Allen again takes Cannes opening honours

Director is in line for a stellar splash with Cafe Society.

by Richard Mowe

Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eissenberg in Cannes Film Festival opener Cafe Society directed by Woody Allen.
Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eissenberg in Cannes Film Festival opener Cafe Society directed by Woody Allen.

Cannes Film Festival favourite Woody Allen will open the 69th edition of the event on 11 May with an out of competition screening of Cafe Society, his latest opus, which features Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eissenberg.

This will be the fifth time Allen has figured in the Festival’s opening slot after Manhattan in 1979, Hollywood Ending in 2002, Midnight In Paris in 2011 and the trilogy New York Stories in 1989 in which Allen shared the bill with Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.

Allen’s 46th feature as a director also has an all-star cast of Steve Carell, Parker Posey, Blake Lively, Corey Stoll, Jeannie Berlin and Ken Stott. Filming took place in Los Angeles and New York. Eisenberg plays a young man who arrives in Hollywood during the 1930s, hoping to work in the film industry, and finds himself swept up in the vibrant cafe society of the time.

After last year’s low-key opener Standing Tall by Emmanuelle Bercot about a troubled youngster (Rod Paradot) and his relationship with a children’s court judge (Catherine Deneuve), the choice marks a return to a more glamorous and star-spangled occasion.

Allen was in Cannes last year for the premiere of Irrational Man and this marks his 14th film to show on the Riviera, all out of competition.

The Festival which runs from 11 to 22 May will announce its full programme line-up in mid-April.

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