Australia will be racing for Cannes gold this year with Nicole Kidman and Kylie Minogue lighting up the red carpet and two directors from Down Under competing for the Palme d’Or.
With a month to go until the May 16-27 event on the French Riviera, organisers Thursday named the 22 films in the main competition at the world cinema showcase, with Australia looming large in the selection.
Kidman stars in the 1960s-set thriller “The Paperboy” by Lee Daniels, alongside Zav Efron and John Cusack. The US director won a warm reception in Cannes three years ago for his last film “Precious”, about an obese black girl from Harlem.
The Australian-American actress also stars in Philip Kaufman’s “Hemingway and Gellhorn”, shown out of competition, in which she plays the American writer’s war reporter third wife Martha Gellhorn, opposite the British actor Clive Owen.
Pop icon Minogue stars opposite Eva Mendes in “Holy Motors”, by the edgy French director Leos Carax, about a man who constantly changes identities.
Andrew Dominik, the Australian director of “The Assassination of Jesse James”, reteamed with Brad Pitt for the gangster thriller “Killing Them Softly”, set to inject a dose of stylish violence to the race for the Palme d’Or.
And Jessica Chastain, co-star of last year’s Palme d’Or winner “The Tree of Life”, returns to Cannes in “Lawless”, a film about bootleggers by Australia’s John Hillcoat, also competing for the top prize.