Pattinson as a billionaire asset manager journeying through the city in a stretch limo.

In a quirky twist, Cronenberg’s son, Brandon, will be in Cannes too, showing his debut Antiviral in ‘Un Certain Regard.’

Australians John Hillcoat and Andrew Dominik bring two US-based works: bootlegging drama Lawless and mobster flick Killing Them Softly, while Brazil’s Walter Salles has adapted Jack Kerouac’s cult novel On the Road.

Ken Loach returns for the 17th time with the comedy The Angel’s Share, about ex-offenders who turn to distilling whisky.

In the absence of Lars Von Trier — kicked out of last year’s festival after incendiary remarks about Hitler — fellow Dane Thomas Vinterberg injects a dose of icy Nordic drama with The Hunt.


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