While there were rumblings that some other high profile films might open this year’s Cannes Film Festival including Terrence Malick‘s “The Tree Of Life” and “Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the organizers have resisted the allure of the tentpole and have gone with a still relatively safe choice, selecting Woody Allen‘s “Midnight In Paris” to kick off festivities.
The film is a romantic comedy that follows a family traveling to the titular city for business, including a young engaged couple who have their lives transformed throughout the journey. The film celebrates a young man’s great love for Paris, and simultaneously explores the illusion people have that a life different from their own is better. So yeah, your standard Allen film. So why then did Cannes opt for it to open the fest? Just take a look at the cast which features both A-list talent and Gallic stars: Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Adrien Brody, Nina Arianda, Corey Stoll, Mimi Kennedy, Kurt Fullerby, Carla Bruni, Léa Seydoux and French comedians Gad Elmaleh and Manu Payet. This is a red carpet wet dream.
But honestly, its a refreshing change and given that France absolutely adores Woody Allen, it should be a wonderful way to kick off what is shaping up to be a very promising Cannes Film Festival. If you can’t make it to the Croisette don’t worry — Sony Pictures Classics have already picked up the film and it will hit theaters later this year.
The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 11-22.