The poster for the 66th Festival de Cannes.
Speculation about this year's Cannes Film Festival (or, more properly, Festival de Cannes) continues to mount weekly as organizers in France begin trickling out details about the 66th edition. Exactly 10 days ago, the festival announced Baz Lurhmann's 3D adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby would open Cannes May 15 and prior to that came the first major announcement that Steven Spielberg will lead the main competition jury. Today, the festival unveiled its official image of the 66th edition, which it dubbed “A Head-Turning Poster.”
The image features Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman photographed while shooting the 1963 film A New Kind of Love by Melville Shavelson. The festival noted that the poster is a “chance both to pay tribute to the memory of Paul Newman, who passed away in 2008, and to mark its undying admiration for Joanne Woodward, his wife and most favored co-star.” Woodward and Newman's first film together, The Long, Hot Summer by Martin Ritt, was featured in the 1958 Cannes Film Festival in competition—also the year of their marriage. Newman, himself, directed Woodward in two later films in competition, The Effect of the Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1973) and The Glass Menagerie (1987).
The poster for the 65th Festival de Cannes.
This year's poster selection marks the third straight year featuring an American as Cannes' primary image. Last year, the festival chose a black and white image of Marilyn Monroe for the event's 65th edition, featuring the iconic star in the backseat of a car holding a birthday cake giving a seductive blow to the lone candle. Cannes's 2011 poster featured a 1970 photo of Faye Dunaway taken by Jerry Schatzberg. Schatzberg, incidentally, won the Palme d'Or three years later for his film, Scarecrow.
Photographed by Brigitte Lacombe, Juliette Binoche served as the primary focus in the poster for the 2010 Festival de Cannes. Binoche is the last non-American holding front and center and also the last time an actor with a film programmed in the festival appeared in its primary image. Binoche starred in Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy that year.
Speculating the Cannes Lineup
Of course, beyond the poster, it will be details of the 66th Festival de Cannes lineup that will truly grip film fans and the speculation business is naturally in full tilt. Last week Deadline.com gave its predictions not only of what will appear in the festival, but also anticipated high-profile features it believes will not be screening this year on the Croisette. Surprisingly, the Hollywood trade said Nicole Kidman starrer Grace of Monaco by Oliver Dahan will not join the lineup and Danish bad-boy Lars von Trier—who was declared “persona non grata” at the 2011 event after a Nazi-filled rant—will not be ready with Nymphomaniac. Pedro Almodóvar, who has screened his latest films in every Cannes over the last decade, is predicted by the online publication to not be headed to the South of France with his latest, I'm So Excited.
The poster for the 64th Festival de Cannes.
So what will head to Cannes? Indiewire gave dozens of possibilities this week, including some that Deadline said will likely be no-shows. Their 40 titles are more of a “wish list” than predictions, though there is a good chance a chunk of their list will make its way to Cannes.
Among those titles are the Catherine Breillat-directed Abuse of Weakness, based on her novel of the same name about a con man who stole money from her following a stroke. Isabelle Huppert stars in the film as well as in another good possibility, The Bastards by Claire Denis. Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra almost seems a given. The Liberace biopic stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Now supposedly at the end of his film career, Candelabra would recall the Palme d'Or win Soderbergh received for his first film, sex, lies and videotape. A Cannes stalwart, Sofia Coppola will likely screen her latest look at female youth, The Bling Ring, and another even bigger Cannes icon, Woody Allen, is a likely presence with his Cate Blanchett starrer Blue Jasmine.
Lee Daniels received hails and boos last year with The Paperboy, and though his latest, The Butler with Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, is not believed to be as camp as last year's turn, the flamboyant director is never predictable. The West Memphis Three case has been enshrined through the Paradise Lost series and this year's encompassing doc by Amy Berg, West of Memphis. Now it's time for the Hollywood-ish narrative version from Canadian director Atom Egoyan and starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. A film about the break-down of American justice just may have a good chance in Cannes. Also high on the possibility list, according to Indiewire, are Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher, Alfonos Cuarón's Gravity, the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, and the still not-quite-titled new work from Terrence Malick (and really, if it's ready to go, how could they not?).
Cannes will unveil its choices in the coming weeks. Also likely to hit the Croisette will be selections that debuted Stateside at Sundance, SXSW and New Directors/New Films. Last year's Sundance feature winner, Beasts of the Southern Wild, went on to screen in Cannes, winning its director Benh Zeitlin the Camera d'Or and it later picked up a steady stream of accolades and nominations during the long awards season, including Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress.
The poster for the 63rd Festival de Cannes.