The Cannes Film Festival has just made a handful of additions to its Official Selection, including Roman Polanski’s Based on a True Story (D’Après Une Histoire Vraie), which will screen out of competition. The Eva Green starrer had been tipped to be part of the lineup originally announced April 13, and its inclusion today comes during a time when the director’s 40-year-old child sex conviction is again in the U.S. courts.
This might be seen as a bold move by the festival, though it consistently has supported the helmer, who resides largely in France. He was last in competition with 2013’s Venus in Fur and won the Palme d’Or for The Pianist in 2002.
Based on a True Story is based on the novel by Delphine de Vigan and co-scripted by Olivier Assayas. It’s centered on a writer who gets involved with an obsessive admirer after the release of her latest book. Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner also stars with Vincent Perez.
With Polanski such a fixture in Cannes — and France — over the years, it will be interesting to see if this film’s presence on the Croisette has a new resonance given the current headlines. The director, who has been in and out of courts these past several years as prosecutors have sought his extradition to the U.S. over the 1977 case, was the subject of an outcry here back in January when he was named honorary president of the César Awards (France’s equivalent to the Oscar) but ended up pulling out after French women’s groups threatened protest.
Leaving aside the controversy, let’s note that Ruben Ostlund’s The Square also was added to the Cannes competition lineup today, moving up from Un Certain Regard. This is the next from the director of 2014’s Force Majeure, which was shortlisted for the Foreign Language Film Oscar, and many felt was snubbed for a nomination.
Added to UCR today are La Cordillera by Santiago Mitre and Walking Past the Future by Li Ruijun. Barbet Schroeder is getting a Special Screening berth with Le Vénérable W., as is Carré 35 from Éric Caravaca.
Cannes has also added a tribute to André Téchiné including his latest film, Nos Années Folles; a Children’s Screening of Zombillénium d’Arthur by Pins and Alexis Ducord; and an event with concert and film by Tony Gatliff.