Woody Allen’s ‘Café Society’ Confirmed as Opening Night Presentation at Cannes Film Festival
It was just a week ago that the first rumblings of Cannes rumors began to swirl in advance of the prestigious film festival’s official programming announcement in April. As eager film fanatics slumbered with visions of new pictures from Nicolas Winding Refn and Derek Cianfrance dancing in their heads, the Cannes board continued working to assemble a treasure trove of new cinematic offerings for 2016, and now one of the suspected locks has been confirmed. Deadline reports that the latest picture from Woody Allen, the 1930s-set romance Café Society, will make its world debut on the banks of the Croisette, where it will open the festival as the first night’s selection.
The film stars the latest Woody avatar Jesse Eisenberg and ingenue Allen-newcomer Kristen Stewart as a pair of strivers in ‘30s Los Angeles, hoping to break into the biz and rekindling the flame they last ignited in 2009’s wonderful Adventureland. Joining them on the red carpet will be Blake Lively, Parker Posey, Steve Carell, and Corey Stoll, making for what will surely be a star-studded and heavily publicized event for Cannes and the production. (To which Amazon has already laid claim, with an online and theatrical release in the works, though no date has been decided as of yet.) Stewart’s been a big hit in France as of late, winning a Cesar Award — the French Oscar, if you will — last year for her performance in Olivier Assayas’ flat-out brilliant Clouds of Sils Maria, which just so happened to have debuted at Cannes in 2014. Eisenberg was at Cannes just last year, appearing in support of Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs, which U.S. audiences will finally see in theatrical release come April 8.
Those who believed that the stomach-churning charges of sexual impropriety leveled against Allen would change anything may think again. Woody Allen will continue making movies, distributors will continue purchasing them, and festivals will continue programming them. As Lars Von Trier knows full well, it takes a lot more than a tarnished public profile to get shunned from Cannes.