By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 19, 2012 at 12:05PM
We'll have to wait for the latest offerings from Wong Kar Wai, Paul Thomas Anderson, Terrence Malick, Derek Cianfrance, Olivier Assayas, Manuel de Oliveira, and Park Chan-wook. But the competition Cannes line-up for 2012 leans on American indies, boasts two star-studded Australian pick-ups from Harvey Weinstein, two stars from "Twilight," and no women directors. The femme directors at Cannes are shunted to Un Certain Regard (the Director's Fortnight list comes later), comme toujours.
Fresh from his Oscar-winning "The Artist," which launched at Cannes last year, Weinstein will intro two retitled films from Australian directors new to the Cannes competition: Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly" ("Cogan's Trade"), starring Brad Pitt, and John Hillcoat's "Lawless" ("Wettest County"), starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman and Jessica Chastain, who made her Cannes debut with last year's Palme d'Or winner "The Tree of Life."
Among the expected returning Cannes auteurs are Jacques Audiard with "Rust & Bone," starring Marion Cotillard and Mattias Schoenaerts ("Bullhead"), and "The White Ribbon" Palme d'Or-winner Michael Haneke with "Amour," starring Isabelle Huppert, both acquired by Sony Pictures Classics before Cannes. UK perennial Ken Loach (11 nominations, one Palme d'Or win, for "The Wind that Shakes the Barley") is back with a heart-tugging rags-to-riches working class tale, "The Angels' Share." Cristian Mungiu, who won the Palme for "Two Months, 3 Weeks, 4 Days," returns with Roumanian melodrama "Beyond the Hills."
Walter Salles had tried to find a home for his two-and-a-half-hour adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 50s classic "On the Road" before Cannes, but will now have to wow buyers on the Croisette; the episodic movie stars Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen and "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart.
Canadian Cannes auteur David Cronenberg is also seeking a distributor for "Cosmopolis," starring "Twilight" heartthrob Rob Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Paul Giamatti. Eva Mendes will walk the Palais red carpet not for "Place Beyond the Pines," but for French director Leos Carax ("Les Amants de Pont Neuf"), whose "Holy Motors" also stars Kylie Minogue. Other Competition regulars include Alain Resnais ("Mon Oncle d'Amerique"), Carlos Reygadas ("Silent Light'), Matteo Garrone ("Gomorrah") and Abbas Kiarostami ("Taste of Cherry").
Two American directors inducted into the competition pantheon are Sundance faves Lee Daniels ("Precious" showed in Un Certain Regard), with 60s erotic thriller "Paperboy," starring Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConnaughey, and Zac Efron, and Critics' Week's "Take Shelter" director Jeff Nichols, with Mississippi romance "Mud," also starring McConnaughey, opposite Reese Witherspoon and Michale Shannon.
Benh Zeitlin will have to earn his stripes: his Sundance competition-winner "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is booked in Un Certain Regard, along with Cronenberg sprig Brandon's "Antiviral." Cannes tends to be timid about anointing young American directors right off the bat--although Steven Soderbergh made the cut with "sex, lies and videotape."
Notably, Cannes is including American veteran Philip Kaufman's biopic "Hemingway & Gelhorn" (Kidman and Clive Owen) in the line-up--out of competition--after all, it's an HBO film. Also out of competition is Italy's intimate talking heads movie "Me and You," from Bernardo Bertolucci, who is probably still stinging after all these years from the chair-banging reception accorded his "Stealing Beauty."
Per usual, DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg will put on a major European marketing send-off for animated sequel "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," directed by Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon. Stars will be in tow, natch. Ben Stiller, Chris Rock or Sacha Baron Cohen anyone?
Cannes already announced the opening (Wes Andersons's "Moonrise Kingdom") and closing (Claude Miller's "Therese Desqueyroux") films. The lineup is listed below, along with select trailers, posters and stills:
"Amour," Michael Haneke
"The Angels' Share," Ken Loach
"Baad el mawkeaa," Yousry Nasrallah
"Beyond the Hills," Cristian Mungiu
"Cosmopolis," David Cronenberg
"Holy Motors," Leos Carax
"The Hunt," Thomas Vinterberg
"Killing Them Softly," Andrew Dominik
"In Another Country," Hong Sang-soo
"In the Fog," Sergei Loznitsa
"Rust and Bone"
"Lawless," John Hillcoat
"Like Someone in Love," Abbas Kiarostami
"Moonrise Kingdom," Wes Anderson (opening night film)
"Mud," Jeff Nichols
"On the Road," Walter Salles
"The Paperboy," Lee Daniels
"Paradies: Liebe," Ulrich Seidl
"Post tenebras lux," Carlos Reygadas
"Reality," Matteo Garrone
"Rust and Bone," Jacques Audiard
"Taste of Money," Im Sang-soo
"You Haven't Seen Anything Yet," Alain Resnais
Closing Night Film:
"Therese Desqueyroux," Claude Miller
Out of Competition:
"Hemingway & Gellhorn," Philip Kaufman
"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon
"Me and You," Bernardo Bertolucci
For Un Certain Regard, Midnight Screenings and Special Screenings, continue to the next page...