Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, HBO's 'Behind the Candelabra' in 2013 Cannes Film Festival competition

cannes-2013-ryan-gosling-matt-damon.jpgNew films starring Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Matt Damon, Joaquin Phoenix and Will Forte made the official competition cut for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

The 66th annual edition of the celebrated international fest is unusually heavy on American and English language productions this year, which should keep the paparazzi as busy as the cineastes.

Gosling reteams with "Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn for the Thai boxing drama "Only God Forgives," also starring Kristin Scott-Thomas. A new trailer and poster also arrived today to tease the mysterious and reportedly ultra-violent film.

Damon co-headlines Steven Soderbergh's Liberace bio-pic "Behind the Candelabra" with Michael Douglas as the famed flamboyant piano man. The film was made for HBO and is expected to be a prime Emmy contender. Qualifying for the prestigious Cannes competition lineup only bolsters the movie's status. The only other HBO film to ever play in competition at Cannes was 2004's "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" which went on to win nine Emmys (though it lost the Best TV Movie Emmy to the FDR bio-pic "Warm Springs," also from HBO).

Timberlake features in the cast of the Coen Brothers' latest, "Inside Llewyn Davis," about the '60s folk music scene in New York City. It will be released theatrically by CBS Films in the US and stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and two actors from HBO's "Girls": Adam Driver and Alex Karpovsky.

Phoenix's film, "The Immigrant," marks his fourth collaboration with director James Gray following "Two Lovers," "We Own the Night" and "The Yards." This one also stars Jeremy Renner and Marion Cotillard.

Forte co-stars with Bruce Dern in "Nebraska," writer-director Alexander Payne's follow-up to "The Descendants." Also starring Bob Odenkirk and Stacy Keach, the intimate black-and-white drama centers on a father-son road trip.

Other notable films in competition include Roman Polanski's adaptation of the Broadway play "Venus in Fur," starring his wife Emmanuelle Seigner, and Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's "The Past," his follow-up to Oscar winning foreign language film "A Separation" starring Bérénice Bejo of "The Artist."

Among the films screening outside of competition, "Margin Call" director J.C. Chandor's "All is Lost" is certain to draw attention for star Robert Redford's turn in a reportedly dialogue-free story of man versus nature.

Previously announced films include Baz Luhrmann's star-studded "The Great Gatsby," which will open the festival, and Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring," which will open the sidebar Un Certain Regard.
Photo/Video credit: TWC Radius / HBO