The Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, have directed the most talked-about film at the Cannes Film Festival thus far and are clearly the frontrunners at this point for the festival's prestigious Palme d'Or trophy. Stories about talented entertainers who have faced punishing hardship before achieving success have been a stock item in Hollywood since the industry's beginnings. But the Coens with Inside Llewyn Davis tell the story of a talented performer (played by relative newcomer Oscar Isaac in a performance that will likely earn him an Oscar nomination) who faces punishing hardship only to achieve failure. At a news conference following the screening of the movie on Sunday, Justin Timberlake, who has a featured role in the movie, said that he has seen the likes of the character in real life. You meet so many talented people along the way that for some reason or other don't get heard, he said. Success, he suggested, often is hinged to plain luck. I've been in the right place and met the wrong people. I've been in the wrong place and met the right people. And usually the second one ends up being the thing that can catapult someone's career. CBS Films plans to distribute the film in December to put it into awards competition. Given the kind of praise it has been receiving from critics at Cannes (Manohla Dargis in The New York Times called it the kind of great work that cuts right through the noise, frivolity and cross-branding that at any given moment threaten to overshadow Cannes), it could wind up becoming the struggling studio's first bona fide hit.