Matthew Mcconaughey and Scarlett Johansson have picked up top prizes at the Rome Film Festival in Italy. The two stars, who recently teamed up to play lovers in a new Dolce & Gabbana scent ad, were named Best Actor and Best Actress for their roles in Dallas Buyers Club and Her, respectively.
In Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey plays a real-life AIDS victim and activist, while Johansson portrays the voice of a computer operating system in Spike Jonze's new film.
Documentary Tir won the festival's Best Film prize, becoming the first Italian movie to win the big award since the event began in 2006.
Japan's Kiyoshi Kurosawa won the Best Director award for his thriller Seventh Code, while Dallas Buyers Club also won the Audience Prize at Saturday's (16Nov13) ceremony.
Two prominent American directors, Clint Eastwood and Gus Van Sant, will compete for the top prize at this year's prestigious Cannes Film Festival, it was announced Wednesday.
Eastwood's suspense thriller Mystic River, which stars Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins, is one of the top contenders for the coveted Palme d'Or, given to the best feature film winner. The film, scheduled for release stateside Oct. 3, 2003, revolves around three childhood friends who are reunited 25 years later when they become linked to a murder investigation.
Good Will Hunting director Van Sant will present Elephant, a film focusing on high school violence.
Also in competition is British director Peter Greenaway's period drama, The Tulse Luper Suitcase, starring J.J. Field and Kathy Bates. The epic tale follows 92 characters, 92 events, and 92 suitcases from the year 1928 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This is the director's third Palme d'Or nomination.
Danish director Lars von Trier, who won the Palme d'Or two years ago for the musical Dancer in the Dark, will show his new thriller Dogville. The film stars Nicole Kidman as a woman on the run who takes refuge in a small town inhabited by an anguished apple grower, his wife and their seven children.
French director Patrice Chereau, actress Meg Ryan and director Steven Soderbergh are in this year's jury.
Celebs expected at this year's festival include Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Lauren Bacall, Laurence Fishburne, Keanu Reeves, Monica Bellucci, Toni Collette and James Caan.
The 56th Cannes Film Festival opens May 14 in Paris with Penelope Cruz's new comedy Fanfan la Tulipe, a remake of the 1952 French film starring Gina Lollobrigida.
The French festival also showcases international films out of competition. Warner Bros.' highly anticipated sci-fi sequel The Matrix: Reloaded premieres worldwide May 15 on the festival's second day.
The festival closes on May 25.
Here is the complete list of films in competition:
Les Invasions Barbares, Denys Arcand, Canada
Il Cuore Altrove, Pupi Avati, Italy
Carandiru, Hector Babenco, Brazil
Uzak, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey
Mystic River, Clint Eastwood, United States
The Brown Bunny, Vincent Gallo, United States
The Moab Story/The Tulse Luper Suitcases--Part I, Peter Greenaway, Britain
Shara, Naomi Kawase, Japan
Akarui Mirai, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan
A Cinq Heures de l'Apres-Midi, Samira Makhmalbaf, Iran
Ce Jour-La, Raoul Ruiz, Switzerland
Father and Son, Alexandre Sokorov, Russia
Dogville, Lars von Trier, Denmark
Elephant, Gus Van Sant, United States
Purple Butterfly, Lu Ye, China
Les Cotelettes, Bertrand Blier, France
La Petite Lili, Claude Miller, France
Swimming Pool, Francois Ozon, France
Les Egares, Andre Techine, France
Tiresia, Bertand Bonello, France
Out of competition:
Le Temps Du Loup, Michael Haneke, France
Vai E Vem, Joao Cesar Monteiro, Portugal
Mansion by the Lake, Lester James Peries, Sri Lanka
The Matrix: Reloaded, Andy and Larry Wachowski, United States
Les Triplettes de Belleville, Sylvain Chomet, France
Qui A Tué Bambi?, Gilles Marchand, France
As film festivals have become ubiquitous, status and distinction have become increasingly important. And no festival has the status and distinction that the Cannes International Film Festival has.
Nothing can beat the mix of midwinter sun, Cannes cachet, bonhomie, expensive sunglasses and the eclectic smorgasbord of big-bucks productions and auteur-driven independents.
The 54th edition of the film festival, which began Wednesday, doesn't disappoint.
The festival's festivities will kick off - literally - with a lavish and luscious flick, Moulin Rouge. A cancan revue, backed by the film's interior sets, will take place near Cannes' old port, starting the party, and the film's buzz should dominate the first day.
The $50 million dollar production is the first of 23 films to be entered in competition for the Palme d'Or. Moulin Rouge, starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, tells the tale of doomed love between a cabaret star and a young poet. Director Baz Luhrman is no stranger to Cannes: his Strictly Ballroom screened there in 1992.
DreamWorks' much ballyhooed animated adventure film Shrek also is in the competition field. Featuring the voice talents of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy, Shrek is the first feature animation in 48 years to be assigned to the competition field. Shrek's showing at Cannes will be the world premiere for the film, as it doesn't open nationally in the United States until Friday, May 18.
Three other American films will vie for the coveted Palme d'Or award. Joel and Ethan Coen return to the red carpet with The Man Who Wasn't There, starring Frances McDormand (Fargo, Almost Famous) and Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade, Pushing Tin). Jack Nicholson stars in the Sean Penn-lensed stark mystery, The Pledge. And David Lynch returns to his dark, twisted side, with Mulholland Drive, Lynch's unique take on Los Angeles life.
Of the 18 other films in competition, ones to watch include:
Two-time Palme d'Or winner Shohei Imamura's Lukewarm Water Under The Bridge;
Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf portrays the plight of Afghani women in Sun Behind The Moon;
Danis Tanovic's No Man's Land, the first entry by a Bosnian;
Acclaimed Japanese director Shinji Aoyama's Desert Moon; and
French new wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard's Eloge de l'amour.
But not all the excitement is reserved for those in competition. American films headline the Un Certain Regard category, Cannes' second tier of films, including noted indie artist Hal Hartley's No Such Thing - a woman falls in love with a monster, set in Iceland - and the digital video project featuring Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Anniversary Party.
France and Japan also have an impressive presence in this category. The French film with the most buzz is Claire Denis' science fiction thriller, Trouble Every Day. Starring Beatrice Dalle (Betty Blue), the seemingly normal denizens of Paris are turning into cannibals.
Exploring a more current topic - and one that happens to affect most people - Japan's Kiyoshi Kurosawa releases Kairo, a computer-virus action flick. Needless to say, download the trailer to your home PC at your own risk.
Francis Ford Coppola is making a splash on the beach at Cannes, without even entering any competition. Twenty-two years after Apocalypse Now won a Palme d'Or, the movie returns, this time with 53 minutes of footage that's never been seen before.
Coppola's son Roman is following in Dad's footsteps, showing his new film C.Q. Cannes also screened last year The Virgin Suicides, directed by Coppla's daughter, Sofia.
The fortnight of film will end Sunday, May 20, with a showing of Savage Souls, by France's Raoul Ruiz.