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Cannes Fest Preview 2011: Opener Midnight in Paris, Jurors DeNiro and Gondry, and What Else?

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 20, 2011 at 5:53AM

Woody Allen's latest, Midnight in Paris, which will open the 64th Cannes Film Fest May 11 with Inglourious Basterds star Melanie Laurent presiding over the opening ceremony, stars Owen Wilson, who graces this new Van Gogh-inspired poster without any of his fellow cast members, who include a blonde Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody, not to mention French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. For the first time when the film opens on 400 screens in France on the same night, the Cannes Fest will supply theaters with a live stream of the opening ceremony.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Woody Allen's latest, Midnight in Paris, which will open the 64th Cannes Film Fest May 11 with Inglourious Basterds star Melanie Laurent presiding over the opening ceremony, stars Owen Wilson, who graces this new Van Gogh-inspired poster without any of his fellow cast members, who include a blonde Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody, not to mention French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. For the first time when the film opens on 400 screens in France on the same night, the Cannes Fest will supply theaters with a live stream of the opening ceremony.

Robert De Niro heads the Cannes jury, while Michel Gondry will reside over the short film and Cinefondation jury. Speculation is under way on which films will show this year, from Terrence Malick's long-awaited Brad Pitt-starrer Tree of Life (trailer below; Europe May 18, Fox Searchlight opens stateside May 27) to Gus Van Sant's Restless (Sony Pictures Classics), starring actress-on-the-rise Mia Wasikowska. The question is, will these directors enter the competition?

Other auteurs showing their films on the Croisette--assuming they get their films completed in time--could include Pedro Almodovar (The Skin I Live In), Andrea Arnold (Wuthering Heights), David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method), Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (The Kid with a Bike), Nanni Moretti (Habemus Papam--"We have a Pope"--April 15 in Italy), Walter Salles (On the Road), Lars Von Trier (Melancholia) and Wong Kar Wai The Grandmasters).

UPDATE: Other likely Croisette filmmakers listed by Screen include Alexander Payne (The Descendants starring George Clooney), Emanuele Crialese (Terrafirma), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon A Time In Anatolia), Aki Kaurismaki (Le Havre), Paolo Sorrentino (English-language This Must Be The Place), Lynne Ramsay (We Need To Talk About Kevin), Dominik Moll (The Monk), Robert Guedeguian (The Snows Of Kilimanjaro), Christophe Honore (The Beloved), Bruno Dumont (The Empire ), Mia Hansen-Love (The Father Of My Children), Bertrand Bonello (House Of Tolerance), Andre Techine (Unforgiveable), Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (live-action Chicken with Plums), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Antoine Charreyron (3D animated The Prodigies), Ismael Ferroukhi (Free Men). Julie Delpy (The Skylab), Malgorzata Szumowska (Sponsoring), Eran Kolirin (The Exchange), Nadine Labaki (Where Do We Go Now?), Urszula Antoniak (Code Blue), Hirokazu Koreeda (I Wish), Brillante Mendoza (b>Prey), Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Headshot), Im Kwon-Taek (Hanji), Hong-jin Na (Yellow Sea), Lou Ye (Love And Bruises) and Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena).

IndieWIRE's detailed Cannes wish list will post on Wednesday. The announcement of the official program is April 14.

This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, Genres, Studios, Marketing, Woody Allen, Cannes, Independents, comedy, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.