Cannes 2013: Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman to join Steven Spielberg on jury

Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman, and Ang Lee are among those selected to serve on the competition jury for the Cannes Film Festival in May.
(Times news services)

If any competitive spirit remains between directors Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg over their hard-fought contest this Oscar season, it will need to disappear quickly -- the two are about to spend a lot of time together.

The “Life of Pi” helmer was one of eight film-world notables announced for Spielberg’s Cannes competition jury next month, where the 2013 best director winner will join a number of past Academy Award winners and nominees.

Spielberg’s jury will include actors Nicole Kidman and Christoph Waltz (the latter another 2013 Oscar winner), organizers said late Tuesday night. It also is to feature high-profile directors including Cristian Mungiu -- a Palme d’Or winner for “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” -- and Lynne Ramsay, who had a critical darling at Cannes two years ago with the teen-violence drama “We Need To Talk About Kevin.”

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Rounding out the jury is a characteristically diverse international group. In a competition category that -- thanks to two Japanese films along with a Chinese one -- is increasingly taking on an Asian feel, Lee will be joined by several other jurors of Asian heritage: The Japanese director Naomi Kawase and the Indian actress Vidya Balan. Prolific actor Daniel Auteuil (“Cache”) is the jury’s sole French representative.

The makeup of the Cannes jury is often scrutinized for members’ various film tastes as well as past working relationships between jurors and competition players. Among the connections this year are Kidman and Marion Cottilard -- Cottilard co-starred with Kidman in the 2009 musical “Nine” and also appears in this year’s competition title “The Immigrant.”

The Cannes Film Festival gets underway May 15 with new movies from Alexander Payne, the Coen brothers, Steven Soderbergh and Nicolas Refn among the approximately 20 films in competition.


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