'Blindness' to open Cannes Film Festival

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A new movie by Brazilian director Fernando Mereilles starring American actress Julianne Moore will open this year's Cannes Film Festival, organizers said Tuesday.

"Blindness" is a based on a novel by Portuguese Nobel laureate Jose Saramago about a city whose inhabitants inexplicably go blind, one by one. Moore stars as the sole person to keep her sight during the ordeal.American actors Mark Ruffalo and Danny Glover and Mexico's Gael Garcia Bernal co-star in the movie, which is in competition.

Mereilles is best known for his 2002 hit "City of God" about life in a crime-ridden Brazilian slum. He also directed the 2005 thriller "The Constant Gardener" about dirty dealings by the pharmaceutical industry in Africa.

In a statement Tuesday, festival organizers also said two additional movies had been added to the lineup, bringing to 22 the total number of films in competition. James Gray's "Two Lovers," a romantic drama starring Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow, and "Entre les murs" (Between the Walls) by French director Laurent Cantet join the festival's offerings.

Other films in competition announced at a Paris news conference last week include Clint Eastwood's "Changeling," a mystery starring Angelina Jolie, and Steven Soderbergh's four-hour-long marathon, "Che," about Argentine revolutionary Ernesto Guevara.

Overall, the 61st edition of the Riviera festival features fewer big-name directors and more emerging voices from across the globe than in previous years.

Iranian-born director and comic book writer Marjane Satrapi ("Persepolis") will join the festival's jury, led by the American actor-director Sean Penn. Actress Natalie Portman is also on the jury, which will decide the top Palme d'Or prize and other awards.

Festival organizers said Tuesday screen legend Robert de Niro will present the Palme d'Or on May 25. The festival kicks off on May 14.

American director-producer Barry Levinson's "What Just Happened" is to close the festival, organizers said. Starring De Niro, Bruce Willis, Robin Wright Penn, John Turturro and Sean Penn, Levinson's movie is about a Hollywood producer struggling to make a new film.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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