Harrelson and Pattinson head for Deauville

Organisers announce Competition celebration of US film

by Richard Mowe

Deauville bound: (from left) Sadie Sink, Charlie Shotwell, Woody Harrelson, Ella Anderson, Naomi Watts and Eden Grace Redfield in The Glass Castle, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.
Deauville bound: (from left) Sadie Sink, Charlie Shotwell, Woody Harrelson, Ella Anderson, Naomi Watts and Eden Grace Redfield in The Glass Castle, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. Photo: Jake Giles Netter/Lionsgate
Both Woody Harrelson and Twilight star Robert Pattinson have been added to the pool of stellar talent who will receive a special focus at the Deauville Festival of American Cinema, it was announced today (August 22) by the organisers.

Harrelson will be present at the Normandy resort to present his new film The Glass Castle, based on Jeannette Walls' best-selling memoir about her family's tortured upbringing moving around the country and living in poverty with parents who were obsessed with being free of convention. The cast features Brie Larson as Jeannette, Naomi Watts as her mother and Harrelson as her dad, Rex, an alcoholic whose rages and redemptions loomed large over his family. Harrelson is currently shooting a new Stars Wars film in London and will also be seen in London Film Festival closing movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

The Rider which took top prize in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight section
The Rider which took top prize in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight section Photo: Cannes Film Festival
Pattinson will join Harrelson and other previously announced guests Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Rodriguez and Darren Aronofsky. He will present Good Time, first seen earlier in the year as part of the Cannes Film Festival Competition, in which he plays a small-time criminal trying to break his brother out of custody. It’s by New York based siblings Josh and Benny Safdie.

The organisers also announced the range of films which will compete in the Competition under a jury headed by The Artist’s Michel Hazanavicius.

The line-up includes A Ghost Story (currently on UK release), David Lowery’s evocative follow-up to Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara and the comedy drama The Bachelors, by writer-director Kurt Voelker with Julie Delpy and JK Simmons as a widow moving out of a small-town with his teenage son to Los Angeles for a fresh start.

Bruno Barde, the festival’s director, said: “The Competition reflects an America that is breaking apart, a troubled America, one in which the youth is in search of both its roots and its future. Sometimes violence clashes with morality and hope. The premieres often illustrate an America in which illusion looms larger than reality, an effect that is countered by the documentaries, notably depicting an America shifting from Easy Rider to Trump.”

The keenly watched section Uncle Sam Documentaries, includes Becoming Cary Grant, narrated by Jonathan Pryce, which reveals "the man behind the mask he wore to hide his insecurities, a mask of subtle charm and suave sophistication."

The rest of the Competition for the 43rd edition comprises:
Beach Rats by Eliza Hittman
Blue Print by Daryl Wein
Menasche by Joshua Z Weinstein
Gook by Justin Chon
Ingrid Goes West by Matt Spicer
Katie Says Goodbye by Wayne Roberts
Mary by Marc Webb
My Friend Dahmer by Marc Mayers
The Rider by Chloe Zhao
Stupid Things by Amman Abbasi
Sweet Virginia by Jamie M Dagg
They by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh

Besides Hazanavicius the jury includes Benjamin Biolay, Emmanuelle Devos, Clotilde Hesme, Eric Lartigau, Charlotte le Bon, Michel Leclerc, Yasmina Reza, Axelle Ropert and Alice Winocour.

They will award two prizes at the closing ceremony on September 10: the Grand Prix and the Jury Prize. The Deauville Festival of American Cinema starts on September 1.

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