Todd Haynes, who premiered his glorious documentary about the Velvet Underground in Cannes last year, is back with “May/December.” It’s apparently about a well-known American couple in which the husband is 23 years younger than his wife and their twins are about to graduate from high school. This may be the year of “Yep—there’s an age gap, what of it?”
Johnny Depp, born in 1963, plays King Louis XV in Maiwenn’s “Jeanne du Barry,” which opens the festival out of competition. Maiwenn herself, born in 1976, plays the title character, the King’s favorite mistress. History teaches us that kings, at least of yore, usually get to do pretty much what they want, and their subjects get in trouble if they object. History also teaches us to never underestimate the power of class rankings and appearances. The official trailer exudes lavishness.
It will be released in French theaters the day after it premieres, a spot on the calendar that Fremaux described as “The same day as Bruce Springsteen’s 2nd concert in Paris.”
Last year David Cronenberg pointed out, “I’m older than this Festival.” So is Italian master Marco Bellocchio, whose “Rapito” is in Competition. It’s his 8th time competing in Cannes.
Ken Loach will compete with “The Old Oak.” Fremaux says that when he telephoned Loach to invite him and his film, “He said what he always says, which is ‘Are you sure?’” Loach has often shown his socially conscious and incrementally gripping films in Cannes and is a two-time winner of the Palme. He was born in 1936, and critics wrote that his two previous films were his “last.” Guess not. And hurray for that.
The cast of Wes Anderson’s latest confection, “Asteroid City,” is mouth-watering if your mouth waters at the sight of talent. Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, and Adrian Brody will presumably accompany the film. “To describe this film by Wes Anderson,” Fremaux joshed, “I’ll say it’s a Wes Anderson film.”
I am excited to see “Four Daughters” by Kaouther Ben Hania. I met her when her terrific “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (as much of a critical riff on the international art market as is Ostlund’s “The Square” but with an intensely pertinent political refugee subtext) had been doing interviews in Paris with international journalists for several days and said, bemused, “Journalists keep asking me what it’s like to be a woman director in Tunisia. I can only answer what it’s like to be ME, but we have lots of women directors where I come from. It’s not particularly unusual.”