Cannes Opens with Comedy and Chaos

The Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday will be opening with Wes Anderson’s child fantasy ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ and is pitted against Sacha Baron Cohen’s anarchic alter ego General Aladeen for the world media’s attention.

The French Riviera will be host to thousands of journalists and media executives for 12 days of screenings, red carpet premieres, parties and deal makings and typical of the first day at the festival there are bound to be diary clashes. Guaranteeing a sensational launch on Wednesday evening complete with a press screening, news brief, interviews and a red carpet gala, Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is the official opening entry in the main competition, starring Bruce Willis and Bill Murray. Also just a stone’s throw away, on the famous Croisette waterfront, Cohen will also be a part of the action with a press conference at the glamorous Carlton Hotel to promote his latest offering ‘The Dictator’. However, amid the galas and parties there’s a lot of hard work in the huge market of films in the hope of rising out of the economic gloom that envelopes much of Europe with a flurry of sales.

The Croisette was bustling with last minute preparations on Tuesday as the pavilions were stocked with champagne and lobster, posters and stages were also being erected. Celebrities like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn are expected to grace the red carpet along with a slew of rising stars looking to make their mark. The glitzy festival is an ideal place for a movie and its cast to make a mark. ‘The Artist’ which went on to sweep the Oscars was launched here last year, however, the critics can sometimes be harsh as was the case with ‘Da Vinci Code’ which received poor reviews.

This year the organizers are keen to avoid controversies like the one with director Lars Von Trier who was expelled for making jokes about Nazis at a press conference last year. Despite efforts the festival has come under fire for not including a single female director in its main competition yet overall media reaction has been positive. Brazilian director Walter Salles’ adaptation of jack Kerouac’s novel ‘On the Road’ is generating lot of buzz in the main competition of 22 films, least of all because of Kristen Stewart the lead in the film who will be joined by ‘Twilight’ co-star Robert Pattison on the French Riviera. The British actor appears in Canadian director David Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’ a tale about corporate greed that follows a New York financier whose world shatters around him. This year the festival highlights the importance of fresh talent with movies such as ‘Lawless’ featuring Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hardy among others. Previous winners of the      Palme D’or for best film in contention again are  Austria’s Micheal Haneke (Amour), Iran’s Abbas Kiarostami (Like Someone in Love), Britain’s Ken loach (The Angel’s Share), and Romania’s Cristian Mungiu (Beyond the Hills).

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