Alexander Payne and James Gray could feature heavily during this year's awards' season.
The line-up for the Cannes Film Festival 2013 has been announced and with it, a clearer picture of the possible contenders for the Oscars in February 2014. In a hugely American-heavy shortlist, Cannes will welcome the likes of Alexander Payne, Joel and Ethan Coen, Steven Soderbergh, James Gray, James Franco, Sofia Coppola, all opening up their latest efforts to the scrutiny of Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who sits at the head of the jury this time around. The selected movies - announced in a press conference and via Twitter on Thursday - look certain to make it an A-list affair, with the likes of Ryan Gosling, Mila Kunis, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake and Robert Redford attached to some of the movies screening. There was no place for Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine) or Lee Daniels (The Butler) however, despite speculation as to possible entries.
Of course it's possible the Oscar winner for Best Picture in 2014 will not feature at Cannes - last year's entries included Moonrise Kingdom, On The Road, Cosmopolis, Rust & Bone, Killing Them Softly and The Paperboy, with the eventual Palme d'Or winner emerging in the shape of Michael Haneke's Amour - however, this time it looks likely that we may get a glimpse of the potential Oscar winner.
The main competition includes Alexander Payne's hotly tipped Nebraska, a father-son road-trip movie that Paramount Pictures plans to release as Oscar-bait in the fall. According to the Los Angeles Times, many had expected the film, starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte, to wait for the late-summer festivals, though it will now premiere in France. Elsewhere, Soderbergh's HBO financed movie Behind the Candelabra about the flamboyant pianist Liberace stars Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. It appears to the director's last work for some time.
The Coen Brothers make their first trip to Cannes since 2007, when No Country for Old Man established itself as an worthy Oscar winner. The pair will be hoping for the same with Inside Llewyn Davis, about the Greenwich folk scene of the 1960s. It stars Oscar Isaac as a musician loosely based on Dave Von Ronk, with Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake in supporting roles. However, it's James Gray's first movie in five years The Immigrant that appears to carry the most Oscars appeal. Acquired by the Weinstein Co and starring Joaquin Phoenix, the period story focuses on Ellis Island and vaudeville performances. Expect Phoenix to be there or there abouts at the Academy Awards.
Joaquin Phoenix Shooting James Gray's The Immigrant In New York