The auteur: David Cronenberg (Canadian, 69 years old)
The talent: At this stage in his career, we don't expect an undistinguished cast from a Cronenberg film, and true to form, this one is packed to the rafters with interesting names -- though not ones you'd necessarily expect on one bill. Juliette Binoche (returning to Cannes for the first time since winning Best Actress two years ago), Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Mathieu Amalric and Jay Baruchel are all on board -- as, more improbably, is Somalian rapper K'Naan. (On a side note, this is the director's first feature in 10 years not to star Viggo Mortensen.)
The big attraction, however, is some guy called Robert Pattinson in the lead. It's perhaps the poppiest casting coup of Cronenberg's career, and the best chance yet for the talented British heartthrob to win some admirers beyond the fiercely devoted "Twilight" faithful.