Woody Allen's out. Terrence Malick's a mystery, but Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart star in likely Cannes entries
Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, Michael Haneke and David Cronenberg, will probably be walking the red carpet at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Woody Allen, after debuting his last two films at the festival, won't.
And as for last year's Palme d'Or winner, the elusive Terrence Malick – who knows?
But speculation runs rampant about which upcoming titles will land on the Croisette. And that speculation is particularly heated after a year in which three Cannes debuts – Allen's "Midnight in Paris," Malick's "The Tree of Life" and Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist" – received Oscar Best Picture nominations, the last of them taking home the top prize.
The consensus among Cannes-watchers is that Malick's new film, "The Funeral," will debut at Cannes if the notoriously painstaking director finishes it in time. Of course, "The Tree of Life" was widely rumored to be debuting at the festival in 2010, and it ended up missing that deadline by a full year.
The outlook for "The Funeral," which stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem and Rachel Weisz, also is far from certain.
Allen, meanwhile, has opted to open his new film in Italy in late April rather than taking it to Cannes, where "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" screened and where "Midnight in Paris" served as the festival's opening-night film last year. (The film will be released in the U.S. on June 22 by Sony Pictures Classics.)
Amid all the question marks, here are 10 films that could well make the cut – though Cannes is often unpredictable, as are post-production schedules.
As usual for Cannes, the lineup will no doubt be longer on European auteurs than American movie stars. And Pattinson and Stewart will be on hand not to promote the next "Twilight" installment, but on behalf of two smaller films in which they appear separately.
"Cogan's Trade," Andrew Dominick. Brad Pitt (top) reunited with the director of "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" for a film (previously titled "Killing Them Softly") in which the actor investigates a mob heist. Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini also star in the Weinstein Co. release, which will open in September, presumably following a festival debut.
"Cosmopolis," David Cronenberg. An adaptation of Don DeLillo's Wall Street thriller could again bring out the dark side of director Cronenberg ("A Dangerous Method," "Eastern Promises"), though he raised a few eyebrows with his choice of "Twilight" star Pattinson (right) in the lead role.
"The End," Abbas Kiarostami. The Iranian director made a splash at Cannes two years ago with "Certified Copy," for which Juliette Binoche won the festival's best actress prize. This film is reportedly a continuation of that one, although it is set in Japan and shot in Japanese with a cast that includes Aoi Miyazaki.
"Holly Motors," Leos Carax. Eva Mendes, Denis Lavant and Kylie Minogue are among the stars of Carax's low-budget film about a businessman who leads parallel lives as a beggar and a murderer. It is the director's first feature since "Pola X," which was a Cannes entry in 1999.
"In the House" "("Dans la maison"), Francois Ozon. If Ozon can finish this follow-up to the well-received "Potiche" in time for Cannes, the comedic drama starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Kristin Scott-Thomas is a good bet to make the lineup. The film is adapted from a stage play by Juan Mayorga, and deals with a French teacher and a mysterious young student in his class.
"Lawrence Anyways," Xavier Dolan. The French-Canadian enfant terrible Dolan is working his way through the Cannes ranks, where "I Killed My Mother" screened in the Directors Fortnight in 2009 and "Heartbeats" made it into Un Certain Regard the following year. "Lawrence" stars Nathalie Baye as a woman in a relationship with a man who's undergoing a sex change.
"Love" ("Amour"), Michael Haneke. Nearly every Haneke movie has debuted at Cannes, and "The White Ribbon" won the Palme d'Or in 2009. "Love" stars Isabelle Huppert as a pianist who is partially paralyzed after a stroke.
"On the Road," Walter Salles. Jack Kerouac's quintessentially American story took a Brazilian director (Salles), English leading man (Sam Riley) and Australian and French producers (Rebecca Yeldham and Nathanael Karmitz, respectively) to finally get made, so it makes some kind of sense for it to bow at Cannes. Garrett Hedlund, Steve Buscemi, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Terrence Howard and Kristen Stewart (right) could fill a star-studded red carpet.
"Rust and Bone" ("Un gout de rouille et d'os"), Jacques Audiard. The director's last film, "A Prophet," debuted at Cannes and won the Grand Prize, and his new one was partially shot in the city. It stars Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts and has been acquired by Sony Classics.
"Something in the Air" ("Apres Mai"), Olivier Assayas. A 2011 Cannes juror, Assayas could well find himself being judged for this partly autobiographical story set in Paris in the 1970s. Clement Matayer and Lola Creton star.
Other potential Cannes entries include Alain Resnais' "Vous n'avez encore rien vu," Ken Loach's "The Angel's Share," Cristian Mungiu's "Beyond the Hills," Pablo Trapero's "Elefante Blanco," Wong Kar-Wai's "The Grandmasters," Carlos Reygadas' "Post Tenebras Lux" and Koji Wakamatsu's "Mishima."
"The Place Beyond the Pines" could find its place at Cannes if "Blue Valentine" director Derek Cianfrance finishes it in time, while Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" would be a high-profile addition in the unlikely event that it is ready.
The Sundance sensation "Beasts of the Southern Wild," the Stanley Kubrick documentary "Room 237" and Michel Gondry's "The We and the I" could also show up. John Hillcoat's "Lawless" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" are likelier for Venice, Telluride or Toronto.
And while the speculation continues, Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux is currently figuring out who's in and who's out. The final verdict will come on April 19.