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Cannes considering Malick’s “Tree of Life” and more?

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It’s all wishful thinking and informed speculation at this point, but Screen Daily does a pretty great job at compiling a list of films we may hear announced as part of the Cannes Film Festival’s 2011 line up.

The lengthy rundown of international A-list directors working on films that might be ready for the May fest begins with Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” a project shrouded in secrecy that stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn but has teased film aficionados for months. Will it actually play at Cannes? As Screen Daily reports (and IMDB confirms), “Life” has a May 18 release date in France (smack dab in the middle of the Cannes fest). It’s expected to expand to the U.S. on May 27. Cannes seems like the natural place for Malick’s mystery film to bow.

Beyond that, Screen Daily speculates that Pixar’s sequel, “Cars 2,” or Tom Hanks’ directorial effort “Larry Crowne” could look to make a splash with Cannes premieres. It’s also believed that Alexander Payne’s “The Descendents,” starring George Clooney, has a slot locked up.

Outside of the States, several global filmmakers reportedly are prepping stories for competition. Screen Daily believes the following could make a run to Cannes in May, and is keeping an eye on: the Dardenne Brothers (“The Kid With A Bike”); Lynne Ramsay (“We Need To Talk About Kevin”); Nuri Bilge Ceylan (“Once Upon A Time In Anatolia”); Aki Kaurismaki (“LeHavre”); Emanuele Crialese (“Terraferma”); Gus Van Sant (“Restless”); Pawel Pawlikowski (“The Woman In the Fifth”); and Lars Von Trier (“Melancholia”).

And that’s literally just scratching the surface of director’s who potentially could have a film play in or out of competition at Cannes.

The full lineup will be announced on April 14. This year’s fest, which opens with Woody Allen’s “Midnight In Paris,” runs May 11-22.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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