Thursday, May 12, 2011

Cannes Film Fest Day One

So the 64th Cannes Film Festival has started, and first things first, they were a little behind yesterday morning, or relaxed, in what some would say is true French fashion, still unrolling the red carpet ready for the press screening and photo call of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, a romantic farce starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates and Marion Cotillard.

Woody loves France, he was here last year with You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, and his new film is a real love letter to Paris, with long loving shots of the city by day, by night, in the sunshine and the rain. It’s a quirky rom com and fans of the art and literary worlds of yesteryear will relish it.

One scene where Owen’s character meets Ernest Hemingway in the 1920s looked familiar but I couldn’t figure out why until I realised that it was filmed at Les Caves du Polidor, the fab little Parisien bistro just off Boulevard St Germain that we ate in last summer on the night we arrived in Paris. And where the clumsy waitress clumped iain over the head with a bread basket!

After the film, Woody talked all about how inspired he was by French directors as a young film-maker and he waxed so lyrical about France that he will probably be back chairing the jury next year. Lucky French dwellers can read my piece very soon in next month's edition of The French Paper.

The red carpet premiere last night was a blaze of cameras and thousands of people cheering as Robert de Niro, Uma Thurman and Jude Law arrived first as members of the official jury.

Then it was Melanie Griffiths and Antonio Banderas, she sporting a tattoo of his name in a heart on her right arm, and another at the back of her neck. They cuddled like loved up teenagers on the red carpet, followed by Salma Hayek in a shimmering silver sequin strapless gown and the show’s stars Owen, Rachel, Michael Sheen and Adrien flanking Woody.

Owen looked astonished at the hordes of fans gathered below the Palais and snapped a sneaky shot of the crowd with his mobile phone before heading into the theatre. But as my LA film pal Lissa, who is down here every year, said:'Hollywood loves Cannes, it's old school glamour. Not even the Oscars does the red carpet this well.'

The day was enlivened by lunch at Vegaluna with Sylvia, where I had a birds’ eye view of the Puss in Boots photo call with the still gorgeous Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek.

It is moving rapidly upscale tonight as I am soon heading off to a very glam party hosted by Calvin Klein's designer Francisco Costa for Hollywood's most chic A listers.....the only problem being what to wear, which is why this blog is going to be sort and sweet as a wardrobe raid is imminent.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Party party party party....

If you are extremely sensitive in disposition, or extremely jealous of my life here in the sunny South of France or both, I can only tell you for the good of your future mental health to stop reading now. If however, you are a masochistic soul who enjoys being made to suffer, feel free to carry on...

After three weeks of wedding celebrations both Royal and otherwise, Elvis themed 50ths and much revelling by the pool, the fun continues on Wednesday with the opening of the Cannes Film Festival.

It's the busiest two weeks of the year for a certain showbiz journalist, pictured very hard at work above, and it means allowing the pool loungers to gather some dust, letting the housework go to rack and ruin and leaving the Kershaw household to fend for itself while I hotfoot into Cannes each morning for screenings, interviews with the A listers and then, oh joy, the parties.

Having revelled rather hard of late, I'm torn between feeling excitement at the thought of some seriously souped up bashes and trepidation at the lack of sleep and general full on-ness of the next two weeks. Invitations to Cannes Film Festival parties are a bit like wait for ages then three turn up at the same time so it's a case of arriving, checking out the action and making a calculated guess on whether to stay or quit for the next one, and of course, not missing one single bit of action or saleable gossip in the process. All the while sipping a glass of fizz on a yacht/Nikki Beach/the Martinez. And people think my job is easy.

There are some seriously good names arriving as we speak, Johnny Depp, Jodie Foster,Sean Penn, SJP, to name just a few, and some great films that I will struggle to make the horrifically anti-social 8.30am screenings for (I'm sure it's a deliberate attempt by the killjoys to punish freeloading hacks who have partied long and hard into the night. Naming no names.)

My top choices are The Tree of Life with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn (who to pick, I love them both) Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris with a massively starry cast including Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates and Carla Bruni, This Must Be The Place, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Drive and the latest Gus Van Sant offering Restless.

My lovely friend Judy is coming down with the BFI so I will have a pal to party with, hurray. Cannes, be very afraid! There's no danger of an anti-climax once the festival ends either. After a two day 'working' trip with Sylvia in St Tropez, I will be off to Monaco on May 29th after a rather lovely invite came through via a DJ events company, asking if I fancy watching the Grand Prix at a champagne fuelled party with guest DJs from around the globe on the Formula 1 Terrace....and I have a plus one!

And it's not going to Iain, who is at this moment kicking himself and sticking rusty nails in his eyes as he was so super organised this year that he has already arranged a boys' race day (with a far less superior view to mine!) To say that he is super gutted is an understatement. It's going to Milly instead, so we will be GP virgins sipping LP together for one day only.

There's barely time to catch my breath before the Monte Carlo TV Festival kicks off in early June with a horde of UK and US TV stars descending on the principality for five days of press and, oh yes, partying. And then precisely one week later, it's surfing in Biarritz with the gang, by which time all I will be fit for is a cuppa, a Stannah stairlift, a facelift and some very, very early nights. And if you believe that, you are very gullible indeed.