'Silent' Nightmares

The 59th Cannes Film Festival will open with one of the year's most anticipated films, scoring Ron Howard's "The Da Vinci Code" for the prime slot.

Based on the little book by Dan Brown, "The Da Vinci Code" will play out of competition, kicking things off on May 17. As an added bonus for audiences in Gaul, "The Da Vinci Code" is actually opening on that Wednesday throughout France. Audiences in other parts of the world (including the United States) will get their first crack at the flick two days later, on Friday, May 19.

A press release from the Festival describes Brown's book as "esoteric," a somewhat odd adjective to describe a page-turner that's sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. The Howard adaptation features an international cast led by Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou and Jean Reno.

The Festival will run through May 28.