Cannes festival unveils lineup with Amazon films, Netflix and lots of Nicole Kidman

Australian actress Nicole Kidman appears in four productions during the two-week festival.
Australian actress Nicole Kidman appears in four productions during the two-week festival. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters, AFP) - Nicole Kidman will supply multiple moments of Hollywood glamour at this year's Cannes Film Festival, appearing in four productions during the two-week showcase, organisers said on Thursday as they announced the full lineup.

The Australian Oscar winner stars alongside Colin Farrell in two movies in competition: The Beguiled, an American Civil War-era story directed by Sofia Coppola, and The Killing Of A Sacred Deer by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, best known for 2015's critically acclaimed The Lobster.

Kidman also stars in two productions at Cannes that are not in competition: the science fiction romantic comedy How To Talk To Girls At Parties and an episode of Jane Campion's television series Top Of The Lake.

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar will chair the jury at the festival that runs from May 17 to May 28, a time when concerns are high about security and potential political upheaval.

It is the first Cannes Film Festival since the truck attack in the nearby city of Nice last July, and it will take place days after the final round of voting in France's presidential election, where the far-right's Marine Le Pen is expected to make a strong showing.

The festival organisers played down security concerns, but conceded that the event was taking place at a time of great "suspense". "Since we have a new surprise every day from Donald Trump, I hope North Korea or Syria will not cast a shadow," festival president Pierre Lescure told a news conference at a cinema on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck is one of two Amazon-backed films in the lineup. Wonderstruck, starring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams, tells the parallel stories of two deaf American children in the 1920s and the 1970s.

Two Netflix-backed features made the cut in a first for Cannes. Okja, a creature feature by South Korea's Bong Joon Ho, stars Tilda Swinton as a corporate scientist whose company tries to kidnap a fantastical beast from a girl. Jake Gyllenhaal co-stars as a zoologist.

The other contender from Netflix is The Meyerowitz Stories by independent film-maker Noah Baumbach. The family drama stars Adam Sandler, Stiller, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman.

Amazon also backed You Were Never Really Here by Scottish director Lynne Ramsay, starring Joaquin Phoenix as a war veteran who tries to save women from the sex-trafficking trade.

Among the big-name directors vying for the Palme d'Or are France's Michel Hazanavicius, whose silent movie The Artist won Best Picture at the 2012 Oscars, and Austria's Michael Haneke, who will present Happy End, probably an ironic title for a drama about the refugee crisis.

Also addressing the refugee issue will be a film by Vanessa Redgrave, Sea Sorrow, to be shown out of competition.

Another global political problem - climate change - will be the theme of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, a follow-up to Al Gore's 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

"The festival isn't political," said the event's director, Thierry Fremaux. "It is the auteurs that are political, it is the filmmakers that are political. We are very proud to present this film."

The full lineup can be seen here: