×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: Woody Allen’s ‘Cafe Society’ to Open Film Festival

Woody Allen becomes the first and only director to have three opening night films selected for Cannes.

Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society,” starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, has been selected to open the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. The film will make its world premiere in an out-of-competition slot on May 11, in advance of its release later this year through Amazon Studios, which acquired North American rights to the picture in February.

Allen remains one of the most celebrated American directors in France, and Cannes’ selection no doubt owes to the influence of Stephane Celerier’s Mars Distribution, which has handled the Gallic release of Allen’s recent output, dating the film’s French release for May 11. (Allen’s previous feature, “Irrational Man,” grossed $6.3 million in France — by far the pic’s strongest international box office performance.)

Little is known about Allen’s 46th feature as a director — and his 14th to screen out of competition at Cannes — except that in addition to the romantic reteaming of “American Ultra” leads Stewart and Eisenberg, the cast includes Steve Carell, Parker Posey, Blake Lively, Corey Stoll, Jeannie Berlin and Ken Stott.

Shot in Los Angeles and New York, the film is produced by Allen’s longtime collaborators Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Edward Walson. According to the festival, “The film tells the story of a young man who arrives in Hollywood during the 1930s hoping to work in the film industry, falls in love, and finds himself swept up in the vibrant cafe society that defined the spirit of the age.”

Allen is no stranger to kicking off the world’s most prestigious international film event, having previously done the honors with “Hollywood Ending” (2002) and “Midnight in Paris” (2011), which remains one of Cannes’ best-received curtain-raisers in recent years. This latest selection makes him the first and only director to present three opening-night films at Cannes — four, if you count the 1989 opener, “New York Stories,” a feature-length trilogy of films directed by Allen, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.

(Several filmmakers have scored two Cannes opening-night slots in the past: William Wyler with “Ben-Hur” and “The Collector”; Ridley Scott with “The Duellists” and “Robin Hood”; Luc Besson with “The Big Blue” and “The Fifth Element”; and Baz Luhrmann with “Moulin Rouge” and “The Great Gatsby.” Scorsese, too, if you count both “New York Stories” and “The King of Comedy.”)

After last year’s edition kicked off with French helmer Emmanuelle Bercot’s troubled-youth drama “Standing Tall,” the Allen film will ensure a return to the sort of splashy, star-packed Hollywood fare that Cannes has typically opened with (“Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Great Gatsby”).

The 69th Cannes Film Festival runs May 11-22, and the full official selection will be announced mid-April. As previously reported, Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG” and Jodie Foster’s “Money Monster,” starring George Clooney, Jack O’Connell and Julia Roberts, will screen at the festival.

(Peter Debruge contributed to this report.)

More Film

  • Sam Mendes

    Sam Mendes' World War I Drama '1917' Set for Awards-Season Launch on Christmas 2019

    Universal Pictures has given an awards-season release date of Dec. 25, 2019, to Sam Mendes’ World War I drama “1971.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is producing “1917” through its DreamWorks Pictures brand. “1917” will open in limited release on Christmas Day then go wide two weeks later on Jan. 10, 2020. Mendes wrote the script [...]

  • Ventana Sur Queer Latin Film Panel

    Ventana Sur: Panel Talks Merits, Setbacks in Latin Queer Cinema

    BUENOS AIRES — Four venerable professionals from the cinema world joined on Monday evening for Queer Cinema In Latin America, a frank discussion on Latin America’s role within the queer filmscape for Ventana Sur’s Industry conference series held at the UCA campus in Buenos Aires. Touching on advancements in character arc and notable achievements in [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez 'Absolutely' Wants to Direct Film and Television

    Jennifer Lopez epitomizes the phrase “she’s done it all” — but there’s still more that the superstar would like to do. Lopez recently directed her first music video, “Limitless,” the track featured on her new rom-com “Second Act,” and it seems the multi-hyphenate has caught the directing bug. “Absolutely, absolutely,” Lopez responded when asked by [...]

  • Daniel Craig

    Rian Johnson's Murder Mystery 'Knives Out,' Starring Daniel Craig, Set for Thanksgiving Release

    Lionsgate has bought distribution rights to Daniel Craig’s murder mystery “Knives Out” and set a Thanksgiving release date of Nov. 27. MRC financed “Knives Out,” directed by Rian Johnson — best known for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Lionsgate will also distribute the pic worldwide. The movie came together during the Toronto International Film Festival [...]

  • The favourite Movie

    Olivia Colman to Be Honored by Palm Springs Festival for 'The Favourite'

    “The Favourite” star Olivia Colman will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award by the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The award will be presented by her co-star Emma Stone at the festival’s awards gala on Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival, now in its 30th year, runs from Jan. 3 to [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    Motion Pictures Academy Announces Scientific and Technical Awards

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced nine scientific and technical achievements, represented by 27 individual recipients, to be honored at the annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation Feb. 9 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. In addition, Curtis Clark will be receiving the John A. Bonner Award for his service [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content