The Cannes Film Festival announced the line-up for its 75th edition on Thursday with a mix of cult arthouse directors and Hollywood glamour heading for the French Riviera in May.
Canadian horror maestro David Cronenberg, US filmmaker James Gray and France’s Claire Denis will compete among the 18 films announced in competition for the top prize Palme d’Or.
They are expected to bring a bevy of stars to the red carpet, with Cronenberg’s sci-fi/horror cross-over “Crimes of the Future” starring Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen.
Denis returns with a thriller set in Central America — “The Stars at Noon” — featuring Taron Egerton and Robert Pattinson.
Gray’s entry, “Armageddon Time”, is a tale based on his New York adolescence featuring Anne Hathaway, Oscar Isaac, Cate Blanchett and Anthony Hopkins.
Two of the biggest spectacles had already been confirmed for the festival, which runs from May 17 to 28.
Tom Cruise will attend the much-delayed world premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick“, the sequel to his 1986 blockbuster, playing out of competition.
And Tom Hanks will be in town for “Elvis”, in which he co-stars as the rock’n’roll star’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, in the latest from Australian director Baz Luhrmann who previously lit up Cannes with “Moulin Rouge!” and “Gatsby”.
Also added to the out-of-competition premieres was Australia’s George Miller, the man behind “Mad Max”, who takes a new direction with “Three Thousand Years of Longing” about a djinn (played by Idris Elba) offering three wishes to Tilda Swinton.
‘Sadness and war’
Festival director Thierry Fremaux gave a nod to the difficult global situation, saying the announcement came “after two years of crisis that we won’t recover from quickly, and at a time of sadness and war in Europe.”
A Ukrainian film will play out of competition — “The Natural History of Destruction” from director Sergei Loznitsa about the destruction of German cities by Allied bombers in World War II — which Fremaux said the festival was “particularly happy to welcome this year”.
The main competition will also mark the third nomination for Russia’s Kirill Serebrennikov.
He was unable to attend Cannes last year when his film “Petrov’s Flu” was in competition due to a controversial court case that banned him from leaving Russia.
He has relocated to Germany since the ban was lifted earlier this year and returns to Cannes with “Tchaikovsky’s Wife” about the private life of the famous composer.
Four past winners of the Palme d’Or are back in the competition: the Dardenne brothers from Belgium, Sweden’s Ruben Ostlund, Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda and Romania’s Cristian Mungiu.
One thing that remains uncertain is who will be deciding the winner.
The jury is normally announced ahead of the selection but Fremaux said it would be named “in the coming days”, alluding to a challenging task since so many filmmakers were back at work after the pandemic shutdown.
Playing out of competition are two exciting additions to the recent spree of high-profile music documentaries: one on David Bowie and another about US rocker Jerry Lee Lewis by one half of the Coen brothers, Ethan Coen.