Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson is a bit dazzled by the Cannes treatment. Having never come to the fest, mostly for scheduling reasons, he got word in Paris that "Moonrise Kingdom" (May 25) was not only invited to the official selection, but for opening night. Sacre Bleu! And not only that, but in competition, too. That means that Anderson enters that special pantheon of directors who get the Cannes treatment, year in, year out. (Here's my Cannes write-up.)

Anderson had a blast walking up the red carpet with Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, co-writer Roman Coppola and his two young discoveries, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. "The whole movie is on the shoulders of these kids," he told me. "I love artifice and very emotional movies like 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp'...I'm not actually au courant." (Notably missing was Fran McDormand, who was shooting "Promised Land," the new Gus Van Sant movie.)

And Anderson is basking in a rapturous critical reception. Focus is opening the movie around the world, which Anderson describes as "the recreation of a fantasy when I was a 12-year-old," after its Cannes launch, much like last year's Woody Allen opener "Midnight in Paris." I interviewed Anderson, wearing his signature corderoy suit, at the Carlton Beach, below. That's a copy of the International Herald Tribune folded under his jacket. He hasn't had time to read it.