OPENING NIGHT FILM
Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)- USA-- Anderson marks his first appearance at Cannes with an in competition birth. The film stars Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman and will come out, courtesy of Focus Features, this May. Moonrise Kingdom marks the first opening night film to play in competition since 2008's Blindness.
- After the Battle (Yousry Nasrallah)- Filmmaker, originally from Egypt.
- Amour (Michael Hanake)- France\Austria\Belgium- Provocateur and longtime Cannes champion (winner of the Palme D'Or in 2009 for The White Ribbon) returns with his latest starring Isabelle Huppert about a couple dealing with the aftermath of a stroke...sounds very non-Haneke like. Intrigued?!?
- The Angels Share (Ken Loach)- Ireland- Another festival mainstay (Loach's 2005 war-themed drama The Wind That Shakes the Barley won the Palme D'Or) returns with yet another slice of Irish socio-political miserablism.
- Beyond the Hills (Cristin Mungiu)- Romania- Mungiu took Cannes by storm with his Palme D'Or winning masterpiece 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days returns with his latest drama about a friendship between two girls who grew up at an orphanage.
- Cosmopolis (David Croenberg)- USA\Canada- Croenberg is a longtime Cannes favorite returns with his latest sexual odyssey, this time starring Twilight's Robert Pattinson (not the only Twi-cast member to have a film in competition this year.) The teaser has already raised a few eyebrows.
- Holy Motors (Leos Carax)- France- Carax was in competition for 1999's Pola X and returns with his latest starring Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue!
- In Another Country (Hong Sang-soo)- South Korea-- Winner of 2010's Un Certain Regard for Hahaha, Hong Sang-soo returns in competition with a drama starring Isabelle Huppert.
- The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg)- Denmark- Vinterberg, a favorite due to the prize-winning influential Dogma 95 film The Celebration (1998) returns in competition.
- Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik)- USA- Dominik, the director of the astounding and underrated 2007 feature The Assassination of Jesse James debuts his latest crime thriller starring Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta and Richard Jenkins. It is slated for an early fall release from The Weinstein Company.
- Lawless (John Hillcoat)- USA- Hillcoat, director of 2009's The Road returns with a Depression-era crime drama about a gang of bootleggers starring Tom Hardy, Shia LeBeof and Jessica Chastain. The long-gestating title will open this fall, courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
- Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami)- France\Japan- Longtime Cannes favorite Kiarostami (last in competition in 2010 for Certified Copy) continues his worldwide journeys-- this time with a trip to Japan.
- Mud (Jeff Nichols)- USA- Nichols, director of last years Critics Week winner and on my list of the top ten films of 2011, Take Shelter, graduates to the competition section with his latest drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey.
- On the Road (Walter Salles)- USA- the long gestating adaptation of the Jack Kerouac classic will play in competition and returns Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) to Cannes. The film stars Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart (the second Twilight-alum to grace the French press), last years Best Actress winner Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortenssen and Amy Adams. Despite its impressive cast, the film has yet to achieve US distribution.
- The Paperboy (Lee Daniels)- USA- Daniels graduates to the main competition after Precious (2009) played in the Un Certain Regard section, with his thriller starring John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, and making his Cannes debut, Zac Efron.
- Paradise: Love (Ulrich Seidl)- Austria
- Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas)- Mexico\France\Netherlands
- Reality (Matteo Garrone)- Italy- Garrone made a splash at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival with Gomorrah.
- Rust & Bone (Jacques Audiard)- France- Audiard (not stranger to Cannes-- his 2009 feature A Prophet won the Grand Jury Prize) returns with his latest, a mystery, starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts (star of last year's foreign language nominee Bullhead.)
- Taste of Money (Im Sang-soo)- South Korea- returns back to the Cannes competition after 2010's The Housemaid, which did well in it's American art house run.
- You Haven't Seen Anything Yet (Alain Resnais)- France- legendary filmmaker Resnais returns to Cannes with his latest drama starring Mathieu Almaric and Lambert Wilson.
UN CERTAIN REGARD
- 7 Days in Havana (Laurent Cantet, Benicio Del Toro, Julio Medem, Gaspar Noe, Elia Suleiman, Juan Carlos Tabio, Pablo Trapero)
- 11:25 The Day He Chose His Own Fate (Koji Wakamatsu)
- Aimer a Perder la Raison (Joachim Lafosse)
- Antiviral (Brandon Croenberg)- his father is David Croenberg and debuts with a science fiction tale starring Matthew McDowell about an online virus that attacks a celebrity.
- Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)- winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this years Sundance Film Festival, it will be released later this year, courtesy of Fox Searchlight.
- Confession of a Child in the Century (Sylvie Verheyde)
- Despues de Lucia (Michel Franco)
- God's Horses (Nabil Arango)
- Laurence Anyways (Xavier Dolan)- young French Canadian actor\writer\director returns to Cannes after Heartbeats and I Killed My Mother.
- Le Grande Soir (Benoit Delpine & Gustave de Kevern)
- Miss Lovely (Ashim Ahluwalia)
- Mystery (Lou Ye)
- La Playa (Juan Andres Arango)
- The Pirogue (Moussa Toure)
- Student (Darezhan Omirbayev)
- Trois Mondes (Catherine Corsini)
- White Elephant (Pablo Trapero)
OUT OF COMPETITION
- Hemingway & Gelhorn (Philip Kaufman)- stars Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen, directed by Kaufman (The Unbearable Lightness of Being), set to debut on HBO this summer.
- Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted- the third in the DreamWorks animated franchise.
- Me & You (Bernardo Bertolucci)
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Therese Desqueyroux (Claude Miller)- France- Miller, a French legend passed away shortly, and the closing night feature will be his final film. Starring Audrey Tautou as a lonely, unhappily married woman.