<p>Robin Wright in &quot;The Congress.&quot;</p>

Robin Wright in "The Congress."

Credit: Opus Film

Ari Folman's 'The Congress' to open Directors' Fortnight at Cannes

Robin Wright-starring sci-fi was a surprise exclusion from the Official Selection

When the Official Selection for this year's Cannes Film Festival was announced on Thursday, the film I was perhaps most surprised to see left out was Ari Folman's "The Congress." The film was ready in time for the festival, advance whisperings were positive, it has red carpet-friendly stars in Robin Wright and Jon Hamm -- and, of course, Folman's last film, the Oscar-nominated "Waltz With Bashir," was a hit in Competition five years ago. What gives?

Well, now we know: "The Congress" has been selected as the opening film for Directors' Fortnight, the independently programmed sidebar that runs parallel to the main festival on the other end of the Croisette.

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<p>Seth&nbsp;MacFarlane hosting the 85th annual Academy&nbsp;Awards</p>

Seth MacFarlane hosting the 85th annual Academy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Report: 2014 Oscars producers have asked Seth MacFarlane to host again

If so, would he really want to do it?

Recently Academy president Hawk Koch made his mark on the 2014 Oscar ceremony, despite the fact that he's only serving one year in the position and probably shouldn't be making decisions on the next Academy Awards, by tapping producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to come back on board. Citing a need to maintain "consistency," Koch sang the producers' praises, despite the production being criticized for tastelessness in many quarters.

If consistency is what they're after then it only stands to reason that Zadan and Meron would like to bring host Seth MacFarlane back on board. But that'll never happen, right? From the horse's mouth, MacFarlane said "no way" when asked if he would ever come back to emcee the show. Well, not so fast…

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<p>Police in tactical gear conduct a search for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Mass.</p>

Police in tactical gear conduct a search for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Mass.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

David O. Russell's 'American Hustle' halts production amid Boston area manhunt

The production is 'heeding the Governor's request to remain indoors'

I imagine like everyone else, you've been glued to the TV and the internet watching the events of the last 14 hours or so unfold. I flew into Los Angeles from New York yesterday and was watching all the news about the FBI's release of video and photos featuring the Boston Marathon suspects, asking for help in identifying them. Then just a half hour before landing, the news break on shots being fired at MIT hit. An hour or so later I'm in the car on the way home watching Twitter explode with the hard work of newspaper reporters on the scene in Watertown unfold in real time. This situation has obviously dominated our attention.

And today comes news that it affects our little, insignificant sliver of the world. David O. Russell's latest film about the 1970s ABSCAM FBI sting, recently re-titled "American Hustle," has shut down production because of the on-going manhunt for 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Deadline reports that "the production is heeding the Governor's request to remain indoors," those words coming from a Sony spokesperson.

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<p>&quot;The East&quot;&nbsp;opens in limited release on May 31.</p>

"The East" opens in limited release on May 31.

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgard and Brit Marling in new photos from 'The East'

Zal Batmanglij's second feature film played at Sundance in January

Zal Batmanglij is building a solid rep and career so far with co-collaborator, actress Brit Marling. Marling starred in his 2011 Sundance hit "Sound of My Voice," which landed a pair of Independent Spirit Award nominations last year (it was held for an April 2012 release). And "The East" took goodwill from Sundance this year right into SXSW as it aims for an early summer release.

"I very much understand people's frustration that I think most are feeling right now in our society," Ellen Page told HitFix back in January, "about corporate greed, about what we're doing to the environment. I think the film asks a lot of questions and does it in this way that is ethically sticky and murky, which is great."

Fox Searchlight has passed along a new set of production stills from the film, featuring Page, Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård and "Batman" himself. Click on through to take a look.

"The East" opens in limited release on May 31.

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<p>Harvey&nbsp;Weinstein soaks it up at the Cannes Film&nbsp;Festival</p>

Harvey Weinstein soaks it up at the Cannes Film Festival

Credit: AP Photo

Cannes 2013: Harvey hits the Croisette again

The Hollywood mogul has found fertile positioning turf at the annual France fest

Harvey Weinstein has been using the Cannes Film Festival to position The Weinstein Company's awards hopefuls nicely the last few years. How are things shaping up for the 66th annual? First, a brief history...

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<p>Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in &quot;Behind the Candelabra.&quot;</p>

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in "Behind the Candelabra."

Credit: HBO

US and France dominate a big-name Cannes Film Festival lineup

Un Certain Regard is kinder to female directors than the Competition

We were expecting an all-star lineup for this year's Cannes Film Festival, and that's pretty much what fest director Thierry Fremaux delivered at this morning's press conference -- though not without a few surprises along the way. Barring later additions, 19 Competition films will vie for the Palme d'Or; among them are such hotly anticipated auteur titles as Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," James Gray's "The Immigrant" (formerly known as "Lowlife"), Joel and Ethan Coen's "Inside Llewyn Davis," Steven Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra," Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives" and Roman Polanski's "Venus in Furs."

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<p>Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix in &quot;The Immigrant.&quot;</p>

Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix in "The Immigrant."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Cannes lineup includes Payne, Soderbergh, Polanski, Coens, Refn... and James Franco

19 films are vying for the Palme d'Or

Right, the waiting is over. Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux has announced a name-heavy Official Selection for this year's fest. Among the 19 Competition films vying for the Palme d'Or are Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," James Gray's "The Immigrant," Joel and Ethan Coen's "Inside Llewyn Davis," Steven Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra," Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives" and Roman Polanski's "Venus in Furs." The indefatigable James Franco, meanwhile, shows up in Un Certain Regard. More detailed commentary here, while you can check out the full lineup after the jump. 

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<p>Emma Watson in &quot;The Bling Ring.&quot;</p>

Emma Watson in "The Bling Ring."

Credit: A24

Sofia Coppola's 'Bling Ring' to open Un Certain Regard at Cannes, as full lineup looms

Thomas Vinterberg tapped to head Un Certain Regard jury

It's practically Christmas Eve in the cinephile realm today, as we await tomorrow morning's unveiling of the full Cannes Film Festival lineup -- the press conference begins at 11am in Paris, or 2am PST -- with varying degrees of impatience. Some are so eager they'll go so far as forging a "leaked" lineup, but we'll get to that in a bit.

But first, with "The Great Gatsby" and "Zulu" confirmed as the festival's opener and closer, respectively, a third feature has been formally announced as part of the Official Selection: Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring."

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<p>Nora Ephron</p>

Nora Ephron

Credit: AP Photo/Charles Sykes

Tribeca Film Festival introduces Nora Ephron Prize for female filmmakers

$25,000 prize will go to filmmaker who best embodies the spirit of Ephron

Nearly a year on from Nora Ephron's death, the caustic New York-based writer and filmmaker is still very much on the collective mind of her home city. Ephron's final play, "Lucky Guy" -- which Kris described as "perhaps the best thing [she] ever wrote" in his extensive appreciation last month -- is currently one of the hottest tickets on Broadway. Meanwhile, the Tribeca Film Festival, which kicks off today, is doing its own bit to honor her cinematic legacy.

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<p>Octavia Spencer in &quot;Fruitvale Station.&quot;</p>

Octavia Spencer in "Fruitvale Station."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Fruitvale' gets a new title: 'Fruitvale Station'

Sundance grand jury and audience award winner arrives in July

In somewhat surprising news, The Weinstein Company has modified the title to Sundance grand jury and audience award winner "Fruitvale."  The crowd-pleasing drama will now be known as "Fruitvale Station."

The feature film directorial debut of Ryan Coogler, "Fruitvale" follows the last day in the life of Oscar Grant (MIchael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old San Francisco area resident who was fatally shot by BART police officers the morning of Jan. 1, 2009.  Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, Chad Michael Murray, Kevin Durand, Melonie Diaz and Ahna O'Reilly also star and Spencer and Forest Whitaker are two of the film's producers.

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