Cannes film festivals hits off!

The Cannes film festival has started with a bang and the French Riviera is abuzz with excitement and glamour with a-list celebrities and directors gracing the red carpet. The cold and wet weather has done little to dampen the spirits as the picky critics and journalists interview everyone from famous celebrities to the obscure auteur directors. There’s a string of hit movies in the official lineup, a procession of stars on the red carpet and many eagerly awaited titles to come.

There are plenty of distractions such as parties, stunts and big movie deals for the 4000 strong media presence however the highlight of the festival is the main competition with 22 movies in the lineup featuring a strong U.S presence. The festival hit the halfway mark on Monday May 21 and the two European filmmakers who also previously won the coveted Palm D’or for best picture have set the pace in Cannes. Austrian director Micheal Haneke who won in 2009 for his film ‘The White Ribbon’ has done it again this year by wowing the audiences with his film ‘Amour’, a French film about an elderly couple facing death. The critics gave it a five-star reception for its portrayal of a woman’s illness and how the couple copes in the final weeks of her death.

Jonathan Romney of Screen International called it a ‘masterpiece’ and all the Cannes veterans have dubbed it as the movie to beat this year. Romanian Director Cristian Mungiu’s film ‘Beyond the Hills’ based on a true story of a woman staying at a monastery whose violent fits are interpreted as a sign of the devil is another popular contender. He had also won the Palm D’or in 2007 for his film ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’. Danish drama about child abuse ‘The Hunt’ by director Thomas Vinterberg starring Mads Mikkelsen, a man who is wrongly accused and ostracized is also said to be a contender. Wes Andersons opening comedy ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ starring Bruce Willis and Bill Murray gave a kick start to the festival however it lighthearted flavor may not win over the jury.  The movie ‘Lawless’ set in the prohibition-era, starring Shia LaBeouf fell flat in the critics’ eyes.

Many top stars like Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Sean Penn, and Eva Longoria have walked the red carpet so far and there are still many to come like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Kristen Stewart and Kanye West.

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