Leigh's Another Year and Doug Liman's political drama Fair Game are among the 16 movies screening in competition. Also in the running for the prestigious Palm d'Or prize are Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu's Biutiful and Tournée from French actor Mathieu Amalric.
Leigh has scooped the top Cannes prize before, winning in 1996 for Secrets & Lies. Last year, Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon took home the Palm d'Or.
Hideo Nakata's Chatroom (starring Aaron Johnson) and Stephen Frears's Gemma Arterton-led graphic novel adaptation Tamara Drewe will get their world premieres on the Croisette this year, while Woody Allen's You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger and Oliver Stone's Wall Street sequel will also debut at the prestigious movie event.
As previously reported, Russell Crowe blockbuster Robin Hood will screen out of competition as the opening night film.
The Festival de Cannes runs from May 12 to May 23.
> In Full: Cannes Film Festival 2010 lineup