A movie starring two of France's best known actresses opened the Cannes Film Festival's 70th edition on May 17.
Marion Cotillard and Charlotte Gainsbourg star in Arnaud Desplechin's Ismael's Ghosts, about a filmmaker whose wife disappeared 20 years ago.
Nineteen films from around the world will be competing for the coveted Palme d'Or award, including productions by directors Sergei Loznitsa of Ukraine and Andrei Zvyagintsev of Russia.
Loznitsa's A Gentle Creature is loosely inspired by a short story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The director is known for his 2014 documentary Maidan, an account of the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv and their violent suppression.
Zvyagintsev’s Loveless is a story about a family with an aversion to affection.
The contenders also include Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled, a Civil War thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst, and Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories, with Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, and Adam Sandler.
However, Cannes jury chief Pedro Almodovar said the film that wins the festival's top prize should be shown in cinemas -- a veiled warning directed at online streaming giant Netflix, which has two of its productions -- The Meyerowitz Stories and Bong Joon-ho's Okja, starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal -- in the competition for the Palme d'Or.
Netflix has refused to show the two films in the running for the Palme d'Or in French movie theaters, sparking a huge dispute that threatens to overshadow the festival.
Almodovar told reporters that it would be "an enormous paradox" if a film that cannot be seen in cinemas won the top prize of the world's most prestigious movie festival.
"The only solution I think is that the new platforms accept and obey the existing rules," he added.
The Cannes Film Festival runs through May 28, when the Palme d'Or winner and other awards will be announced.