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Canada’s Xavier Dolan pulls his English-language debut from Cannes

April 12, 2018 2:57 PM
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The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, starring Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington, is being edited and will emerge in the fall instead, Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux says.

Canada’s Xavier Dolan won’t compete for the Palme d’Or at next month’s Cannes Film Festival because he’s pursuing a “fall strategy” that may include an Oscar campaign, Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux says.

Dolan’s new drama, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, was considered Canada’s best chance at a Palme competition slot, since the Montreal writer/director is popular in Cannes and he’s won several prizes there for his previous films, including Mommy and It’s Only the End of the World.

But the film won’t be ready in time for the fest’s May 8-19 run, Frémaux said, so Dolan is opting to premiere it at a fall festival like TIFF, Telluride and/or Venice.

“We have seen the movie, we want to invite him but he has gone back to the editing room. So we’ll see this movie in the fall,” Frémaux told journalists Thursday at Paris press conference unveiling this year’s Official Selection.

The 2018 Cannes slate includes new films by Jean-Luc Godard (The Image Book), Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) and David Robert Mitchell (Under the Silver Lake), which are among the 18 Palme competitors, while Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story will have its world premiere at Cannes but out of competition. More titles are expected to be announced in days to come, including at least two more Palme competitors.

Also read: David Shoemaker named chief executive officer of Canadian Olympic Committee


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