It’s Cannes time again! I was thrilled to be there as the Festival de Cannes celebrated its 65th year. First, we have to talk about the weather. In all the years I’ve been at Cannes I can’t remember a tailwind and solid downpour of rain like I experienced this year. It was amazing watching the young starlets (and Paris Hilton) attempting to walk up those famous twenty-five red carpet covered stairs in the rain and wind. Many of the major parties had to be quickly relocated indoors from the beach or fashionable hotel terraces. Star power came from Nicole Kidman, Robert DeNiro, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, and Marion Cotillard - but Brad Pitt was the man to catch a glimpse of!
Beyond the red carpet is where the real excitement lies - in the theaters. Opening Night premiered Wes Anderson’s excellent Moonrise Kingdom, followed by many other inspired films including Beasts of the Southern Wild, a brilliant first film by US director Benh Zeitlin (the films six-year old actress is destined to be a big star). Another great US film was Lawless, from director John Hillcoat and starring the always exciting Shia LaBeouf. An unexpected first feature came from Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral, a strange and haunting film sure to be a cult favorite (yes, he is David’s son!). The charming Like Someone In Love came from famed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami and Ken Loach’s excellent comedy heist film The Angels’ Share were both films that landed on my favorites list. They were joined by the hidden gem from Australia called The Sapphires. It’s Jersey Boys meets Dreamgirls and I predict it will be a big hit when released by the Weinstein Company this fall.
The master Bernardo Bertolucci’s Me and You was terrific, putting Bertolucci front and center again. Walter Salles’s long awaited film On the Road was met with mixed reviews (though everyone will surely want to see it because of the iconic Kerouac book). Of course, the film that took the Palme d’Or was Michael Haneke’s Amour. It’s a heartbreaking journey through love, illness and death and it took my breath away and stayed with me for days.
When you have a warm, dry theater to settle in to, the films triumph over the weather. Until next year!