The heavily anticipated fantasy, which features the voice of British Oscar-winner Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant himself, looks likely to join a number of other Hollywood productions on the Croisette.
The trade bible is heavily tipping Jodie Foster thriller Money Monster, starring George Clooney as a flamboyant financial TV expert held hostage by a man who took his advice on the stock market, for a debut in the south of France. Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, starring Kristen Stewart, Bruce Willis and Jesse Eisenberg, will reportedly debut out of competition, while Sean Penn’s The Last Face, with Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem as aid workers who fall in love in Liberia, is expected to compete for the Palme D’Or.
British films tipped for a competition place are Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, his 70s-set crime thriller followup to the British director’s current critical smash High Rise, and Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, the Cannes stalwart’s drama about an injured carpenter and single mother struggling to get by on welfare. Spanish Cannes perennial Pedro Almodóvar looks likely to present femme-powered drama Julieta, while Holland’s former Hollywood powerhouse Paul Verhoeven could compete with thriller Elle, starring Isabelle Huppert as a woman who fights back after being attacked during a burglary. New films from Belgian festival favourites The Dardennes Brothers (The Unknown Girl), Canada’s Xavier Dolan (It’s Only the End of the World) and Iran’s Asghar Farhadi, whose proposed film remains untitled, are also expected to make the main selection.
French film-makers set to compete for the Palme D’Or include Bruno Dumont, with period comedy Slack Bay, and Olivier Assayas, whose film Personal Shopper also stars Stewart. Also in with a shout of a competition place are Arnaud des Pallieres’ Orpheline, starring Adele Exarchopoulos and Gemma Arteton, and Bertrand Bonello’s Paris Is Happening, the potentially controversial tale of a bombing attack on the city by young people who feel disenfranchised by society.
According to Variety, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s much-hyped female-fronted horror The Neon Demon could miss out on a competition place, while Cannes president Thierry Fremaux is desperate for (but unlikely to get) a world premiere for Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated Japanese-set period piece Silence. Likewise Oscar-tipped dramas Manchester By the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan) and Snowden (Oliver Stone) are likely to be held back by their respective distributors until closer to the 2017 awards season.
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Friday 25th March 2016 17.07 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010