Will Smith, Pedro Almodovar open testy Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France — The 70th Cannes Film Festival opened Wednesday under the lights of Cote D’Azur sunshine and high-wattage stars such as Will Smith and Marion Cotillard. But a brewing storm over Netflix’s place at the world’s most prestigious film festival clouded the event as Cannes rolled out the red carpet.

Optimism is high at this year’s Cannes, which features a lineup widely considered to be well-stocked with heavyweight filmmakers, including Todd Haynes (“Wonderstruck”), Sofia Coppola (“The Beguiled”), Michael Haneke (“Happy End”) and Lynne Ramsay (“You Were Never Really Here”). Rancor and controversy nonetheless dogged the festival’s preamble, as well as its opening day.

During the opening ceremony Wednesday, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi helped set a welcoming tone for the festival, calling it a “place where cultures speak to one another.” Farhadi’s presence in Cannes sharply contrasted with February’s Academy Awards ceremony, which the filmmaker (whose “The Salesman” won best foreign language film) boycotted to protest President Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban on visitors from several predominantly Muslim nations. Read more…

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