Media agencies have threatened boycotts of Cannes over rights issues, storms have ravaged the town in the weeks leading up to the festival and the ever-present specter of an Icelandic volcano's cloud of ash will threaten all those trying to fly in.
But Cannes is a survivor, and the show will go on. Its screening schedule may suffer somewhat from the absence of a handful of films expected to debut here - most notably Terrence Malick's Tree of Life - but there's no doubt that the festival will be pulling out all the stops to celebrate the premieres of its final line up. Films from Woody Allen, Oliver Stone, Mike Leigh and Takeshi Kitano will debut here, as will literally thousands of other features across the festival's various sidebars and its film market.
So where does one begin? The process of trying to narrow down the field to a manageable number of films worth taking in is pretty tough. But, these are the 10 films - in alphabetical order - I'll be making sure I don't miss this year.
I don't know a great deal about Mike Leigh's latest film, but then that seems to be part of his design, and his name is enough to pique my interest. If films like Secrets & Lies and Naked weren't reason enough, his last two projects were Happy-Go-Lucky and Vera Drake, both amongst British film's finest of the last decade. The film also marks Leigh's final collaboration with his longtime producer Simon Channing-Williams, who succumbed to cancer in April of last year.
Alejandro González Iñárritu was at Cannes with his last film, Babel, and returns to present this urban thriller starring Javier Bardem. But early indications suggests we may be in for a slightly different experience from Iñárritu's latest, which seems to rely less on an ensemble cast and isn't written by Guillermo Arriaga, who wrote Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel for the director.