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Five Movies You’ll Be Hearing About from This Year’s Cannes Film Festival

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Let the binge begin! The Cannes Film Festival, the Riviera frolic that showcases hundreds of movies from around the world — including many that eventually achieve acclaim in the U.S. — today announced the lineup of its 67th edition, where plenty of Hollywood stars and internationally renowned directors will appear. The 11-day bash, which runs from May 16th to 26th, opens with Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman as the princess who reigned and died just a few miles down the Côte d’Azur from Cannes.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux likes to spark his lineup of serioso world cinema with young stars from popular Hollywood-spawned movies. So Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, the Twilight Saga darlings who brought separate films to Cannes (On the Road and Cosmopolis) in 2012, will be together and apart again this year. K-Stew joins Chloë Grace Moretz and Juliette Binoche in Olivier Assayas’s Sils Maria, a backstage trauma-drama that promises Black Swan frissons. And in David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, R-Pattz leads a high-powered cast that includes Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska and John Cusack. (Keep on reading for entries from Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum.)

Cannes is a club that keeps inviting its most esteemed members. Some of this year’s venerable guests are winners of the Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest prize. The 71-year-old Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies in 1996) returns with the biopic Mr. Turner, starring Timothy Spall as 19th-century painter J.M.W. Turner. Ken Loach, 77, who won for The Wind That Shakes the Barley in 2006, has Jimmy’s Hall, set during Ireland’s “Red Scare” of the 1930s. And the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, mere pups at 62 and 60, and two-time laureates for Rosetta (1999) and L’enfant (2005), present Two Days, One Night (see below), which is not at all to be confused with the nutsy Korean reality show. The big treat for Euro-cinephiles: the promised return of 83-year-old enfant terrible Jean-Luc Godard, with Adieu au langage — goodbye, language!

Here are five movies that Mary Corliss and I are looking forward to at this, our 41st Cannes:

FOXCATCHER. Bennett Miller’s first two directorial efforts, Capote and Moneyball, earned 11 Oscar nominations and a win for Philip Seymour Hoffmann as Truman Capote. Miller reteams with Capote scripter Dan Futterman for another fact-based story, about Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and his older brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), both Gold Medalists in wrestling at the 1984 Summer Olympics. They were sponsored by Team Foxcatcher, whose chief patron, paranoid schizophrenic plutocrat John du Pont (a creepy Steve Carell), shot and killed Dave. Sorry if that’s a spoiler, but you either knew this or will forget it by the time the movie opens in America later this year. Watch the trailer here.

THE HOMESMAN. Tommy Lee Jones, whose directorial debut The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada won him the Best Actor prize at Cannes 2005, returns with a title that’s easier to pronounce. Pioneer woman (and fellow Oscar winner) Hilary Swank saves Jones from a hanging on the condition that he help her transport three madwomen — Hailee Steinfeld, Miranda Otto and Grace Gummer — across the Old West. “Three crazy women for five weeks is a lot more than I bargained for,” Jones mutters in the movie’s trailer. But it beats a hanging, doesn’t it? Gummer’s mom, Meryl Streep, is also along for the ride.

LOST RIVER. Method heartthrob Ryan Gosling, who launched Nicolas Winding Refn’s mob-tinged car-racer movie Drive in Cannes in 2011, was a no-show last year for Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives but sent a note of apology: “I was hoping to be coming but I am in the third week of shooting my movie.” Now he’s finished with his debut as writer-director, and the result will be shown in the sidebar section Un Certain Regard. Shot in Detroit, and originally called How to Catch a Monster, the film stars Christina Hendricks (Joan on Mad Men) as “a single mother swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.” Sounds enticing to us. So do the character names of costars Eva Mendes and Saoirse Ronan: Cat and Rat.

THE SEARCH. Michel Hazanavicius won three Academy Awards (writing, directing and producing) for his silent-film tribute comedy The Artist. He returns with a talkie, and a very serious drama, that is also obliged to classic American cinema. The Search updates the 1948 Fred Zinnemann film of the same name, which starred Montgomery Clift as an Army private who finds a homeless child (Ivan Jandl, an Oscar winner for Outstanding Juvenile Performance) in the rubble of postwar Berlin and tries to help the boy locate his mother. Hazanavicius changed the venue to Chechnya for the new film, which stars his wife Bérénice Bejo, herself Oscar-nominated for The Artist, and Annette Bening.

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT. The Dardennes don’t usually cast top stars in their grinding dramas of working-class life. That changes with this story of a woman who has a weekend to convince her fellow workers to renounce their bonuses so she can keep her job. The woman is played by Marion Cotillard, Oscar winner for La vie en rose and Christopher Nolan’s go-to gal in Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. This is Cotillard’s fourth consecutive Cannes, after Midnight in Paris (2011), Rust & Bone (2012) and The Immigrant (2013). Ten years ago at the Festival, she won something called the Female Revelation award. Ah, the French!

Who won’t be at Cannes? Mystery man Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), who has at least three features in some stage of completion, but none here. There’s Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, The Master), whose period crime yarn Inherent Vice, with Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin, is another tantalizing might-have-been. And no James Franco. Having directed three films last year, each shown in a different major European festival (Berlin, Cannes and Venice), the indefatigable Franco must have decided he’s been there and done that.

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