The 2016 Cannes Film Festival opens Wednesday with the premiere of Woody Allen’s Cafe Society which is not in competitions for the Palme D’Or.

Blake Lively, Parker Posey and Steve Carrell also appear in the film. It takes place in Hollywood in the 1930s.

It’s Allen’s third film to open the festival, after Hollywood Ending in 2002 and Midnight in Paris in 2011.

Although occasional Best Picture winners come from Cannes (The Artist, No Country for Old Men) Last year Mad Max:Fury Road debuted at Cannes and we saw how many Oscars that won. In general, it is really early in the year to showcase a film that can make it all of the way to awards season. I can give a film a push, but it needs to maintain the momentum for the rest of the year.

Cannes is when Oscar season really begins for people that follow the awards all year long. Cannes showcases films from all over the world. Last year Carol premiered at Cannes and was immediately declared the Oscar front-runner. In the end it couldn’t maintain the front-runner status once Telluride and Toronto hit.

Cannes can also sink a movie way too soon in the year if it plays poorly. It is a tough crowd and if they don’t like a film, they will light the internet up with disapproval. Few films can recover from that. Cannes may not be the place to find an Oscar winner, but it is a place for people to enjoy cinema without Oscar filter.

This years jury is:
George Miller
Arnaud Desplechin
Kirsten Dunst
Valeria Golino
Mads Mikkelsen
László Nemes
Vanessa Paradis
Katayoon Shahabi
Donald Sutherland