Although there are luxurious beach clubs and designer shops and the imposing Palais des Festivals in plain sight, not all the glamor of Cannes is immediately apparent. There is, for example, the roof of the famous Martinez Hotel, which looks like just a tiny wisp of green when you look up from the Croisette. But once you’re on that roof, which Chopard takes over during the festival every year, it’s quite a miracle little world. The views of the Mediterranean are breathtaking, while the soft sofas and green plants offer a cozy and elegant feeling of being tucked away, a rare serenity found amid the hustle and bustle of Cannes.
That’s where i found Jessica chastain on a sunny (and intensely humid) afternoon at the beginning of this year’s festival, settling into a suite and greeting visitors. She was in Cannes to preside as the “godmother” of Chopard’s flagship festival evening, the Trophée Chopard, an annual awards ceremony honoring two rising actors. It was Chastain’s duty to distribute the trophies, One night in Miami highlight Kingsley ben-adir other Jessie buckley, known for Wild Rose, I’m thinking of ending things other Fargo.
There was a poetic symmetry in the fact that Chastain returned to Cannes to recognize a new breed of emerging talent. Ten years ago, Chastain was at his first Cannes with The Tree of Life, Terrence malickThe dreamy consideration of existence, which went on to win the Palme d’Or. It was Chastain’s great breaking moment in a year that would see her nominated for an Oscar (for Aid) and heralded as the next big movie star.
“I remember being really scared,” says Chastain of her first Cannes carpet, a dizzying experience for anyone, much less a relatively unknown person who suddenly finds herself at the center of a major movie. “My whole body was shaking.” His co-stars, Brad Pitt other Sean PennHe saw that she was nervous and shook her hand, helping her up the stairs. “They wouldn’t let go of my hands,” says Chastain. “But I had to lift my dress! I don’t know if anyone noticed, but he was coming up the stairs. “
A decade later, Chastain stands a little more assertive at events like these, but still gaped on the carpet on this year’s opening night as she gazed at the scene. “What got me excited was seeing all the people who were there waiting in the sun with their cell phones and their autograph books,” he says. “There are so many people in the last year and a half who have been locked in a small apartment. We really have been apart for so long. “
That sense of reunion has permeated this year’s festival, including at the Trophée Chopard dinner, where Chopard’s co-chairman and creative director Caroline scheufele welcomed everyone to nothing less than life itself. The dinner, held at the historic Hotel Majestic, was a majestic gala event filled with industry luminaries and the typical Cannes gathering of wealthy internationals to enjoy the starry glow of the festival.
He wasn’t sure if such festive opulence would be possible in a year where COVID still continues and health and safety protocols have limited movement and activities at Cannes. But Chopard, as Chopard does, somehow managed. They even gave me a fancy black mask to replace my standard blue and white problem, better to go with my tux.
After chatting with the august gentleman sitting next to me, who happened to inform me that he owns his own jet plane, it was time to watch the ceremony, during which Chastain gushed about the two actors being honored. (“If I go to an event, I’m happier to celebrate someone else,” he told me). Ben-Adir gave a kind speech, specifically shouting his One night in Miami director Regina king, whom he has not been able to see since the film ended.
Ben-Adir was also a member of the festival jury. Tahar rahim, whose A prophet—A great success at Cannes in 2009 was a great inspiration for Ben-Adir as an aspiring actor. Ben-Adir seemed as blissfully disoriented to be in the world, and in such a fabulous context, as I did. “I had a few drinks, I really don’t remember what I said!” Ben-Adir told me later when I asked him about his speech at Trophée.
Unfortunately, Jessie Buckley was unable to be present as she was in quarantine in Canada in preparation for the filming of her next project. But the president of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Frémaux asked member of the jury Maggie gyllenhaal take the stage to say a few words about Buckley, whom Gyllenhaal recently directed at the upcoming Elena Ferrante adaptation, The lost daughter. “I’m picky about actresses,” Gyllenhaal said. “It’s hard to get my total love.” But Buckley is the real deal in Gyllenhaal’s eyes. “Jessie is a beast,” Gyllenhaal said, receiving some confused laughs from less proficient English speakers in the room, who might not have realized that she was giving Buckley a huge compliment.
Soaked in champagne and filling for dessert, it was time to head home, back to my normal Cannes life of waiting in line to see movies and then feverishly writing reviews on my cell phone while I, yes, I wait in line to other movie. As I left the Majestic, I heard the president of the festival jury Spike lee telling the juror Mati diop, “Twenty more movies!” They too faced a glorious deluge of movies to come. At least we had the Trophée dinner tonight to relax and take stock of things, and to look forward to the future of the industry.
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