The 66 Cannes Film Festival opened with The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. The film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 American novel was directed, produced and written by none other than Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, who brings to life the prosperity of post World War I America. Also starring in the film are Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher. This will be the first time DiCaprio will attend the Cannes Film Festival since the screening of his documentary The 11th Hour in 2007. Jay-Z, whose song “No Church in the Wild” is featured in the movie, will also be attending.
The premiere was fantastic and looked like quasi Oscars procession. It has to be said that despite the Hollywood glitterati being present, our own Cara Delevingne stole the show for some. It was her first Cannes film festival and she launched it with a bang. Downhill from here sweetie, only snag. I erm, jest, of course. Others in attendance at the biggest and most iconic film festival in the world included: Nicole Kidman, Leonardo Di Caprio, Toby Maguire, Frieda Pinto, Lana Del Rey, Florence Welch, Cindy Crawford and Julianne Moore with a toe disaster -her toes were hanging off her high heels- looked gross.
Blue is the Warmest Colour wins Palme d’Or
When Steven Spielberg was announced as the president of this year’s Cannes Film Festival jury in February, you could almost hear cinéastes’ eyebrows sceptically arch in unison. How could a director whose career had developed almost entirely within the Hollywood system pass judgement on the bravest, boldest -some say- works of world cinema?
By awarding the Palme d’Or, the most prestigious award on the film festival circuit, to a three-hour drama about young French lesbians featuring some of the most simmering explicit scenes of real sex in the history of -non-porno- cinema.
Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Colour is an great choice for the Palme: it is an extraordinary, prolonged explosion of sadness, angst, anger, pleasure, lust and hope. The plot of Kechiche’s film is nothing new. You’ve seen similar in most primetime soaps – two young people meet, fall in love, move in together, drift apart – but it is performed and captured with such skin-tingling intimacy that you feel you are in some way a part of that relationship.
Sex scenes proved to be a major talking point; particularly one 15-minute spectacle that occurs about halfway through the picture. Director’s camerawork is straight forward, yet it operates almost like one of those abstracted dance interludes in films like An American In Paris and A Star Is Born; an ecstatic celebration of the way human bodies can move, interact and interlock.
A great film won on the night. Though it gets better still: by handing the prize jointly to Kechiche and also his two lead actresses, Adèle Exarchopolous and Léa Seydoux, Spielberg and his fellow jurors have tripled the number of female Palme d’Or winners at a stroke. Exarchopolous and Seydoux now stand alongside Jane Campion, who was a -joint- Palme winner in 1993, for The Piano.
The jury’s other selections were spot on I feel. The Grand Prix, Cannes’ ‘runner-up’ medal, went to Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen brothers’ hymn to squandered potential. This feels like an obvious choice, but only because the film was so overwhelmingly well received. Had it not been for Blue is the Warmest Colour, it would’ve triumphed for sure.
This year, I had a very good spot on the carpet, and loved covering the premieres, aside for the impossible situation of having hundreds and hundreds of members of the public polluting the red carpet through sheer idiocy by stopping every few feet to take pictures of themselves. How moronic. Yes, its exiting, but its a huge faux pas. Like eating with your mouth open. You do not do it there. Conduct yourselves with dignity peasants. Stay at home and be a prat if you really have to, as we can’t see you then and more to the point, you won’t be missed. Well, perhaps only by your goats.
Of course, there is another reason to get upset at this ineptitude in red carpet decorum: You get in the way, block the talent and I have no decent photos. Only ditzy cretins standing opened mouthed with an iphone.
Many colleagues often complain about the rigid dress code for the red carpet media. This is for a reason. Cannes Film Festival is the biggest and best festival bar none. It remains the most glamourous festival by far. The dress code makes it stay so. Imagine the horror of having the press in jeans with bright blue -or any colour- jackets or tops. Shudder. Like being back in a premiere in London.
Cindy Crawford, Julianne Moore
The weather was a major issue this year. It was much cooler, a lot more wind and rain. I mean I have never seen huge sandbags all along the croisette beach. Without these, Nikki Beach, Plage Royal et all would’ve been engulfed by the huge waves. So it has to be said, the weather did play a part in dampening the night life somewhat. Cannes is very much about strolling in the late hours on a sultry night between parties.
This year, most of the festival was cool and/or wet in the evenings. Not many people ventured out late compared to other years.
However, one of the highlights of the festival was the very exclusive invitation for the Mayor’s lunch for press VIP’s -called L’Aioli- at the magnificent Château de la Castre high on the hill overlooking Cannes marina. It was hot and sunny all day. Needless to say all you could eat and drink, as well as meeting and greeting the Mayor. Superb.
This year despite what the heavens threw at us, we had one of the best dressed -celebs- red carpet in a long time, and there was still enough sunshine for a tan to boot.
I also had the best, kindest landlady in the world. Marie Laure looked after me like her son. She couldn’t do enough for me. On my arrival at my apartment, she had a chilled bottle of champagne for me, a bottle of whisky, bottled water, juice and fruit. One day she even brought me a bag full of croissants and pastries of all types, made me coffee, and even bought me flip flops for the beach. Priceless.