2016 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP

cannesThe initial lineup for the 69th French film festival has been announced. The Cannes Film Festival runs May 11-22.

OPENER

“Cafe Society” (Woody Allen). The director’s until-recently-untitled 1930s romance, which divides its time between Hollywood and the Bronx, stars Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg. His first feature to be shot in digital, “Cafe Society” was lensed by “Apocalypse Now” d.p. Vittorio Storaro and will be released later this year by Amazon Studios (rather than the director’s usual distributor, Sony Pictures Classics). Allen was at Cannes just last year with “Irrational Man.”

COMPETITION

“Acquarius” (Kleber Mendonca Filho). Critic-turned-director Kleber Mendonça Filho’s follow-up to 2012’s “Neighboring Sounds,” one of the most talked-up Brazilian debuts of this decade, stars Sonia Braga (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”) as a retired, widowed music writer, who also time travels.

“American Honey” (Andrea Arnold). The British director, who was invited to serve on the Cannes jury in 2012, has earned her fair share of honors from the festival, claiming jury prizes for both “Red Road” and “Fish Tank” in official competition. Her latest — and her first-ever American film — follows a group of young people who travel the country selling magazine subscriptions and making trouble, starring Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough. A24 plans to release later this year.

“Baccalaureat,” (Cristian Mungiu). A Palme d’Or winner for “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” Mungiu reportedly scaled back after “Beyond the Hills” (a Cannes screenplay winner), discreetly shooting his latest last summer in Romania. Following films about abortion and forbidden lesbian love, Mungiu’s new project is remarkable in that it centers around a male protagonist, a small-town doctor played by Adrian Titieni.

“Elle” (Paul Verhoeven). The “Black Book” director’s first film to land in official competition since 1992’s “Basic Instinct,” this thriller finds Verhoeven working in French for the first time. Former Cannes jury president Isabelle Huppert plays a top exec for a video-game company who turns the tables after being violated in a home invasion.

“From the Land of the Moon” (Nicole Garcia). Adapted from Milena Agus’ Italian novella about a young woman’s romances, both real and imagined, from 1943 until the mid-’60s, this entry — which stars Marion Cotillard and looks to be one of the lineup’s more crowd-pleasing entries — marks the third time the French actress-turned-helmer (“Charlie Says”) has directed a feature in competition.

“The Handmaiden” (Park Chan-wook). This latest from the director of “Old Boy” — back in Cannes after 2009’s “Thirst” — marks a return to Korean-language filmmaking after “Stoker,” although it takes its inspiration from British novelist Sarah Waters’ “Fingersmith” (previously adapted for the BBC), in which a female pickpocket aligns with a con man to seduce and scam a wealthy Japanese heiress. Amazon Studios has U.S. rights.

“I, Daniel Blake” (Ken Loach). Britain’s celebrated social realist has been a Cannes mainstay, screening 16 films in the fest (a dozen of them in competition) since the 1970 premiere of “Kes” in Critics’ Week. His latest collaboration with screenwriter Paul Laverty (who wrote Loach’s Palme d’Or winner, “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”) centers on an injured carpenter and single mother struggling to get by on welfare.

“It’s Only the End of the World” (Xavier Dolan). After serving on the jury of last year’s festival, the young Canadian director — who split the jury prize with Jean-Luc Godard for his last feature, “Mommy” — returns with this French-language drama, which stars Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux and Vincent Cassel. Inspired by Jean-Luc Lagarce’s play “Juste la fin du monde,” the film follows a writer who returns home to announce his imminent death to his immediate family.

“Julieta” (Pedro Almodovar). Taking inspiration from a trio of stories by Pulitzer winner Alice Munro included in her book “Runaway,” the Spanish director’s latest celebration of a strong female protagonist stars Adriana Ugarte and Emma Suarez, who split the title role over the span of more than 30 years. This is the “All About My Mother” director’s fourth film in competition. As usual, Sony Pictures Classics will release in the U.S.

“The Last Face” (Sean Penn). The controversial actor-director’s new drama stars Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem as aid workers who fall in love against the backdrop of war-torn Liberia. The film marks a return to Cannes for Penn after his helming debut, “The Indian Runner” (1991, Directors’ Fortnight), and “The Pledge” (2001, competition). Penn served as president of the official Cannes jury in 2008.

“Loving” (Jeff Nichols) Mere months after “Midnight Special” premiered at Berlin, Nichols will unveil this civil rights drama starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as an interracial couple in 1958 Virginia. Set to open theatrically Nov. 4 through Focus Features, the film would mark a return to Cannes for Nichols after “Take Shelter” (2011, Critics’ Week) and “Mud” (2012, competition).

“Ma’ Rosa” (Brillante Mendoza). Little is known so far about the latest from the prolific Filipino auteur, who was in Cannes just last year with his Un Certain Regard entry, “Trap.” He was previously in competition with “Kinatay” (2009), which earned him the jury’s directing prize, and “Serbis” (2008).

“The Neon Demon” (Nicolas Winding Refn). According to an early statement by the Danish director, “After making ‘Drive’ and falling madly in love with the electricity of Los Angeles, I knew I had to return to tell the story of ‘The Neon Demon,’” a style-drenched horror movie in which Elle Fanning plays a young model preyed upon by jealous rivals. Amazon will release in the U.S. this summer.

“Paterson” (Jim Jarmusch). Adam Driver plays Paterson, a blue-collar bus driver who lives in the modest New Jersey city of the same name. He dabbles in poetry, encouraged by on-screen wife Golshifteh Farahani, in what’s sure to be one of the film’s more low-key entries — nothing like the director’s last Cannes competition selection, “Only Lovers Left Alive.” Six of his pics have competed for the Palme.

“Personal Shopper” (Olivier Assayas). Assayas’ latest reunites him with Kristen Stewart, who won critical accolades and a supporting actress Cesar for “Clouds of Sils Maria.” Set in the world of Paris fashion and interwoven with supernatural elements, the intriguing project stars Stewart as an American woman working as personal shopper for a celebrity. Sales: Mk2.

“Sierra-Nevada” (Cristi Puiu). One of the most revered Romanian filmmakers has remarkably never been in competition at Cannes; both “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” and “Aurora” premiered in Un Certain Regard. That looks to change at last. His new film (which stars “Lazarescu’s” Mimi Branescu”) is set around a contentious family reunion intended to commemorate the life of a recently deceased patriarch.

“Slack Bay” (Bruno Dumont). After earning some of the best reviews of his career with “Li’l Quinquin,” Dumont seems determined to get even wackier, eschewing unknowns for established stars, including Fabrice Luchini and Juliette Binoche. Set in the same dreary corner of northern France where the director has always lived and worked, during the summer of 1910, the period comedy marks the director’s third film in competition, following “L’Humanite” and “Flanders.”

“Staying Vertical” (Alain Guiraudie). The director attracted international attention three years ago with “Stranger by the Lake,” a daring thriller set in a gay cruising spot. The edgy film earned him best director honors in Un Certain Regard and a handful of Cesar nominations at the end of the year. His latest feature, which turns on a film director who raises his young son alone, graduates to competition. Sales: Les Films du Losange.

“Toni Erdmann” (Maren Ade). One of only three female directors in competition — and the first German to compete in years — Ade won the Silver Bear in Berlin for “Everyone Else.” Her third feature stars Peter Simonischek as a father convinced that his daughter (Sandra Huller) has lost her sense of humor, so he drops in on her in Bucharest and unleashes a series of jokes. 

“The Unknown Girl” (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne). After casting movie stars Marion Cotillard and Cecile de France in their previous two films, the Belgian brothers cast the lesser-known but rising French star Adele Haenel (“Love at First Fight”) alongside regulars Jeremie Renier and Olivier Gourmet in this story of a young doctor investigating the identity of a patient who died after being refused treatment.

OUT OF COMPETITION

cannes). A reunion between former Cannes jury president Spielberg and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’s” (late) screenwriter Melissa Mathison, this all-ages Roald Dahl adaptation represents the biggest film on the Croisette, kicking off an international campaign for Disney’s July 1 release. Mark Rylance plays the eponymous giant, while Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader and Jermaine Clement play more normal-sized characters.

“Goksung” (Na Hong-jin). The gritty Korean genre director has been to Cannes twice before, with “The Chaser” (midnight, 2008) and “The Yellow Sea” (Un Certain Regard, 2011). Set in a remote village set into turmoil by a series of deaths, his ultra-stylish new film is told from the perspective of a police detective who comes to suspect that the crimes have something to do with his own daughter. Sales: Finecut.

“Money Monster” (Jodie Foster). George Clooney plays the host of a television financial-advice program taken hostage by an angry viewer (“Unbroken’s” Jack O’Connell), who holds him responsible for a bad stock tip. Julia Roberts also stars as the show’s tough-as-nails producer in a film that brings Foster back to Cannes 30 years after “Taxi Driver” unspooled in competition.

“Nice Guys” (Shane Black). Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling co-star in this late-’70s-set L.A. buddy comedy between a pair of not-quite cops, who don’t hesitate to bend the rules while investigating a girl’s disappearance. Black was previously in Cannes with “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” which screened out of competition, while Gosling infamously debuted his “Lost River” there two years ago.

UN CERTAIN REGARD

“After the Storm” (Hirokazu Kore-eda).

“Apprentice” (Boo Junfeng).

“Beyond the Mountains and Hills” (Eran Kolirin).

“Captain Fantastic” (Matt Ross).

“Clash” (Mohmaed Diab).

“The Dancer” (Stephanie Di Giusto).

“The Disciple” (Kirill Serebrennikov).

“Dogs” (Bogdan Mirica).

“The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki” (Juho Kuosmanen).

“Harmonium” (Fukada Koji).

“Inversion” (Behnam Behzadi).

“The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis” (Andrea Testa).

“Pericles the Black Man” (Stefano Mordini).

“Personal Affairs” (Maha Haj).

“The Red Turtle” (Michael Dudok de Wit).

“The Transfiguration” (Michael O’Shea).

“Voir du Pays” (Delphine Coulin, Muriel Coulin)

MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS

“Gimme Danger” (Jim Jarmusch).

“Train to Busan” (Yeon Sang-ho)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

“Le Cancre” (Paul Vecchiali).

“Exil” (Rithy Panh).

“A Chad Tragedy” (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun).

“The Last Beach” (Thanos Anastopoulos, Davide Del Degan).

“Last Days of Louis XIV” (Albert Serra).

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