Kidman, Ramsay, and Ang Lee Assemble for 2013 Cannes Jury

Nicole Kidman

Kidman at last year’s festival for ‘The Paperboy’.

Cannes artistic leader Thierry Fremaux just keeps making all the right decisions, or at least very few that would seem wrong. Following last week’s dazzling slate of films for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as well as the announcement of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby to open festivities and Steven Spielberg to head up the jury as president, news has kept unfurling at an exciting pace. Even those of us not fortunate enough to be there can consider ourselves in on the treat, and that continues with the announcement of those filling out the competition jury.

Starriest of the names announced are recent Oscar winners Ang Lee and Christoph Waltz, Stoker star Nicole Kidman, and, quite surprisingly, former Jane Got A Gun director Lynne Ramsay, who is also showing up for Director’s Fortnight with her Olympics-commissioned short film Swimmer. It’s a positive swing of events for Ramsay, after the Jane Got A Gun fiasco left some worried for the future of her career. They’re all quite the acquisitions on Fremaux’s part, each carrying with them a high mark of prestige and recent buzz. Even those not as quick in the public consciousness, such as Beyond the Hills director Christian Mungiu, a festival winner from last year for Best Screenplay, add to the feeling that this jury was crafted specifically for this year.

Lynne Ramsay

Ramsay at the 2011 festival for ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’.

This all might be because of simple availability, but it’s nonetheless an exciting lineup. Let’s not forget, either, Japanese director Naomi Kawase, Indian actress Vidya Balan, or French actor Daniel Auteuil, ensuring the jury won’t be unanimously biased towards the American films in competition.

Outside the main competition, Danish director Thomas Vinterberg has been chosen to lead the Un Certain Regard jury, which Fremaux was conscious enough to intersperse with some high profile pics expected for competition, such as Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, Sundance hit Fruitvale Station, and James Franco directed As I Lay Dying. Vinterberg’s latest film, The Hunt, took a Cannes award last year for Mads Mikkelsen’s lead performance, and is expected to hit U.S. theaters in July.

In summation, it’ll be another exciting year for the festival, even if we’re all embittered that we’re not there to enjoy it.

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