Cannes Film Festival 2009: Ready your browsers
Pop quiz: How many tuxedos can fit into an airplane closet? The answer may well be tested this week as film industry types all over the world take off for France for moviedom's biggest party-slash–trade convention, the Cannes Film Festival, which opens on Wednesday with Pixar's Up. In terms of attendance, this year's edition will likely be scaled back because of the recession, but in terms of the prestige of the selection, it could hardly be more hyped. Variety has already dubbed it Cannes's "biggest heavyweight auteur smackdown in recent years," and based purely on past histories—that is to say, without seeing the new movies—it looks like the 20-film competition for this year's Palme d'Or will be a bout to remember.
Will the coveted award go to Michael Haneke, for instance, who was considered snubbed in 2005 for Caché? Or perhaps Pedro Almodóvar, who was supposed to win in 2006 for Volver? What about Tsai Ming-liang, whose Truffaut homage Face won't unspool until festival's end? Or Quentin Tarantino, who won in 1994 for Pulp Fiction and who's already boasted that his latest, Inglourious Basterds, is a masterpiece? I haven't even mentioned such familiar names as Ang Lee, Jane Campion, Park Chan-wook, Lars von Trier and Alain Resnais. Check back this week and next for our correspondent's updates from the Croisette.