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Pitt to Compete With Kidman, Willis at Cannes Festival

April 19, 2012

The official poster of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival celebrates its anniversary. Source: Cannes Festival via Bloomberg.

The official poster of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival celebrates its anniversary. Source: Cannes Festival via Bloomberg.

Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis and Nicole Kidman will have movies competing in this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which starts May 16.

Pitt plays a gun-wielding enforcer in Andrew Dominik’s “Killing Them Softly.” Bruce Willis stars in the festival opener -- Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” -- about an eloping New England couple that the town residents go looking for; Edward Norton, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton co-star.

Nicole Kidman is in “The Paperboy” by Lee Daniels (director of the 2009 “Precious”). Also starring Zac Efron and John Cusack, it’s the story of a journalist who heads back to his hometown in Florida to probe a case involving a prisoner.

Another of the 22 contenders for the coveted Palme d’Or is “Cosmopolis” by David Cronenberg (adapted from the Don DeLillo novel), which plots a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager’s drive around Manhattan in a stretch limo.

“There were 1,779 full-length films submitted for the Cannes selection this year,” said the festival’s artistic director Thierry Fremaux, “of which between 50 and 60 were selected.”

“The principle is that anyone who makes a movie can present it for selection,” Fremaux said at a Paris news conference.

Welles, Bergman

This year’s festival is the 65th of its kind. The first took place in 1946, a year after World War II ended. Among the event’s earliest award winners were directors Orson Welles, Luis Bunuel, Ingmar Bergman and Satyajit Ray.

Kidman also plays Ernest Hemingway’s war-reporter wife Martha Gellhorn in a production screening out of the Cannes competition: Philip Kaufman’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” with Clive Owen in the role of the Nobel-prizewinning novelist.

This year’s selection is full of previous Cannes winners. Austria’s Michael Haneke (whose “The White Ribbon” clinched the Palme d’Or in 2009) is back with “Amour” (“Love”) starring Isabelle Huppert. Ken Loach (the 2006 Palme d’Or winner with “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”) brings “The Angels’ Share.”

France’s Jacques Audiard (director of the 2009 “A Prophet”) presents “Rust & Bone” starring Marion Cotillard.

Italy’s Matteo Garrone, who in 2008 stunned Cannes with the organized-crime movie “Gomorrah,” is back with “Reality.”

Iran’s Abbas Kiarostami, whose “Certified Copy” earned Juliette Binoche a best-actress trophy in Cannes two years ago, is in the race with “Like Someone in Love,” shot in Japan.

Today’s Muse highlights include: Jason Harper on Lexus Sport; Rich Jaroslovsky on Connect technology; Zinta Lundborg interviews Maya Lin.

To contact the reporter on the story: Mathieu Rosemain in Paris at; Farah Nayeri in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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