The slate for the 2016 Cannes Film Festival will be announced in Paris on Thursday morning, which works out to sometime between 2 am and 3 am in Los Angeles, or basically late tomorrow night. I’ve already lamented some of the underwhelming predictions (Steven Spielberg‘s The BFG, Jodie Foster‘s Money Monster) and am feeling only modest enthusiasm for Woody Allen‘s Cafe Society, which will open the festival, or Jeff NicholsLoving (i.e., the beware of Joel Edgerton factor) or Nicholas Winding-Refn‘s Neon Demon.

I really, really don’t want to sit through Terrence Malick‘s Voyage of Time, but I may have to if it’s part of the program. More whispery footage of dinosaurs and jungle leaves and forest streams and lizards and images of magma spewing out of volcanos? Are you fucking kidding me?

Pedro Almodovar‘s Julieta, approved. Perhaps an Asghar Farhadi or a Cristian Mingiu film, okay. Sean Penn‘s The Last Face, Xavier Dolan‘s It’s Only the End of the World, the Dardennes’ La fille inconnue (The Unknown Girl), Paul Verhoeven‘s Elle, Park Chan-Wook’s The Handmaid, Emir Kustrica‘s On The Milky Road, Pablo Larrain‘s Neruda, Ken Loach‘s I, Daniel Blake…who knows?

So we’re looking at an okay festival if you want to be comme ci comme ca about it, but one that apparently won’t include any heavy-hitters that might factor into the 2016 award season. Cannes is no longer in that game, it seems, because producers and publicists have all decided en masse than a Cannes slot is too fraught with peril — that it’s better to wait for Venice/Telluride/Toronto than risk getting killed by the notoriously fickle Cannes critics.

The crib death of Gus Van Sant‘s The Sea of Trees after showing at last year’s festival is but one example of this syndrome.

So here we are acknowledging once again that Cannes is basically Le Festival des Amis de Thierry Fremaux and letting it go at that.