Woody Allen’s newest feature film — Cafe Society — will be the first played at the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. This will be Allen’s third film to open the world-renowned film festival at Cannes, making the director the first (and only) one with three films that have opened at Cannes.
— Festival de Cannes (@Festival_Cannes) March 29, 2016
Cafe Society has made more history than just ejecting Woody Allen to this record-breaking position of having three feature films kicking off the film festival at Cannes, the director’s 46th feature film is also the first Allen film to be shot digitally.
This feature has been announced as a 1930s-romance about a young man, according to the organizers at Cannes, “who arrives in Hollywood during the 1930s hoping to work in the film industry, falls in love, and finds himself swept up in the vibrant cafe society that defined the spirit of the age.”
Cafe Society — which is also the 14th of Woody Allen’s films to be screened at Cannes — also features a star-studded cast, bringing together again “American Ultra’s” on-screen couple, Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg. It also features Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Parker Posey, Blake Lively, Corey Stoll, Jeannie Berlin, and Ken Stott.
Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg are no stranger to Cannes, either — Eisenberg’s film Louder Than Bombs was screened at the festival last year, while Stewart also appeared in 2014 for Clouds of Sils Maria.
With its rising star cast and renowned director — and now this prestigious opening spot at Cannes, Cafe Society is already off to a great start. The last time one of Woody Allen’s films opened Cannes (Midnight in Paris in 2011), it fared extremely well — grossing, according to the LA Times, “more than $150 million worldwide and earned [Allen] an Oscar for original screenplay”
Woody Allen’s other film that opened at Cannes was Hollywood Ending of 2002.
Cafe Society, as the latest of Allen’s films to be screened at Cannes, will not be in competition for the Palm D’Or, the prestigious award that the filmmaker has never received.
Not much is known about the film other than its stars and its opening position at Cannes. No trailer (or teaser) has been released, and Woody Allen (as well as the cast) has been silent on the subject.
Cannes’ announcement of Cafe Society‘s opening position is a return to, according to Variety, “the sort of splashy, star-packed Hollywood fare that Cannes has typically opened with in direct contrast to last year’s opener, Standing Tall, a surprise choice by the French Emmanuelle Bercot.
So Woody Allen’s Cafe Society is the conventional choice for the film festival — the kind of “Hollywood fare” that is bound to gross highly and win some awards.
Cafe Society will be released in the United States as well as France on May 11, the day of its screening in Cannes. Amazon, which bought the North American rights to the film in February, will also release the film to its Prime customers at a later date.
The Cannes Film Festival is set run from the 11 to the 12 of May this year, and — apart from Cafe Society— has already announced Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG” and Jodie Foster’s “Money Monster” as a part of its line-up. The official list of screenings will be available mid-April.
[Photo by Pascal de Segretain/Getty Images]