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Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant lead the lineup for this year’s Cannes Film Festival

Todd Haynes adapting Patricia Highsmith. Gus Van Sant following Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe around a Japanese forest. Hou Hsiao-Hsien premiering his first new feature since Flight Of The Red Balloon. A drug cartel thriller by Denis Villeneuve. The director of Dogtooth’s bizarre-sounding English debut, in which John C. Reilly is enticingly credited as “Lisping Man.” There’s plenty to look forward to at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which announced its official lineup earlier this morning, along with the parallel Un Certain Regard competition and assorted out-of-competition screenings.

With Joel and Ethan Coen heading the jury, the world’s most important film festival will kick off on May 13th, with an out-of-competition screening of Standing Tall, directed by Emmanuelle Bercot (On My Way). For many, the choice of a low-profile French opener seems like a corrective to last year’s decision to open the festival with the glitzy Grace Of Monaco, which was so poorly received that it’s going straight to Lifetime later this year.


Besides the aforementioned Haynes (Carol), Van Sant (Sea Of Trees), Hou (the long-delayed The Assassin), Villeneuve (Sicario), and Yorgo Lanthimos (The Lobster) movies, there’s plenty of familiar names in the main competition, many of them Italian. Nanni Moretti, Matteo Garrone, and Paolo Sorrentino all have new film in competition, as do Jacques Audiard, Hirokazu Koreeda, and mononymous actress-turned-director Maïwenn. Joachim Trier, director of A.V. Club favorite Oslo, August 31st, will be unveiling his closely-guarded English-language debut, Louder Than Bombs, starring Jesse Eisenberg, while the great Jia Zhang-ke will premiere The Mountains May Depart, his first foray outside of China. Reportedly, Jia’s new film takes place in part in Australia in the future—which, as well know, means a post-apocalyptic wasteland carved up by roving motor gangs.

That’s as good of a segue as any into the high-profile special and out-of-competition screenings, which, of course, include the premiere of the much-anticipated Mad Max: Fury Road. Also screening are Woody Allen’s Irrational Man, starring Joaquin Phoenix; Pixar’s Inside Out; Natalie Portman’s Hebrew-language directorial debut, A Tale Of Love And Darkness; Barbet Schroeder’s Amnesia; and the new animated adaptation of The Little Prince.

Though it’s nowhere near as glamorous, the Un Certain Regard competition is where many of the most interesting and forward-thinking movies at Cannes show up, and that’s where you’ll find the newest films by Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Romanian New Wavers Corneliu Porumboiu and Radu Muntean.

You can read the full lineup announcement here.


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