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Cannes Stars: Considering 14 Careers Heading Into Festival

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood April 19, 2012 at 6:31PM

Cannes can have a huge impact on a star's career--from the dazzling experience of walking up the Palais red carpet, to facing a gauntlet of international press. With the Cannes lineup revealed, let's dig into what this year's stars have to win or lose.

Zac Efron: As strong as he was in "Hairspray," it's no surprise that many have dismissed  Efron in the likes of "17 Again," "Me and Orson Welles" and "Charlie St. Cloud."  After all, the 24-year-old earned his fame through a Disney TV-to-film franchise ("High School Musical"). Headlining "The Paperboy" with Kidman, McConaughey and John Cusack at Cannes should help him to attract a more grown-up audience, as could "Liberal Arts," in which he stars with Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins and Allison Janney (the Josh Radnor film debuted at Sundance, and is yet to be released). But he'll still need to show more than his pretty face to keep their attention.

Shia LaBeouf: It's time to grow up. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" didn't help anyone's career, but it still ranks among the Freshest of the "Transformers" franchise star's career. While he did get to play alongside Michael Douglas in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," he hasn't charmed his way into the hearts and minds of a more high-brow audience. With Hillcoat's "Lawless" playing Cannes as well as his upcoming role in Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep" (alongside Redford, Julie Christie, Sam Elliot, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick and Terrence Howard), a career shift may be in sight.


Rust & Bone's Audiard, Cotillard, Schoenaerts
Rust & Bone's Audiard, Cotillard, Schoenaerts

After "Bullhead," we're sold on anything Belgian Matthias Schoenaerts does, especially if it's with our favorite, French Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard. They star together in Cannes' "Rust & Bone" from "A Prophet" director Jacques Audiard as well as the upcoming "Blood Ties" remake from Guillaume Canet. The always impressive Cotillard also joins Hardy in "The Dark Knight Rises" (she also has a yet-to-be-titled James Gray film upcoming); ditto Mads Mikkelson ("After the Wedding," "Casino Royale," "Valhalla Rising"), who comes to Cannes this year with Thomas Vinterberg's "The Hunt" from Denmark.

Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley star as Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise in Salles' "On The Road." While Hedlund appeared in "Friday Night Lights," "Four Brothers," "TRON: Legacy" and "Country Strong," he's still waiting for that star-making role. He's got the looks, talent and charisma. Riley broke out in Brit indies "Control" (from Anton Corbjin) and Rowan Joffe's "Brighton Rock" but is still mostly unknown stateside. Depending on how "On the Road" plays at Cannes, both actors could find themselves in star-making roles.

This article is related to: Headliners, Festivals, Festivals, Brad Pitt, Tom Hardy, Nicole Kidman, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Shia LaBeouf, Eva Mendes, Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Matthew McConaughey, Cannes, On The Road, Cosmopolis

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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.