In pictures: 2013 Cannes Palme d'Or competition contenders

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Steven Soderbergh is heading back to the cinema whilst Ryan Gosling reunites with Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn

Here are the 19 films competing for the coveted Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival 15 to 26 May.

In competition: Click HERE to see the selection

Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru)

In director Hirokazu Koreeda’s new drama, Ryota believes nothing can stop him being a winner. But that’s until he and his wife get a call from the hospital to say their six-year-old son, Keita, is not their son - the hospital gave them the wrong baby.

A Touch of Sin (Tian Zhu Ding)

China’s only film at Cannes, little is known of Zhangke Jia’s upcoming film, but the elusive director of Still Life, which won the Golden Lion at Venice in 2006, is highly regarded.

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza)  

Il Divo director Paolo Sorrentino returns to Cannes after his strange Sean Penn-starrer This Must Be the Place, here with a story of an ageing writer (Toni Servillo) who looks back on his youth in Rome. A 2013 La Dolce Vita-esque tale, with a patter of Cinema Paradiso, perhaps?

Behind the Candelabra

Stephen Soderbergh’s final “final” film stars Michael Douglas as Liberace and surrounds the turbulent relationship he had with his driver Scott Thorson (Matt Damon). Originally intended for a big screen release, it was funded by cable station HBO and screens on American TV on the last day of Cannes.

Only God Forgives 

Surely the most anticipated film of Cannes, Ryan Gosling reunites with Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn in this ultra-violent, Bangkok-set thriller. Gosling is Julian, the owner of a boxing club he keeps as a front for a drugs cartel. But after his brother is murdered, his shady mother (Kristin Scott Thomas), head of a criminal organisation, comes to Thailand and orders him to find the killer and ‘raise hell’

Borgman

This Dutch film from Alex van Warmerdam stars Jan Bijvoet as Camiel Borgman, a new and sinister arrival in a sealed-off street in suburbia.

Venus in Fur

Originating as a Broadway play, Roman Polanski’s black comedy features his real-life wife (Emmanuele Seigner) as an actress vying for a role in a masochistic drama.

Jimmy P  

This true-life drama tells the story of a friendship between Benecio Del Toro’s ailing and depressed Jimmy Picard and his irreverent French doctor Georges Devereux in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Michael Kohlhaas 

Mads Mikkelsen returns to A Royal Affair period territory with this true-life tale of 16th century revolt in France that inspired Heinrich von Kleist’s novella of the same name.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Carey Mulligan stars in the Coen brothers’ latest, a wispy exploration of 60s counter-culture and the American folk music scene. Oscar Isaac stars as Bob Dylan-like music man Llyewyn Davis, loosely based on Dave Van Ronk’s memoirs, alongside Justin Timberlake and F. Murray Abraham.

Un Chateau en Italie (A Castle in Italy)

The only female director in the main selection, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi’s film is the story of a wealthy Italian family when they are forced to sell their family home.

Just 17 (Jeune et Jolie) / Young and Beautiful

Francois Ozon’s follow up to In This House is the coming of age tale of a 17-year-old French girl through four seasons, and four songs.

Shield of Straw (Wara No Tate)

This violent Japanese thriller from Takashi Miiike stars Tatsuya Fukiwara as the chief suspect in the murder of a powerful politician’s granddaughter, who wakes up to discover a 1 billion yen reward for his murder. He hands himself over to the police, knowing most of Japan are on his tail.

The Life of Adele (La Vie D'Adele) / Blue is the Warmest Colour (Le bleu est une couleur chaude)

Abdellatif Kechiche’s follow up to the controversial Black Venus with a three-hour erotic journey of a 15-year-old who discovers her sexuality through dreaming of a blue-haired girl she sees on the street.

Grisgris

Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun follows up Un Homme Qui Crie with a story of man who dreams of being a dancer, but is paralysed from the waist down.

The Immigrant

Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cottiard star in this 20s-set tale of immigration and the American Dream. James Gray, who made the Pheonix-starring We Own the Night, directs.

Nebraska

Alexander Payne is the king of the American road movie after Sideways and About Schmidt, and here Bruce Dern is the subject with his estranged son taking a trip from Montana to Nebraska to claim a million-dollar sweepstake prize.

The Past (Le Passé)

The follow-up to his Oscar-winning A Separation, Asghar Farhadi turns to France and this family drama starring Tahar Rahim and The Artist’s Berenice Bejo.

Heli

Again, information is scarce on Amat Escalante’s follow up to 2008’s Los Bastardos, but it centres on police corruption and drugs around the Mexican city of Guanjuato.

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