Speculation about what would play at the 67th Cannes Film Festival (May 14-25) has been rampant. Well, now we know. Some movies that weren't finished or didn't make the cut will wind up in Venice or the fall film festivals. What we will see in the Official Selection of 49 titles (out of 1800 submissions) announced Thursday by Thierry Fremaux is a mix of established auteur perennials who keep coming back to the Competition, year after year, like Canadians David Cronenberg ("Map to the Stars," starring Rob Pattinson), marking his fifth film in Competition, and Atom Egoyan ("The Captive") with his sixth.
This is the first time that Canada has three films in the race for the Palme d'Or: now 25-year-old Xavier Dolan has made the climb from Director's Fortnight ("I Killed My Mother") to Un Certain Regard ("Heartbeats" and "Laurence Anyways") and now "Mommy." Other familiar returning Cannes faces include Olivier Assayas (“Clouds of Sils Maria”), seven-timer Jean-Luc Godard (3D “Goodbye to Language”), four-timer Mike Leigh (Sony Pictures Classics' “Mr. Turner,” starring Timothy Spall), twelve-timer Ken Loach (“Jimmy’s Hall”), six-timers the Dardennes brothers (Sundance Selects' "Two Days, One Night"), and "The Artist" Palme d'Or-nominee Michel Hazanavicius ("The Search"). Tommy Lee Jones returns to Cannes with period western "The Homesman," in which he stars with Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep, and Hailee Steinfeld. His 2005 debut, “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada,” earned him an acting prize.
Two movies that were pushed back from last year's awards derby were clearly held for Cannes: out-of-competition opener "Grace of Monaco," starring red carpet-friendly Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly-- whose director Olivier Dahan ("La Vie en Rose") is tussling with the North American distributor Harvey Weinstein over final cut--and Sony Pictures Classics' real-life sports drama "Foxcatcher," starring Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo as brother wrestlers backed by millionaire Steve Carrell. Director Bennett Miller ("Capote," "Moneyball") is a newly minted Cannes auteur.
Another new Cannes entrant is Ryan Gosling, who makes his directorial debut with Warner Bros.' retitled dark drama "Lost River" starring Christina Hendricks as a single mother, in Un Certain Regard. He's another Cannes red carpet favorite, from Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" to the Danish auteur's "Only God Forgives." Cannes newcomer David Michod's follow-up to "Animal Kingdom," "The Rover" (A24) will play as a Midnight Screening, and surprisingly playing out of competition is venerated Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou's “Coming Home,” which stars Gong Li (Sony Pictures Classics).
She'll be on the red carpet along with Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska (“Maps to the Stars,” with the former also appearing in "The Rover"), Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep (“Homesman”) and Christina Hendricks and Eva Mendes (“Lost River”), Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz (“Clouds of Sils Maria”) and Ryan Reynolds and Rosario Dawson (“The Captive").
Given that the only woman to have won a Palme d'Or, "The Piano" director Jane Campion, is heading this year's competition jury, Cannes director Thierry Fremaux wisely included two films directed by women, unlike the last two years: competition regular Naomi Kawase (“Still the Water”), who won the Grand Prix (2007's “The Mourning Forest”) and Camera d'Or (1997's “Suzaku") in the past, and Italian Alice Rohrwacher's second film “Le Meraviglie.” Her first, “Corpo celeste," debuted in Directors’ Fortnight. A total of 15 women directors are in the Official Selection, Fremaux emphasized.
More films many be added to the festival--the Director's Fortnight is still to be announced-- but for now missing from the lineup are anything from Terrence Malick; Wim Wenders' 3D redemption drama "Every Thing Will Be Fine," Abel Ferrara’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn drama “Welcome to New York"; Thomas Vinterberg's reworking of Thomas Hardy's "Far from the Madding Crowd," starring Matthias Schoenaerts and Carey Mulligan; Tim Burton's "Big Eyes"; Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman"; TWC's "The Imitation Game," directed by Norwegian filmmaker Morten Tyldum ("Headhunters"), starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley; Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice," set for December release, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen WIlson and Reese Witherspoon; "A Most Violent Year," JC Chandor's follow-up to "All is Lost," starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, set in 1981 New York; "Rosewater," Jon Stewart's film shot during his July 2013 hiatus starring Shohreh Aghdashloo and Gael Garcia Bernal, based on Maziar Bahari's 2011 memoir; Saul Dibb's "Suite Francaise," based on Irene Nemirovsky's 40s novel, starring Michelle Williams and Matthias Schoenaerts; and "While We're Young," Noah Baumbach's $10-million comedy about two couples starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried.
Full lineup below: