Since the Official Selection lineup was first unveiled on April 14, Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux has steadily added titles to the list. The latest promises to be a grand affair with The Weinstein Company’s Hands Of Stone set for a Special Screening on Monday, May 16 in homage to star Robert De Niro who will be in attendance.
“I’m excited to be coming back to Cannes especially with this movie, Hands Of Stone, that I’m so proud of,” said De Niro. “This movie is uplifting, triumphant and a good time for audiences, so I’m looking forward to seeing my friends from across the world of cinema in joining us for this fun event.”
The rags-to-riches boxing drama by Venezuelan director Jonathan Jakubowicz tells the story of iconinc Panamanian brawler Roberto Duràn (Edgar Ramirez) and manager and trainer Ray Arcel (De Niro). Duran made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16-year‐old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. He defeated nemesis Sugar Ray Leonard in June 1980, capturing the WBC welterweight title. However, in the rematch that November, Duran shocked the world. He was being outclassed and pummeled by Leonard when he said “No mas,” turned his back on his opponent and quit in the ring. During the course of his career he saw 103 victories in 119 fights.
The film’s title comes from Duran’s nickname, Manos de Piedra. Usher plays Leonard. Ellen Barkin, Ruben Blades and Ana de Armas also star. The Weinstein Co acquired the film in Cannes last year after an all-nighter and will release domestically August 26.
Harvey Weinstein calls Hands Of Stone “vintage De Niro. Anyone who knows Bob, knows what a passion he has for boxing and his huge input into this movie made it very realistic and smart. On behalf of the company, we are thrilled that the Festival de Cannes chose to honor Bob this year with a special screening. It promises to be a fun time and a fantastic night to pay tribute to one of the great men of our industry.”
Raging Bull Oscar winner De Niro has starred in two Palme d’Or-winning films in Cannes, 1976’s Taxi Driver and 1986’s The Mission. In 2011, he was president of the Competition jury.
The Official Selection addition today follows word in late April that Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman will world premiere in Competition. Other additions have included David Mackenzie’s Hell Or High Water in Un Certain Regard and Jean-Francois Richet’s Blood Father, starring Mel Gibson, as a Midnight Special, among others.
Cannes runs May 11-21 and kicks off with Woody Allen’s Café Society out of competition next Wednesday.