© Reuters. 74th Cannes Film Festival – Opening ceremony and screening of the film “Annette” in competition – Cannes, France, July 6, 2021. Jury member Melanie Laurent on stage. REUTERS / Eric Gaillard
By Sarah White
CANNES, France (Reuters) – Dressed in a gleaming silver Chanel gown, Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard helped kick off a comeback from Cannes on Tuesday as movie stars from all over descended on the red carpet for the French film screening. .
The world’s largest film festival is marking its return after skipping 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in a slightly more moderate form, with fewer attendees and parties during the 12-day whirlwind of movie premieres.
The stars were present on the French Riviera for the opening ceremony, in a show of support for an industry hit by the pandemic after cinemas closed for months.
“It will be my first time in a cinema in 15 months,” said Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonca Filho, one of the members of the jury that will choose the winner of the Palme D’Or award, at a press conference on Tuesday.
Hollywood stars Jessica Chastain and Adam Driver, who stars alongside Cotillard in the opening film musical “Annette,” were among the celebrities who traveled to France for the event, along with Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar and the British actress Helen Mirren.
In a pearl Givenchy shift dress, Jodie Foster, who first came to Cannes when she was 13 when she starred in “Taxi Driver,” arrived to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sean Penn and Wes Anderson will be among the heavy hitters competing for prizes in the film’s main competition, one of several side events and premieres that will take place over the next fortnight.
They include outdoor screenings on the beach along Cannes’ famous Croisette catwalk, where tourists starting their summer vacation in the resort town will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Hollywood royalty.
The festival retains a very French flavor and will show the latest performances by directors Francois Ozon and Jacques Audiard, as well as Catherine Corsini’s “The Divide,” set in modern France against the backdrop of the anti-government demonstrations of the ‘Yellow Vests. ‘.
Festival director Thierry Fremaux on Monday complied with strict French rules that prohibit the inclusion in the competition of films from films promoted by streaming platforms such as Netflix (NASDAQ 🙂 unless they are released first in theaters.
American director Spike Lee, who wore a pink suit for the opening ceremony, weighed in on the lengthy Cannes versus Netflix debate, supporting the platform on which he launched “Da 5 Bloods” at the height of the pandemic shutdowns last year.
“Cinema and projection platforms can coexist at the same time,” Lee told a news conference Tuesday. “There was a time when it was thought that television was going to kill cinema. This is not new.”
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