Festival de Cannes 2011

The 64th annual Cannes Film Festival began yesterday in its namesake French resort town. An iconic photograph of Faye Dunaway exuding all of her 1960s sex appeal graced its poster against a simple gold and black design. If they were trying to allude to the many legendary stars and movies that have attended this event they succeeded. It has been described as the most glamorous film festival for a reason.

“Midnight in Paris” star, Rachel McAdams, looked like an iconic leading lady on the red carpet in a Marchesa gown. I just love the photo of all of the men surrounding her and Woody Allen marveling at her train.

If you are interested in the history and glamor of the Cannes film festival, a new book from Cahiers du cinema, Cannes Cinema, catalogs the Traverso family’s photography of the event for more than half a century. 

Grace Kelly met Prince Ranier III at the festival.

Brigitte Bardot at the festival before making the films that made her famous.

Jeanne Moreau sings to diners at a popular restaurant, Mère Terrat.

Sophia Loren

I am excited for the U.S. release dates of a couple movies that will premier at the festival. One such movie, is Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”. Staring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Marion Cotillard, the movie is described as a romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. Festival director, Thierry Fremaux, called it “a wonderful love letter to Paris.” Apparently this detail was kept under wraps until the premier, but there is a time travel aspect to the movie in which the main character travels to “..headier times, when the likes of Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Picasso drank, smoked and danced the Charleston in the City of Lights…” says Variety writer Peter Debruge. 

I have already seen previews for “The Tree of Life” with Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain, so hopefully we aren’t too far from its release date. The synopsis says the story centers around a family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence.

Sean Penn is once again in character, this time as a retired rock star in “This Must be the Place”. In this role, he sets out to find his father’s executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the U.S.

If you didn’t get an invite to this year’s festival, I suggest watching “To Catch a Thief”. You get French Riviera, Grace Kelly in beautiful dresses, and an iconic Alfred Hitchcock film all for a rental fee from Blockbuster and less than 2 hours of your time.

(Photos via Cannes Film Festival, The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair)

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