Pitt, Kidman films set for Cannes premiere
MOVIES starring Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman will premiere in Cannes this year, as the world’s biggest film festival held on the glamourous French Riviera promises a strong North American accent in 2012.
Films from US director Wes Anderson and Canada’s David Cronenberg will be among the 22 films vying for the coveted “Palme d’Or”, the top prize at the glitzy cinema showcase which can significantly boost a picture’s box office and awards potential.
Officials will be hoping that the blend of Hollywood star power and auteurs from around the globe will help the festival recover from last year’s controversy when Danish director Lars Von Trier was expelled for making Nazi jokes during a press conference.
Killing Me Softly, from New Zealand-born director Andrew Dominik, and co-starring The Sopranos James Gandolfini, sees Pitt investigating a heist during a mob-protected poker game.
Anderson’s 1960s drama Moonrise Kingdom, starring Ed Norton and Bill Murray, is set to kick off the May 16-27 festival, while Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, starring Twilight hearthrob Robert Pattison, is also in the main running.
Twilight fans will also be keen to get their teeth into On the Road, the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic novel from Brazilian director Walter Salles. Its cast includes Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart as well as Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst.
Contenders from host country France include Vous N’Avez Encore Rien Vu, from veteran European festival favourite Alain Resnais, 89, and Jacques Audiard’s De Rouille et D’Os starring Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.
Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, a former Palme d’Or winner, is also competing with his French film Amour starring Isabelle Huppert.
“In a world that sacrifices everything to what’s superficial, to the new-best-thing, to the lowest common denominator ... what counts, what makes us strong, is our passion for cinema and for those who make it: the great auteur filmmakers,” said Cannes President Gilles Jacob.
Berenice Bejo, star of The Artist and winner of a French Cesar award, will host the festival’s official ceremonies.
Other previous Palme d’Or winners up again for the main prize include Britain’s Ken Loach (The Angel’s Share) and Romania’s Cristian Mungiu (Beyond the Hills).
Italy’s M a t t e o Garrone, director of 2008’s Gomorrah, the gritty portrait of the Camorra crime syndicate in Naples, will be competing with the film Reality.
The growing influence of Middle Eastern cinema is represented by Egyptian director Yousry Nasrallah’s Baad el Mawkeaa and Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s Japanese film, Like Someone in Love.
Competing from Asia are South Korea’s Hong Sangsoo with In Another Country and Im Sang-soo with The Taste of Money.
Films outside of the main competition include the third installment of the hit animated Madagascar film series, the 3D Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, as well as a new Ken Burns documentary The Central Park Five about the 1989 Central Park jogger case in which five minors were convicted of assault and rape but their convictions later thrown out.
Nicole Kidman could appear on the Cannes red carpet to promote US director Philip Kaufman’s Hemingway & Gellhorn.
The closing film in 2012 will be Claude Miller’s Therese Desqueyroux, in honour of the French director who died shortly after completing the picture.