Cannes film festival puts spotlight on rising stars

Fri May 11, 2012 7:55am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Rising stars will compete against established Hollywood names for the limelight at this year's Cannes film festival, with Robert Pattinson, Zac Efron, Kristen Stewart and Shia LaBeouf all appearing in highly anticipated movies.

They will rub shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman, as well as some of the great names in directing, at the world's biggest and most glamorous cinema showcase.

"I think there's a whole new wave of acting talent that has come in on to the scene literally in the last couple of years," Australian director John Hillcoat told Reuters.

His competition movie "Lawless", a Depression-era gangster tale, features Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Labeouf and Mia Wasikowska among others, and he also singled out Michael Fassbender as an example of fresh talent coming to the fore.

"It's been a while since we've had (young) actors that have that kind of range, depth, gravitas and intensity that this wave of actors do."

Cannes organizers will be keen to avoid the controversy that overshadowed last year's edition -- Danish director Lars Von Trier was banned after making Nazi jokes at a press conference, a decision criticized by many festival goers.

Film critics have at least given organizers the thumbs up for their selection of movies in 2012, although what looks promising on paper does not always make for a good festival.

Opening the whirlwind fortnight of screenings, parties and publicity campaigns on Wednesday is the glitzy world premiere of Wes Anderson's children's fantasy "Moonrise Kingdom", starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis and Tilda Swinton.   Continued...

A palm tree is seen behind a Cannes logo May 10, 2010. The Cannes Film Festival, the world's biggest, runs from May 12 to 23. REUTERS/Yves Herman