I was put down earlier today by HE contrarians for saying I felt “a tiny bit gloomy about the just-announced selections for 2014 Cannes Film Festival” and for wondering “where’s the No Country for Old Men-level rocket fuel?” But many others have expressed similar views, to go by Justin Chang‘s Variety piece (posted at 1:58 pm) called “Cannes: Looking Past the Hype and Hate.” Excerpts: (a) “Some festgoers, surveying the actual lineup today with a mild sense of deflation, even disappointment, can too often lapse into a posture of whiny, disgruntled self-entitlement when our anticipated favorites don’t materialize when and where we want them to”; (b) “Annoyed by what we’re not getting, we sure as hell aren’t going to be excited about what we are getting; (c) “One of the more general complaints you’re likely to hear over the next few weeks about Thierry Fremaux’s latest lineup is that it’s overly safe and short on surprises: What, Mike Leigh again? Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg again? Naomi Kawase again?”; and (d) “It strikes me as…premature to be criticizing programming decisions and dismissing films sight unseen — not that it hasn’t stopped some from piling on the criticism, declaring this year’s lineup ‘pathetic‘ or ‘lame and limp-wristed,’ to name some of the choice adjectives that have been thrown around this morning on Twitter.”