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Hollywood cavalcade heading for Cannes film fest

The 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival will be a who’s who of Hollywood A-listers and veteran filmmakers this May, and feature a record six women filmmakers in competition, the organisers announced on Thursday.

Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” will alone bring a cavalcade of stars to the red carpet, including Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie and Scarlett Johansson.

It is competing among 19 films for the top prize Palme d’Or when the festival returns to the Cote d’Azur from May 16 to 27.

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore will be present for a romance by director Todd Haynes, “May/December”, while veteran filmmakers such as Ken Loach and Wim Wenders are also competing.

The festival had already bagged some glitzy Hollywood premieres, including the new Indiana Jones and Martin Scorsese movies, as well as the comeback film from Johnny Depp.

Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, currently has an out-of-competition slot, but may end up in the contest, festival director Thierry Fremaux said, without giving a clear explanation.

Also playing out of competition is a documentary about wartime Amsterdam, “Occupied City”, by celebrated British director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), which Fremaux described as “a very radical film of several hours”.

Victory in Cannes can give a major boost for arthouse cinema such as last year’s winner “Triangle of Sadness”, which went on to pick up several Oscar nominations.
Its director, Sweden’s Ruben Ostlund, heads this year’s jury.

Hollywood also loves the French Riviera as a launchpad for its glossier fare, with “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Elvis” getting their world premieres at the festival last year.

This year will see “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”, with Harrison Ford as guest of honour for his fifth and final appearance as the iconic adventuring archaeologist, alongside Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Antonio Banderas.
– Depp’s return –
A fiery start is already guaranteed thanks to opening night film “Jeanne du Barry”, which sees Depp play French king Louis XV in his first role since an explosive defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.

Depp will be joined by his daughter Lily Rose Depp, who stars in “The Idol”, a TV series playing out of competition that was produced by musician Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye. The show has had a tumultuous production with reports of major rewrites midway-through.

As if that was not enough to inflame social media, the star and director of “Jeanne du Barry”, Maiwenn, had a criminal complaint lodged against her last week for allegedly assaulting a journalist — yanking his head back and spitting in his face — in a Paris restaurant.

Meanwhile arthouse fans are particularly excited for the return of British director Jonathan Glazer with a Holocaust-set romance “The Zone of Interest” based on a novel by Martin Amis.

The competition also includes past Palme winners Nanni Moretti and Nuri Bilge Ceylan, as well as celebrated auteurs such as South Korea’s Hirokazu Kore-eda and Finland’s Aki Kaurismaki.