29The film roster for the 63rd Cannes Film Festival has been unveiled, and the star wattage and films with wide commercial appeal appear dim. We know that Robin Hood will open the festival with a May 12 premiere before the film is released days later, and that Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps are locks for splashy premieres. Competition films that’ll be evaluated by Tim Burton and his jury panel are more subdued, for the most part, but Cannes gets its pick of unseen films so there are discoveries to be made. The highest profile film is the Doug Liman-directed Fair Game, the drama about the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, with Sean Penn and Naomi Watts starring. This was a pic that originated at Warner Bros, which then dropped the project. Private financiers River Road and Participant Media came to the rescue. In the U.S., the subject matter is polarizing, depending on whether you’re a Republican or Democrat. When I reported on the  formation of the film while George W. Bush was in the White House, reaction from the GOP was to discredit Plame’s CIA cred, while Dems embraced the film’s POV. but how the film plays on a world stage is anybody’s guess. Auteurs represented include Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the past winner for Babel who debuts Biutiful, Mike Leigh, whose Another Year will compete, and Bertrand Tavernier, with La Princesse de Monptpensierryan-gosling-michelle-williams-blue-valentine From a distributor standpoint, The Weinstein Co. has scored a coup by getting a premiere in the Un Certain Regard category for the Derek Cianfrance-directed Blue Valentine. The drama premiered at Sundance, where it was bought for domestic distribution by The Weinstein Company. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling turned in the best performances of all the films I saw  at Sundance, as a married couple whose relationship slowly disintegrates. The relationship angst isn’t always pleasant to watch, but the acting turns are darn good and the Cannes platform could set the film up for trophy season, though it needs more careful care and feeding than The Weinsteins gave A Single Man and The Road in the last Oscar derby.

Competition List

Another Year, directed by Mike Leigh

Biutiful, directed by Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu

Fair Game, directed by Doug Liman

La Princesse de Monptpensier, directed by Bertrand Tavernier

Tournee, directed by Mathieu Almaric

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Des Hommes de Dieux, directed by Xavier Beauvois

Horse-la-loi, directed by Rachid Bouchareb

Un Homme Qui Crie, directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Copie Conforme, directed by Abbas Kiarostami

Outrage, directed by Takeshi Kitano

Poetry, directed by Lee Chang-dong

You, My Joy, directed by Sergei Lovnitsa

Housemaid, directed by Im Sangsoo

La Nostra Vita, directed by Daniele Luchetti

Utomlyonnye Solntsem 2, directed by Nikita Mikhalkov

UN CERTAIN REGARD
Blue Valentine, directed by Derek Cianfrance
O Estranho Caso de Angelica, directed by Manouel de Oliveira
Les Amours Imaginaires, directed by Xavier Dolan
Los Labios, directed by Ivan Fund and Santiago Loza
Simon Werner a Disparu…, directed by Fabrice Gobert
Film Socialisme, directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Unter Dir Die Stadt, directed by Christoph Hochhausler
Rebecca H. (Return to the Dogs), directed by Lodge Kerrigan
Pal Adreinn, directed by Agnes Kocsis
Udaan, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane
Marti Dupa Craciun, directed by Radu Muntean
Chatroom, directed by Hideo Nakata
Aurora, directed by Cristi Puiu
Ha Ha Ha, directed by Hong Sangsoo
Life Above All, directed by Oliver Schmitz
Octubre, directed by Daniel Vega
R U There, directed by David Verbeek
Rizhao Chongqing, directed by Xiaoshuai Wang

OUT OF COMPETITION
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, directed by Woody Allen
Tamara Drewe, directed by Stephen Frears
Wall Street 2:Money Never Sleeps, directed by Oliver Stone

MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS
Kaboom, directed by Gregg Araki
L’Autre Monde, directed by Gilles Marchand

SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Inside Job, directed by Charles Ferguson
Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, directed by Sophie Fiennes
Nostalgia for the Light, directed by Patricio Guzman
Draquila – L’Italia Che Trema, directed by Sabina Guzzanti
Chantrapas, directed by Otar Iosseliani
Abel, directed by Diego Luna