Some interesting analysis/background on the official Cannes Film festival slate has been suppled by Deadline‘s Nancy Tartaglione. Here are some highlights:

Festival honcho Thierry Fremaux told Tartaglione that he only saw Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska “48 hours ago” (I guess that translates to 60 to 72 hours ago in immediate terms) and very soon after confirmed its inclusion.

A reluctant Steven Soderbergh was persuaded by Fremaux to accept a competition position with Behind The Candelabra “after originally saying he’d prefer another slot,” Tartaglione reports. “Fremaux wrote Soderbergh a diatribe on why he should accept a competition berth, [and] Soderbergh responded by email with a simple ‘Yes.'” Wells comment: I’m fairly certain that Fremaux’s plea included a statement along the lines of “this is your last film before taking your Frank Sinatra retirement — you deserve the respect of having your ‘final effort’ in competition, if only as a tribute to your filmography thus far.”

Fremaux “called Nicholas Winding-Refn‘s Only God Forgives the ‘radical and punk‘ film of the selection and warned, ‘Don’t expect Drive 2.'” Wells comment: I realize that — it’s going to be Drive 2: Sadistic Slicings with swords and bruisings and gougings and buckets of sticky red vino.