The Festival de Cannes (Cannes Film Festival to the rest of us) gets underway on Wednesday, and as of this posting I’ll be packing my bags for the 10-day marathon of five-movie days, black-tie nights and rushed baguettes-et-fromage in between.
Wes Anderson will open the festival Wednesday night with his new coming-of-age comedy, “Moonrise Kingdom,” with stars Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton expected to be in attendance. (What! Will! Tilda! Wear!)
Also high on my want-to-see list: John Hillcoat’s “Lawless,” Lee Daniels’s “The Paperboy” and Andrew Dominik’s “Killing Them Softly.” (And no, you’re not imagining things: No women have films competing this year, in stark contrast to last year’s bumper crop of exciting female directors.)
Some revered Cannes veterans will also be returning, from Ken Loach – who’s arriving with “The Angel’s Share” – to Cristian Mungiu, the Romanian filmmaker whose shattering abortion drama, “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” made a spectacular debut at Cannes in 2007. Markedly absent: Lars von Trier, whose train wreck of a press conference for “Melancholia” last year – in which he declared his sympathy for Hitler – resulted in the festival banning him for life.
I’ll also be soaking up as much of the whole ballyhoo-plus-beaux-arts Cannes experience as I can. There’s always at least one gobsmacker of a shameless publicity stunt; last year it was Keith Allen’s scandal-mongering documentary “Unlawful Killing,” which accused Britain’s royal family of murdering Princess Diana. And, of course, I’ll be on the lookout for this year’s breakout awards darling, a la “The Artist,” which first charmed audiences – and caught distributor Harvey Weinstein’s eye – at Cannes.
Check the Style Blog every day for my missives from Cannes, in all its color, craziness and cinematic excess!