By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 17, 2010 at 11:21AM
The Festival d'auteurs was willing to bend over backwards to get Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life--to the point of not forcing him to do any press, which is not their usual practice. But he still said no.
Ridley Scott, director of the opening night movie Robin Hood, was also a no-show, due to recovery from knee surgery. And now one of the fest's few major stars, Sean Penn, who starred in The Tree of Life and as well as its replacement, Fair Game, is choosing to attend a press conference in Washington, D.C. over Cannes. Been there, done that. Penn was president of the Cannes jury in 2008.
"Sean is not able to attend Cannes," said spokeswoman Mara Buxbaum. "He is speaking at Senate committee hearing in DC about the crisis in Haiti." First things first! River Road producer Bill Pohlad will come to Cannes to hold down the fort. At which point we can ask him about his plans for Apparition, now that Bob Berney is gone. Summit's Fair Game is also screening late in the fest, on Thursday, after many folks have already packed their things. EW sent writer Dave Karger for a week; he leaves Wednesday.
And the auteur of auteurs, Jean-Luc Godard, also blew off coming to the festival to talk about FIlm Socialisme, in solidarity with the "Greek situation." Sacre bleu. There was no press conference. (Trailer below.)
The other notable no-show--so far--is the anticipated press conference announcing a Disney sale of Miramax to financeer Ron Burkle and The Weinstein Co. Things have been very quiet. UPDATE: Word is the deal between Disney and Burkle went south, and that TWC's Ambac-insured structured finance bonds were another issue. (Moody lowered their ratings on the bonds in March.) Will Disney be going back to the Gores brothers/Overture/Starz Media combine? UPDATE: When I asked Weinstein what was happening with the Disney deal, he said he could not comment, and that it was possible Cannes announcements were still in the offing.