Woody Allen returns to Cannes this year, where his latest movie, “Café Society”, will open the prestigious film festival, event organisers announced on Tuesday.
Allen categorically refuses to compete for Cannes’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, so “Café Society” will be screened out of competition like all of the director’s previous films shown at the festival.
Yet despite Allen’s apparent distaste for film competitions, he’s what could be called a Cannes “subscriber”. A number of his films have been screened at the festival in the past, including last year’s "Irrational Man" and 2011's "Midnight in Paris", signs of the ongoing love affair between France and the “Manhattan” director.
A star-studded cast
Festival organisers know that Allen’s movies guarantee an impressive red carpet turnout.
In “Café Society”, Allen brings together big names like Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively and Steve Carell, to name a few members of its ensemble cast. It’s almost as if the cast were specially selected for the event, which combines glamour with cinematic excellence.
“Café Society”, Allen’s 46th feature-length production, tells the story of the professional and – of course – romantic misadventures of a young man who arrives in Hollywood during the 1930s, where he dreams of pursuing a career in the movie industry.
It’s the first film of the official selection at this year's Cannes to be unveiled. But several prominent directors are rumoured to be taking part in the festival, whether in competition or not, including Terrence Malick, Ken Loach, brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Abbas Kiarostami and Pedro Almodovar.
The 69th Cannes film festival will run from May 11 to 22. This year's jury will be headed by "Mad Max" director George Miller.