Wednesday began bright and early with a breakfast confab on the Grand Hotel terrace with indieWIRE's Eugene Hernandez, Brian Brooks and Eric Kohn, who was meeting new indieWIRE family members Todd McCarthy and Sydney Levine for the first time. We mapped our plans--indieWIRE is doing a smart daily timeline-- downed our espressos and croissants and went our separate ways. I saw Robin Hood and covered the press conference. Here's some video of the waiting press (one) and the arriving stars (two)--note Crowe's butt taunt. (USA Today's Anthony Breznican calls it a "moon.")
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I ran out of the conference to meet The Auteurs founder Efe Cakarel at the Majestic, where I marveled at tiny juror Cate Beckinsale, teetering in the doorway on impossibly high heels. Cakarel took me to drink chocolate at La Maison du Chocolat off the Rue d'Antibes. After trying in vain to restore my BlackBerry's internet connection (computer: internet, BlackBerry, cell phone and calendar only), I ran up to the Carlton Hotel (plastered, comme toujours, with billboards) to pick up my Robin Hood party ticket and entice Fox to wedge me into their Saturday Hotel du Cap roundtables for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (they did).
On my way out, I saw jury president Tim Burton heading out to the evening's festivities. I eventually put on my duds and scooted up the red carpet as the Robin Hood gang made their way past the phalax of photographers, posing in a long line at the top of the stairs with Thierry Fremaux and Gilles Jacob. (Crowe and Blanchett also stopped to chat with gossip columnists Roger Friedman and Baz Bamigboye.) There was no "Mesdames et monsieurs, l'auteur, Ridley Scott!" Instead they announced "Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett!" as they made their way down the aisle to their seats. Blanchett wore a splendid grey print gown with white tulle peeking out at the bottom, designed by the late Alexander McQueen. Other attendees included the always stunning Aishwarya Rai, Selma Hayek, Gael Garcia Bernal and Helen Mirren. (Here's a photo gallery.)
The evenings "maitresse," elegant in white with a dark chignon, was Kristin Scott Thomas, who has lived in France for 25 years and speaks flawless French--and so does Blanchett, who spoke to the crowd from the stage later on when she and Crowe announced the 63rd Festival de Cannes "open." Scott Thomas introduced the jury, including Shekhar Kapur, Benicio del Toro, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Cate Beckinsale and president Tim Burton. This video includes an excellent Burton clip reel: the crowd gave him a standing ovation. There's also a series of clips from all the official selection films.
Here's a Cannes Round-Up:
Folks are still kicking up a fuss about the lack of female directors at Cannes. Not one is in the competition. The Brits have three women in the official selection: rookie Alicia Duffy's "deeply gloomy" All Good Children; Sophie Fiennes' Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, a biopic about artist Anselm Kiefer; and Lucy Walker, who directed documentary Countdown to Zero .
The Wrap's Steve Pond is doing a daily Cannes wrap.
The Hollywood Reporter has a nifty photo gallery: this Burton shot is my favorite. As disappointed as I was by Burton's Alice in Wonderland, I was enthralled by the amazing Burton coffee table book that goes with the recent MoMA show. (A very young Burton turns up in Waking Sleeping Beauty, a doc about Disney animation that was disappointing, because it was so invested in glorifying the films and management team from the era that spawned The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, without spending much time on how the films were made.)
Access Hollywood grabbed some face time with Russell Crowe and his merry band: