Media outlets around theworld were quick to reach a near unanimous view about this year's Cannes FilmFestival line-up.
Almost without exception,the press took note of this year's return to big name directors such as Larsvon Trier, Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch.
Many compared this year'sauteur heavy line-up with last year's more controversial selection, which sawanimated films such as Shrek 2 and documentaries like MichaelMoore's Palme d'Or winner Fahrenheit 9/11 selected.
Below are excerpts from leadingpapers and wire services from around the world.
The New York Times
"The official line-up offered hope that this year attendees could keep theireyes and their attention fixed on the screen.The circus will be in town again but with Miramax Films about to partways with Disney there's no sign yet that at least one ring master, HarveyWeinstein, much in attendance last year with 9/11, will be cracking thewhip with his usual brio. There are noobvious hot-button films in this year's lineup, which stacks up as a classicCannes selection packed with critical favourites and sprinkled with potentialcomeback kids like Atom Egoyan, and hot directors, including, notably, Mexico'sCarlos Reygadas and Italy's Marco Tuillo Giordana."
Los Angeles Times
"Although the four American films selected for competition at next month'sCannes International Film Festival represent the most from an individualcountry, selections reflect a shift back to auteurs with less of the glitz andcontroversy of 2004."
The Guardian, UK
"The perceived slight of the poor old UK is a bit of a Cannes tradition. And there are many other Cannes traditionsthat look like being revived. There isenormous reverence to Danish charlatan-genius Lars von Trier while RobertRodriguez is set to crank up the festival's sexiness factor with Sin City. The festival loves its arthouse masters andmany are here."
National Post, Canada
"For the first time in 28 years, two Canadian features will be incompetition at Cannes. Atom Egoyan's Wherethe Truth Lies and David Cronenberg's A History of Violence areamong 20 movies from 13 countries that will compete for the Palme d'Or awardnext month. Egoyan said it was athrill to be at the same festival as Croneneberg, an early hero for who he hasrespect. Cronenberg was equallyenthusiastic about joining Egoyan at Cannes."
"Three local short films have been invited to next month's Cannes filmfestival, but Australia won't be represented in the main competitioncategory. While there had beenspeculation that outback horror thriller Wolf Creek might be invited toscreen in Cannes most coveted category, it remains a hot tip for inclusion inthe Directors' Fortnight side-bar section."
Le Figaro, France
"One notes a strong North American presence with David Cronenberg, JimJarmusch, Gus Van Sant, Atom Egoyan, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, andactor Tommy Lee Jones for the first time behind the camera. Next come the Europeans, returning with Larsvon Trier, Wim Wenders, the Dardennes brothers; but there are also somenewcomers such as Iraqi Hiner Saleem and the Mexican Carlos Reygadas."
Berliner Zeitung, Germany
"The sense of deja-vu is unavoidable, but it is not entirely unpleasant, andeven exciting: it is hard to recall when David Cronenberg, Lars von Trier, JimJarmusch, the Dardenne brothers, Michael Haneke and Hou Hsiao-Hsien competedwith each other for the Palme d'Or."
South China Morning Post
"Hong Kong film director Johnny To Kei-fung's new movie, Election,will compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or award at next month's Cannes FilmFestival. It is Hong Kong's only entryat Cannes this year. It is also thefirst time To has had a film selected in the competition category, which hesaid was a thrill."
"The Bow (Hwal) film director, Kim Ki-duk's 12th featurefilm, has been invited to the non-competition category of this year's CannesFilm Festival. While Kim has had hisfilms invited to various international festivals, including Berlin and Venice,it will be the first time for the multiple award-winning director to joinCannes."
Il Messaggero, Italy
"Marco Tullio Giordana has beencatapulted into competition following the international success of The Bestof Youth (which in its time was buried inside the vaults of the RAI, andpulled out specially for the Cannes Film Festival). And in the prestigiousCritics Week, which brought good luck to Emanuele Crialese's Respiro,we'll have Daniele Vicari's L'Orizzonte degli Eventi. Is it a lot' Or isit not much' Or is it simply what our cinema deserves, when after a briefseason of liveliness it seems today to have withdrawn into its own self again'We will only find out after watching the rest of a selection that seemsexciting and full of 'auteurs.' "
El Pais, Spain
Spanish cinema will be represented only by Habana Blues by theSevillian director Benito Zambrano'Habana Blues, which has already beenseen by nearly half a million people in Spain in its first month on release, isthe second feature from Zambrano after the success of Solas.
"Cannes film festival leavespolitics to the politicians in 2005, focusing on feature movies and leaving noroom for documentaries like Michael Moore's Bush-bashing polemic that won lastyear's top prize. Cannes organisersdescribed the more conservative line-up this time around as a reflection of thekind of films being made."
Agence France Presse
"The 2005 Cannes film festival will mark a return to the big names withtop, cult directors who have dominated global cinema since the 1980's competingagainst younger Asian filmmakers. Thechoices mark an attempt to move away from the eclectic selection seen in2004. But this year's return to the bignames on world cinema had happened by a natural process."