Cannes 2013 : Male-Dominated Selection Announced

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With the announcement in recent days of the official selection at Cannes 2013, it looks like being a more testosterone-charged event than usual

Gatsby – the latest re-working by the American novel “The Great Gatsby” – has been chosen as the film to open the festival this year on May 15th next. Baz Luhrmann’s film will bring a host of familiar stars to walk the famous steps to the Palais des Festivals, including Leonardo di Caprio, Carey Mulligan, Jay-Z (with perhaps Beyoncé in tow), Tobey Maguire and Joel Edgerton. Another Hollywood pretty boy Orlando Bloom will be available to pose for the cameras on the red carpet as star of the film “Zulu” – a film set in contemporary South Africa by French director Jérome Salle which will close the festival.

76-year-old Robert Redford is also due to adorn the Cannes red carpet for his portrayal of a man lost at sea in “All is Lost”. He was, of course, the original Gatsby in the 1974 version.

"Once more, Clive... this time, in English."  Canet gives instructions to Clive Owen on the set of "Blood Ties".

“Once more, Clive… this time, in English.”
Canet gives instructions to Clive Owen on the set of “Blood Ties”.

In yet another re-hashed film, actor-turned director Guillaume Canet’s film “Blood Ties” has made the official selection list with an English-language version of the highly-regarded 2008 film “Liens de Sang”, in which he played one of the principal roles of two brothers who end up on opposite sides of the law. Billy Crudup and Clive Owen are the stars of the American version in a cast that also features Canet’s companion Marion Cotillard.

Director Steven Soderbergh scored quite a coup in getting his film on the life of camp pianist Liberace selected for competition at Cannes this year. Despite Soderbergh’s own pedigree as a director and the fact that his film featured Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in the main roles, “Behind the Candelabra” was unable to secure an American distributor because it was apparently “too gay”. Soderbergh came to the attention of the world stage in 1989 when he won the Palme d’Or for his low-budget début feature “Sex, Lies and Videotape”. It would be a sweet victory if he pulled it off again with what he has announced is his swan song as a film director.

"Do I look too gay in this?" Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his boyfriend camp it up.

“Do I look too gay in this?”
Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his boyfriend camp it up.

Multiple prize-winners at Cannes, the Cohen Brothers are also making a return to the French Riviera with “Inside Llewyn Davies” – a drama about a singer-songwriter who navigates the folk scene of the East Coast USA in the 1960s. It stars Cohen Brothers regular John Goodman, as well as Carey Mulligan (again), mediocre singer Justin Timberlake and Marion Cotillard (again).

Veteran director and former Palme d’Or recipient (for “The Piano” in 2002) Roman Polanski marks a return to French-language cinema with “La Venus à la Fourrure” (“Venus in Furs”), a comedy with Emmanuelle Seigner (from his film “Frantic”) and Mathieu Amalric (well-known French actor who played a Bond baddie in “A Quantum of Solace”).

Some other notables in competition this year…

“Michael Kohlhass” by Arnaud Despallières with Madds Mikkelsen
“Nebraska” by Alexander Payne
“Like Father, Like Son” by Kore-Eda
“La Grande Bellezza” by Paolo Sorrentino
“Shield of Straw” by Takashi Miik

This coming week sees the announcement of the jury. The president for the 2013 jury is Steven Spielberg.

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