Mike Leigh in competition in Cannes
Mike Leigh’s new film Another Year is the only British film to be selected for the official competition at Cannes this year. The comedy drama, starring Leigh-regulars Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville and Imelda Staunton, tells the story of a happily married middle aged couple who have to put up with everyone else’s problems. The sixty seven year old director is a Cannes-favourite, having won the Palme d’Or with Secrets and Lies in 1996 and being nominated again in 2002 for All Or Nothing.
It will be up against Doug Liman’s Fair Game, an American spy thriller, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
Other films in competition include the latest from Alejandro Gonzalez Inaritu (biutiful), Abbas Kiarostami (Copie Conforme), Takeshi Kitano (outrage) and Bertrand Tavernier (La Princesse de Montpenier).
Stephen Frears will be screening his new film, Tamara Drewe, out of competition. It stars Gemma Arterton in the title role and features Dominic Cooper and Tamsin Greig, in an adaptation of the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds.
Woody Allen’s London-set You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, starring Naomi Watts and Sir Anthony Hopkins, will also be screening out of competition, as will Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
A British film in the Un Certain Regard festival side-bar is Chatroom – about disenchanted youths who meet online. It stars Aaron Johnson and Imogen Poots and is directed by the Japanese horror director Hideo Nakata.
This year’s jury, headed by Tim Burton, will also include the actors Kate Beckinsale and Benicio Del Toro and the director Shekhar Kapur.
The festival opens with Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, on May 12.