Cannes Less About Films and More About the Glamour
Partying and celeb-spotting have elbowed aside the movie business at the Cannes Film Festival. Celia Walden reports
'What's 'Le Festival', Mummy?" asked the neat little French boy seated opposite me, as our TGV rolled into a Cannes station patchworked with posters celebrating the biggest film festival in the world. "It's where famous people come together every year, darling," she said. Then paused. "And they show films there."
Somewhere over the course of the past 61 years, the former definitely elbowed out the latter. Now, supermodels without so much as a television advert in their portfolios descend on the former fishing port simply to have their designer moment on the red carpet. Then there are the estimated 30,000 festivalgoers: the media (or "rednecks" as the Cannois call them, because of their refusal to wear sunscreen as they pace the boiling streets), the professional schmoozers, the hangers-on (always in the process of developing a film, always sleeping on a friend's hotel-room floor, subsisting solely on canapés), and the hungry-eyed starlets.
This last breed has been around for decades, but their brashness increases every year. Wincing bravely down the Promenade de la Croissette in their best stilettos, they lower their bar day by day, eventually succumbing to the dubious charms of a Harvey Weinstein lookalike with tenuous links to the film industry. Oddly, they still leave Cannes hopeful, their dreams only slightly scuffed.
"It's always the same every year," says Christophe, a street cleaner, gazing philosophically at a 20ft poster of Charlize Theron striking a sulphurous pose. "In the morning, you find crazy things: people sleeping in the street, in amongst broken glass. They come to Cannes to party, work or both and reduce themselves to terrible states - especially you English."
Of particular interest this year was the crowd-pleasing Bollywood actress, Ash Rai.
As she walked down the redcarpet at Cannes with Eva Longoria, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan finally proved thatshe was a pro at the routine, be it Bollywood or Hollywood.
But Ash has taken her time to earn these designer stripes.Her debut at the film festival seven years ago, and for a few consecutive years,was nothing less than a design disaster.
What she wore was the bigissue, with the Indian designers throwing up their manicured hands in the airand asking Ash to shape up. And that is what the Bachchan bahu has done,although she took her own sweet time over it. Dressed in a Roberto Cavallinumber, she ensured that the petite Longoria – Hollywood A-lister she maybe – couldn’t take attention away from her.
The Cannes Film festival opened with a glittering ceremony attended by stars like Julianne Moore, Faye Dunaway, Sean Penn, Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria and of course our very own first family of Bollywood.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan walked the red carpet for L'Oreal and she was accompanied by husband Abhishek and in-laws Amitabh and Jaya. Amar Singh too joined the family.
Ash wore a fabulous Cavali gown and mom-in-law was in a Abu-Sandeep creation.
And of course, it should come as no surprise that Angelina Jolie (and her twins!) garnered a huge amount of attention as well.
FOR the second day running Angelina Jolie stole the show at the Cannes film festival yesterday.
Just 24 hours after confirming she was expecting twins with partner Brad Pitt, Jolie hit the red carpet in a long flowing green dress that sent the paparazzi into a spin.
Jolie was promoting her new film, Kung Fu Panda, and revealed that she and Pitt might have more babies after the twins were born.
She is expected to give birth in France. When a Swedish reporter asked her if she would ever have a baby in Sweden, she replied: "Not at this time, but you never know -- there's more babies. Who knows?"