It's customary for a few films to be added to the Cannes Film Festival lineup in the weeks following the initial announcement, raising cinephiles' hopes for whatever big-name prospect was left out to begin with -- and usually dashing them. A further six films were added today, the highest-profile of which is another French title: André Téchiné's "In the Name of My Daughter," starring Guillaume Canet and Catherine Deneuve. None of them, however, will play in Competition, which remains fixed at 18 features -- currently the lowest number since the 1990 festival.
The new arrivals are:
"In the Name of My Daughter" (Out of Competition): Titled "The Man Who Loved Too Much" in French, the latest from veteran director André Téchiné is based on the mysterious real-life case of heiress Agnes Le Roux, who disappeared without trace in 1977. Adele Haenel ("House of Tolerance") plays Le Roux, Catherine Deneuve her mother Renee, and Guillaume Canet her lawyer lover Maurice Agnelet, who has faced three trials for her murder over 37 years. It's a story of ongoing national intrigue in France, and Téchiné is a seasoned Cannes-goer, having been in Competition six times (winning Best Director for 1985's "Rendezvous"). It's ostensibly surprising, then, to see him in a non-competing slot, but his last couple of features ("Unforgivable," "Girl on the Train") have found him off-form.
"White God" (Un Certain Regard): Another previous Competition entrant accepting a downgrade this year is Hungarian auteur Kornel Mundruczo, who won the FIPRESCI prize in 2008 for "Delta," but whose artsy 2010 vampire riff "Tender Son: A Frankenstein Project" was less well received, and remains widely undistributed. His first feature since then, "White God" sounds like a change of pace from his customary severity: it's described as a sentimental adventure film about a 12-year-old girl who leaves home in search of her confiscated dog.
"The Ardor" (Special Screenings): Ensuring that Competition juror Gael Garcia Bernal will be doing double duty at the festival, Pablo Fendrik's contemporary Argentine western stars Bernal as a solitary shaman who befriends a tobacco farmer and his daughter (Alice Braga), and seeks revenge when marauding mercenaries kill the former and kidnap the latter. Fendrik's last film, "Blood Appears," was a Critics' Week hit in 2008.
Geronimo" (Special Screenings): Alegerian auteur Tony Gatlif's stock has fallen a bit since he won Best Director at Cannes 2004 for "Exiles." His latest is a drama about a socially conscious teacher (Celine Sallette) embroiled in tensions between her neighborhood's Turkish and gypsy clans.
"The Owners" (Special Screenings): Kazakh auteur Adilkhan Yerzhanov's latest tells the story of two brothers struggling to hold onto their ancestral home, "while their little sister loses her capacity to breathe and their mother loses her mind." Sounds fun.
"Of Men and War" (Special Screenings): Not many details available on this documentary from French director Laurent Becue-Renard, who has previously premiered two films at the Berlinale.
The festival kicks off on May 14.