Caine, Fonda and Keitel show their 'Youth' at Cannes

Caine, Fonda and Keitel show their 'Youth' at Cannes
US actress Jane Fonda poses as she arrives for the screening of the film "The Sea of Trees" at the 68th Cannes Film Festival.

CANNES - Michael Caine, Jane Fonda and Harvey Keitel are combining their legendary acting heft to one of the Cannes Film Festival's most-anticipated movies this year, "Youth", which gets its premiere on Wednesday.

The film, directed by Italian Paolo Sorrentino, who won an Oscar last year for his story of Italian decay, "The Great Beauty", is an ensemble piece filmed in English and set in the Alps.

Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano round out the casting. But it's the three veteran actors that have critics and journalists most eager to watch a picture that could have a shot at winning Cannes's big prize, the Palme d'Or.

Here's what the three big names are bringing to the movie:

Michael Caine

Possessing one of Hollywood's most recognisable voices and a 60-year career, Caine enjoys iconic status.

The 82-year-old has long said he is semi-retired, but continues to add to his vast body of work, having recently appeared in sci-fi epic "Interstellar", the box-office hit "Kingsman: The Secret Service", and the blockbuster Batman trilogy.

Born Maurice Micklewhite to a fish-porter father and cleaner mother in working-class southern London, he chose his stage name in tribute to his favourite movie "The Caine Mutiny".

He has appeared in over 115 films and been Oscar nominated six times. He won the golden statuette twice, for Woody Allen's "Hannah and her Sisters" in 1986 and "Cider House Rules" in 1999.

His movie career started out with hits such as "Zulu" (1964) and "The Italian Job" (1969). His portrayal as a charming gangster in 1971's "Get Carter" and womaniser in "Alfie" established him as the acting face of Swinging Britain.

Caine was honoured with a knighthood in 2000. He has also turned his talents to food, becoming a celebrated restaurateur with eateries in London and Miami.

Jane Fonda

Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda remains at the top of her evergreen game at the age of 77.

Born in 1937 in New York to Hollywood star Henry Fonda, Jane would follow in her father's footsteps to be a dominating presence on the silver screen.

She won her first Oscar for the 1971 film "Klute" and her second in 1979's "Coming Home".

She also became known for her leftist political views, becoming a vocal anti-war opponent to the US military adventure in Vietnam.

The 1980s were a heady time for Fonda. Not only was she at the top of her acting career but in 1982, she launched a line of workout videos that became a smash hit.

She underwent another dramatic transformation in the late 1980s when she decided to stop acting and marry media mogul Ted Turner. After Fonda's marriage to Turner, she dropped out of public view for the next decade.

Following a divorce with Turner in 2001, Fonda charged back into the acting spotlight, appearing in "Monster-in-Law" alongside Jennifer Lopez, and with Lindsay Lohan in 2007's "Georgia Rule".

In recent years, she played a network mogul in the TV series "The Newsroom" and stars in the new Netflix original series "Grace and Frankie".

Harvey Keitel

From "Mean Streets" to "Bad Lieutenant" to "Reservoir Dogs", Harvey Keitel has been one of America's favourite hard-boiled tough guys in some of its most revered cult classics.

Born in New York in 1939, Keitel was a marine and a reporter before trying his hand at acting. It was Martin Scorsese that first nurtured his talent, casting him in his first film, "Who's That Knocking at My Door" before giving him the starring role in his breakout film "Mean Streets".

Keitel would also appear as a sleazy pimp in Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" and Judas in "The Last Temptation of Christ".

Despite four decades of work with many acclaimed directors, Keitel has rarely been awarded for his work, garnering only one Oscar nomination -- for best supporting actor in 1991's "Bugsy" -- though he did pick up an Australian acting gong for his part in the 1993 Cannes winner "The Piano".

His collaborations with Quentin Tarantino have been perhaps his most iconic, playing mobsters in "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction".

But film buffs will always associate him most with the evil and deranged addict in Abel Ferrara's bleak 1992 film "Bad Lieutenant", a film that demonstrated Keitel's willingness to take on the most challenging and unlikeable roles.

In recent years, Keitel has found a new outlet through arthouse favourite Wes Anderson, who has cast him in radically different roles for "Moonrise Kingdom" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel".

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