would be difficult to discern a theme among the films being shown in competition at this Cannes, or even the ones exhibited in several of the ancillary festival programs. But one does detect a faint whiff of anti-Americanism, which always goes over well in France (and in Hollywood, for that matter) and which peaked two years ago with the Palme d'Or victory of Michael Moore, for Fahrenheit 9/11 and its accompanying 20-minute standing ovation. At this year's first screening, British director Ken Loach explained to anyone who would listen that his tale of the Irish rebellion in the 1920s, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, was aimed directly at the US occupation of Iraq (the movie eventually took top prize). A.O. Scott complained in the New York Times that the Cannes selection also seems to have a "quota for mediocre French and Italian movies." However, Paul Greengrass' United 93 was being featured out of competition, and American phenom Richard Linklater (Slacker, Before Sunrise, School of Rock) has two films at the festival, one in and one out of competition.