Cannes 2015 Competition Lineup showcases Hollywood’s largest presence in years

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On Thursday morning, Cannes delegate general Thierry Fremaux and president Pierre Lescure announced the lineup of films that will be playing at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival, the most prestigious film festival in the world.

As usual, most of the attention during the conference was reserved for Cannes’ highly secretive (and scrutinized) Competition lineup as the vast majority of films that make the Competition cut go on to receive massive critical and commercial success worldwide. Out of the 17 films that have been announced to play in competition this year, 16 are works from filmmakers who have already had their previous films play at the festival. So, it’s still an exclusive club that’s nearly impossible to get into if you aren’t an established Cannes favorite.

Previous Cannes prize winners returning to the competition lineup include Americans Gus Van Sant (The Sea of Trees) and Todd Haynes (Carol), Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien (The Assassin), French filmmakers Jacques Audiard (Dheepan) and Maiwenn (Mon roi), Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda (Our Little Sister), Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke (Mountains May Depart) and three Cannes staples from Italy: Nanni Moreti (My Mother), Matteo Garrone (The Tale of Tales) and Paolo Sorrentino, whose Youth has perhaps the most striking trailer I’ve seen this year.

Those making their first trip to the Competition selection after having previous films play in either the Un Certain Regard of Director’s Fortnight selections are Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), Norwegian Joachim Trier (Louder than Bombs), Australian Justin Kurzel (Macbeth), French filmmakers Valerie Donzelli (Marguerite and Julien) and Stephane Brize (A Simple Man), and Canadian Denis Villeneuve (Sicario). The sole debutant in the competition lineup is Hungarian filmmaker Laszlo Nemes’ Holocaust drama Son of Saul.

Even though this year’s Cannes competition lineup looks like a truly global affair with four continents being represented (South America is a surprisingly glaring omission), Hollywood will still have its biggest presence in years! Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are headlining Todd Haynes’ Carol while Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe are the stars of Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees. Meanwhile, Villeneuve’s Sicario stars Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, and Kurzel’s Macbeth adaptation stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in the leads. All are expected to be Oscar contenders from major studios towards the end of the year. The Lobster, Lanthimos’ English-language debut, features Colin Farrell, Rachel Weitz, Ben Wishaw and John C. Reilly in major roles. Weitz will also appear in Sorrentino’s Youth alongside Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel while Reilly is part of the large ensemble cast of Garrone’s The Tale of Tales with Salma Hayek and Vincent Cassel. There’s also Louder than Bombs which will star Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert, David Strathairn and Amy Ryan.

Hollywood will also make waves outside the competition lineup with the blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, Pixar’s Inside Out, Woody Allen’s Irrational Man starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone, and A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman’s directorial debut (which will play as a Special Screening).

As previously announced, American masters Ethan and Joel Coen will serve as Presidents of this year’s Jury. The 68th Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 13-24.

Here’s the full lineup. For descriptions of each film, visit Variety.

Opening Film
Standing Tall (La Tete Haute), Emmanuelle Bercot

Competition
CarolTodd Haynes
MacbethJustin Kurzel
DheepanJacques Audiard
The Measure of ManStephane Brize
Marguerite and JulienValerie Donzelli
The Tale of TalesMatteo Garrone
The AssassinHou Hsiao Hsien
Mountains May DepartJia Zhangke
Our Little SisterHirokazu Koreeda
The LobsterYorgos Lanthimos
Mon roiMaiwenn 
Mia MadreNanni Moretti
Son of SaulLaszlo Nemes
Youth, Paulo Sorrentino
Louder Than BombsJoachim Trier
Sea of TreesGus Van Sant 
SicarioDenis Villeneuve

Out of Competition
Mad Max: Fury RoadGeorge Miller
Inside OutPete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Irrational ManWoody Allen
The Little PrinceMark Osborne

 

Special Screenings
A Tale of Love and DarknessNatalie Portman
AsphalteSamuel Benchetrit
PanamaPavle Vuckovic
AmnesiaBarbet Schroeder
Hayored Lema’AlaElad Keidan
OkaSouleymane Cisse

 

Midnight Screenings
AmyAsif Kapadia
OfficeHong Won-Chan

 

Un Certain Regard
MadonnaShin Suwon
MarylandAnna Winocour
The Fourth DirectionGurvinder Singh
Masaan (Fly Away Solo)Neeraj Ghaywan
Hruter (Rams)Grimur Hakonarson
Kishibe No Tabi (Journey to the Shore)Kiyoshi
Je Suis Un Soldat (I Am a Soldier)Laurent Larivere
Zvizdan (The High Sun)Dalibor Matanic
The Other SideRoberto Minervini
One Floor BelowRadu Muntean
ShamelessOh Seung-Uk
The Chosen OnesDavid Pablos
NahidIda Panahandeh
The TreasureCorneliu Porumboiu

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety

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