CUE CANNES; Will Woody Allen Crash and Burn Again? Can Mark Rylance Pull off the BFG? Our Man at the Cannes Film Festival Reveals All

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), May 8, 2016 | Go to article overview

CUE CANNES; Will Woody Allen Crash and Burn Again? Can Mark Rylance Pull off the BFG? Our Man at the Cannes Film Festival Reveals All


The bags are packed, the flights are booked and on Wednesday morning every hotel in Cannes doubles, or even trebles, its prices. It can only mean one thing - the 69th Cannes Festival is about to begin. Here's my guide to what you need to know about this year's event Who will be the biggest names there? Of course, Cannes always attracts all sorts of hangers-on - from A- to Z-list - but the film that will certainly get the photographers snapping looks likely to be Money Monster, an out-of-competition story of Wall Street greed directed by Jodie Foster. That's because it stars not only George Clooney but also Julia Roberts - collectively, that's real Hollywood royalty. Failing that, don't forget Sean Penn, in director mode, will also be in town with The Last Face, which just happens to star his former fiancee, Charlize Theron. Will she turn up? Who knows - but you can almost see the redcarpet pictures already, can't you? Which film will be the biggest draw? At least once over the 11 days, a fight will break out as desperate festival-goers battle to get into the most hotly tipped movies. Last year - quite inexplicably as it turned out - it was for Gaspar Noe's romancecome-porn-flick Love. Certain to be one of the toughest screenings to get into this year will be The BFG, Steven Spielberg's eagerly awaited adaptation of the Roald Dahl children's story, starring Spielberg's recent Bridge Of Spies collaborator, Mark Rylance, as the big, friendly giant who doesn't eat children.

Who might come a cropper? The festival kicks off with Woody Allen's latest offering, Cafe Society, set in the glamorous Hollywood of the Thirties and starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. It sounds the perfect, lightweight, industry-related treat that the festival likes to begin with - just to get jetlagged festival-goers in the right mood - but personally I'm a bit nervous. Allen is distinctly on-off these days and his last film to open the festival was Hollywood Ending in 2002. That was considered so bad it wasn't even released in this country. Elsewhere, after the camp excesses of I'm So Excited, Pedro Almodovar is a man in need of a critical hit, and keep an eye out for Nicholas Winding Refn, whose Amazon-backed The Neon Demon looks like the sort of glossy, exploitative fare that Cannes aesthetes normally greet with lofty disdain.

Who will provide the controversy? Whether it's Danish director Lars Von Trier saying he sympathised with Hitler or last year's media storm over women being turned away from the red carpet for not wearing heels, Cannes rarely disappoints when it comes to controversy. This year we have a film from Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven, as well as one from Sean Penn, who is never shy of criticising world leaders or cosying up to their questionable opponents. …

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