(By the way, my vacation reading last week turned out to be quite prophetic, movie-wise. “Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune” by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr. — a fascinating account of a New York heiress and her strange, reclusive life — was optioned for the movies this week by Ryan Murphy, who you’d think would be awfully busy what with “Glee,” “American Horror Story,” and everything else he’s got going on. Anyway, it’s a terrific read and I suspect might well make a fine film. We shall see.)
Meanwhile: The Cannes Film Festival, which takes place May 14-25 and always serves as a splashy coming-out party for some of the year’s top films, announced its 2014 lineup yesterday. “Grace of Monaco,” appropriately (Monaco is a neighbor of Cannes), will open the festival, starring Nicole Kidman as the former Grace Kelly. (The film’s release date has been delayed several times in the U.S.; let’s hope it’s better than the Naomi Watts “Diana.”) Among the eighteen films screening in competition: Michel Hazanavicius’ long-awaited follow up to “The Artist,” the war drama “The Search”; Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner,” starring Timothy Spall as British artist J.M.W. Turner; David Cronenberg’s Hollywood drama “Maps to the Stars”; the Dardenne brothers’ “Deux Jours, Une Nuit”; Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy”; the latest film from 84-year-old legend Jean-Luc Godard, “Goodbye to Language”; Tommy Lee Jones’ Western “The Homesman,” and Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher,” a drama thought to be an Oscar contender last year but delayed to 2014. Sounds like a good lineup; I’ll follow the festival from afar next month.