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Gus van Sant's 'Restless' will open Cannes' Un Certain Regard section

April 13, 2011 |  7:44 am

The Cannes Film Festival has announced that Gus Van Sant's "Restless" will kick off its Un Certain Regard section when the international film festival begins on May 12.

The Mia Wasikowska-Henry Hopper relationship drama was widely believed to be heading to Cannes, but it was unclear what slot it would occupy, and in what section. Un Certain Regard is the second-most prestigious competition category, after the main selection. It frequently features a high-profile English-language film, last year showcasing Derek Cianfrance's "Blue Valentine" and two years ago playing Lee Daniels' "Precious." Both films went on to earn Oscar acting nominations.

Van Sant is a Cannes favorite, having won the Palme d'Or in 2003 for "Elephant," inspired by the Columbine school shooting. "Restless," which examines the story of a teenager (Wasikowska) who develops a serious illness and the relationship she strikes up with a quirky fellow teenager (Hopper), was originally slated to play the Sundance Film Festival and come out last January. It will be released by Sony Pictures Classics in the fall.

The announcement means that the films opening the two high-profile Cannes sections will, in a rarity, both come from American filmmakers. Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" kicks off the main section on the same night. The full Cannes lineup will be announced Thursday morning in Paris.

-- Steven Zeitchik