The festival will benefit from a red-carpet lineup of stars like Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt, with the real heroes being a squad of rising directors. But will all this amount to a true Hollywood renaissance?France's wealthy and starry might be preparing to flee the country to avoid taxes levied by the incoming Socialist president, François Hollande, but for the next two weeks at least the Americans are flooding in."American cinema is back in force," announced the boss of the Cannes film festival, Thierry Frémaux, when he revealed that the lineup competing for the Palme d'Or this year contains six US-based movies, the strongest number for many years.Films such as Killing Them Softly, The Paperboy, Mud and On The Road mean that stars including Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Stewart will be climbing the red-carpeted steps to ensure that the eyes of the world again fall on Cannes, which kicks off on Wednesday.

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