Cannes 2011: Auteurs, veterans and controversy?
The Cannes Film Festival announced its full lineup in the wee hours of Thursday morning. The big news from a cineaste standpoint: the presence in the competition category of Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," which has been rumored for many a festival before finally being ready for this one; the new film from Pedro Almodovar, "The Skin I Live In," a revenge tale featuring a plastic surgeon; and the latest from the Dardenne Brothers, the Belgian dynamic duo that's already won the Palme d'Or twice. (The full story about the lineup on our sister blog Awards Tracker.)
Big-studio Hollywood will also be a robust participant this year: "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Kung-Fu Panda 2" will both screen out of competition as part of their promotional rollout.
Not screening: "The Descendants," the new film from Alexander Payne starring George Clooney (a December release, it will likely go the fall-festival route) and "A Dangerous Method," David Cronenberg's foray into the land of Freud and Jung.
But perhaps the most newsworthy developments could happen away from both the big marketing and big prize-seeking realms. Several films have the potential to generate strong reactions.
The always-voluble Lars von Trier, who two years ago created a stir with his violent and explicit "Antichrist," returns with a science-fiction-themed film, "Melancholia," that features American stars Kirsten Dunst and Kiefer Sutherland. And Jodie Foster's "The Beaver" will screen out-of-competition as well, raising the question of whether Mel Gibson, still embraced in some parts of Europe, will use the festival as the first leg of a comeback tour. Whether it's courting cinephiles or controversy, Cannes almost certainly won't be boring.
Photo: Mel Gibson in "The Beaver." Credit: Summit Entertainment