Cannes festival lineup unveiled

By Reuters   April 13, 2017 | 06:14 pm PT
Fans of Nicole Kidman get a treat as the Australian Oscar winner stars alongside Colin Farrell in two movies in competition.

Nicole Kidman will supply multiple doses of Hollywood glamour at this year's Cannes Film Festival, appearing in four productions during the two-week movie showcase, the organisers said on Thursday as they announced the full line-up.

The Australian Oscar winner stars alongside Colin Farrell in two movies in competition: "The Beguiled," an American Civil War-era story directed by Sofia Coppola, and "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, best known for 2015's critically acclaimed "The Lobster."

Kidman also stars in two screenings at Cannes that are not in competition: science fiction romantic comedy "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" and an episode of Jane Campion's TV series "Top of the Lake."

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar will chair the jury at the festival that runs from May 17 to May 28, a time when concerns are high about security and potential political upheaval.

It is the first Cannes Film Festival since the truck attack in the nearby city of Nice last July, and it will take place days after the final round of voting in France's presidential election, where the far-right's Marine Le Pen is expected to make a strong showing.

The festival organisers played down security concerns, but conceded that the event was taking place at a time of great "suspense."

"Since we have a new surprise every day from Donald Trump, I hope North Korea or Syria will not cast a shadow," Festival President Pierre Lescure told a news conference at a cinema on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Among the big-name directors vying for the Palme d'Or are Michel Hazanavicius, whose silent movie "The Artist" won Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor at the 2012 Oscars.

American Todd Haynes, director of "Carol," will premiere "Wonderstruck," starring Julianne Moore, and Austria's Michael Haneke will present "Happy End," probably an ironic title for a drama about the refugee crisis, set in Calais.

Also addressing the refugee issue will be a film by Vanessa Redgrave, "Sea Sorrow," to be shown out of competition.

Another global political problem - climate change - will be the theme of "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" a follow-up to Al Gore's 2006 documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

"The festival isn't political," said the event's director, Thierry Fremaux. "It is the auteurs that are political, it is the filmmakers that are political. We are very proud to present this film."

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