Films by Wes Anderson, Todd Haynes and Ken Loach will compete for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, event organizers announced during a press conference Thursday.
Also in contention for the festival’s top prize will be films by winners Wim Wenders, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Nanni Moretti.
But Martin Scorsese will not be competing at the festival, which opens on May 16 and runs through May 27. will appear out of competition. Thierry Frémaux, artistic director of Cannes, said during Thursday’s press conference that the festival wanted “Killers of the Flower Moon” to play in competition, but Scorsese had turned him down.
Wes Anderson’s picture in the contest is “Asteroid City,” about a space cadet convention interrupted by aliens. Todd Haynes will screen “May December,” starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, which follows an actress who researches the woman she’s going to play.
Ken Loach, whose films focusing on working-class life in Britain have twice won the Palme d’Or, will present ‘The Old Oak’, about Syrian refugees arriving in an economically depressed English mining town.
A jury led by Swedish director Ruben Ostlund will choose the winner. Ostlund won the Palme d’Or last year for “Triangle of Sadness,” a satire of the international super-rich. he also received the 2017 award for ‘The Square’, an art world commission.
Of the 19 titles in competition, five are directed by women, including Cannes veterans Jessica Hausner and Alice Rohrwacher, and Ramata-Toulaye Sy, a French-Senegalese newcomer.
Many of the highest profile titles at this year’s event will be presented out of competition. The festival will open with “Jeanne du Barry,” a period drama about a poor woman who becomes the lover of King Louis XV of France. It stars Johnny Depp in his first major role since winning a defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Other high-profile films scheduled to premiere at the 76th edition of Cannes include “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” directed by James Mangold – the latest film in Harrison Ford’s adventure series about a globe-trotting archeology professor – and Pedro Almodovar’s “Strange Way of Life”, the Spanish director’s second film in English. Starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, this film is a short western about a reunion between two killers.
Wim Wenders, the German director who won the Palme d’Or in 1984 for “Paris, Texas,” has two films in the official selection. In the main competition, he will show “Perfect Days,” which Frémaux said was about a janitor in Japan who drives between jobs listening to rock music. Out of competition, Wenders will show a 3D documentary about Anselm Kiefer, one of Germany’s most respected artists.
Frémaux said more than 2,000 films were submitted for the festival, although only 52 made Thursday’s selection. Of these, another notable title is Steve McQueen’s “Occupied City,” about Amsterdam under the Nazis. Frémaux said McQueen, the director of “12 Years a Slave” and “Widows,” had made a “very radical” film that lasted several hours. But, added Frémaux, seeing it, “you will not sleep.”
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