Woody Allen Leads Pack at Cannes With ‘Cafe Society’ by the Forward

Woody Allen Leads Pack at Cannes With ‘Cafe Society’

Image by Getty Images

The 69th Cannes Film Festival has what it takes to be a vintage edition, with Woody Allen leading a pack of celebrated filmmakers presenting their movies to the French Riviera crowds.

The May 11-22 cinema extravaganza opens on Wednesday with Allen’s “Cafe Society,” featuring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in a story of a young man who arrives in Hollywood during the 1930s hoping to work in the film industry.

“When we will be old we will tell our children you know I was living at a time when Woody Allen’s films were coming out, and I think he’s one of the greatest auteurs,” festival director Thierry Fremaux told Reuters.

Although he has never been in competition, Allen is a Cannes favorite. This year will be the third time he has opened the festival, and several other familiar faces will be presenting their films in the main competition.

“This year the competition is mostly Cannes favorites, Cannes darlings,” Variety critic Jay Weissberg told Reuters.

“Fremaux is someone who likes to reward his friends, he’s somebody who likes to have the people he knows come back year after year after year.”

The Dardenne brothers, who present “The Unknown Girl,” have won the festival’s highest distinction, the Palme d’Or, twice.

Ken Loach, in Cannes with “I, Daniel Blake” has won it once, while Bruno Dumont; Jim Jarmusch, who is showing two films including a documentary on Iggy Pop; Park Chan-wook; and Pedro Almodovar have all previously scooped other honors.

Jarmusch’s films are two of five distributed by Amazon as the video streaming giant makes its first appearance in Cannes.

While the competition films bring much of the prestige, some of the red carpet glitz will surround some of the out of competition screenings, such as Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG,” based on the novel by Roald Dahl.

Oscar-winner Julia Roberts makes her Cannes debut in Jodie Foster’s out-of competition film “Money Monster,” alongside George Clooney.

“Twilight” star Stewart has been labeled queen of the festival by organizers as she features in “Cafe Society” as well as Olivier Assayas’s “Personal Shopper,” which is vying for the Palme d’Or crown.

Despite the glamour, security will be intense as France is still facing a high risk of attack.

Private security officers will control the Palais des Festivals entry points while “hundreds” of police officers will be deployed as France is still under a state of emergency after last year’s Paris attacks killed 130 people.—Reuters


Woody Allen Leads Pack at Cannes With ‘Cafe Society’

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Woody Allen Leads Pack at Cannes With ‘Cafe Society’

Thank you!

This article has been sent!