I, for one, was continually amused by the amount of people making threads for Cannes only to have it moved before anyone seemed to think it might be a thing
There's been a designated Cannes thread every year on these forums precisely because Cannes is a thing but, you know, whether we note the reaction to Doillon's Rodin biopic here or in a Cannes thread is neither here nor there.
The decision to have a normally heavy-hitter competition title in the opening slot seems wise to generate interest (and a nice workaround by Fremaux from his loose quota of three French films), but Ozon, Hazanavicius, and the aforementioned Doillon aren't exactly an inspiring bunch. That, and Desplechin is one of France's best filmmakers, alongside Assayas.
The Russian titles are extremely exciting and surely the frontrunners for the Palme in what seems like a light year in terms of heavyweights. (2018, though, is looking like a murderer's row.)
straight to Venice seems like the wise move for Martel to just avoid Almodóvar entirely.
I don't know much about the Safdies, but fresh American blood is welcome since few seem to want to show their film there or cannot because of awards season. The Oneohtrix Point Never score is excitement enough.
These eighteen films are not long (minus Loznita's), so there is definitely room for two or three more films.