Spielberg, Foster and Penn likely to feature in Cannes line-up
Steven Spielberg, George Clooney and Jodie Foster are tipped to be among those who will walk the red carpet at Cannes next month when the line up for the world's top film festival is revealed Thursday.
While the movies in the running for the main Palme d'Or prize are still under tight wraps, it appears that Spielberg will almost certainly show his adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's classic "The BFG" (The Big Friendly Giant) out of competition.
It will most likely be joined by Jodie Foster's new thriller "Money Monster", about a television financial pundit taken hostage by a man whose family has been left penniless by his dud tips.
Starring Clooney as the Wall Street tipster and Julia Roberts as his TV producer, the film will be released internationally during the festival, which runs in the French Riviera resort from May 11 to 22.
Festival chiefs Thierry Fremaux and Pierre Lescure have already announced that Woody Allen's new Amazon-backed film "Cafe Society" will open the annual jamboree, also out of competition.
The movies in the main competition, however, are harder to call, with the final list often not decided until the very last minute.
- Reeves hint -
But Hollywood star Keanu Reeves dropped a heavy hint to AFP Tuesday that the Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn's supermodel horror story "The Neon Demon" had made the line-up.
The actor, who is the male lead, confirmed he "would be in Cannes" when he arrived in Paris to promote his own documentary "Side by Side".
The dark tale of a young beauty swallowed up by the Los Angeles fashion and celebrity scene has already been billed as a cross between "Valley of the Dolls" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".
However, the presence of festival favourite Pedro Almodovar, who made his name with "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown", has been thrown into doubt when he was named as having an offshore company in the Panama Papers leak last week.
The Spanish director -- a leftwinger known for his support of environmental causes -- cancelled a press conference to promote his new film "Julieta" about a girl who disappears for a decade, and did not show up at a preview screening in Barcelona.
Insiders, however, are predicting that the American actor-director Sean Penn's new film "The Last Face", starring his ex-girlfriend Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem will figure in the line-up.
The romance set in Africa among humanitarian workers also stars the French actress Adele Exarchopoulos.
Another US director Jeff Nichols, who made the highly praised "Midnight Special" last year, is also thought to be a shoo-in for "Loving", his story about a mixed-race couple confronting racism in 1950s Virginia.
- Doubt over Loach -
The Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan, who first came to international attention at Cannes with "I Killed My Mother" in 2009 when he was only 20, seems a near certainty for his new family drama "It's Only the End of the World", with its stellar cast of Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel and Bond star Lea Seydoux.
"La fille inconnue" (The Unknown Girl) by Belgium's Dardenne brothers -- two-time Palme d'Or winners -- also seem assured of being among the 19 contenders for the main competition.
The Bosnian Serb Emir Kusturica -- who has also lifted the prize twice -- is a clear candidate with "On the Milky Road" starring Monica Bellucci as is another past winner, Romania's Cristian Mungiu with "Family Photos".
But there were questions over whether "I, Daniel Blake", the latest film from Cannes favourite, Briton Ken Loach -- about welfare cuts hurting vulnerable families -- will make the final cut.
Cannes' traditionally strong Asian presence is likely to be led by Japan's Hirokazu Kore-Eda with "After the Storm", Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "The Woman in the Silver Plate" and South Korean Park Chan-Wook's "The Handmaid".
"Showgirls" director Paul Verhoeven may mark his comeback with "Elle" with French actress Isabelle Huppert in the lead, with the Mexican director Amat Escalante's "The Untamed" and Chilean film "Neruda" by Pablo Larrain also being talked up.
© 2016 AFP