“Cannes you handle it?” Oh yes, there are many puns that one can associate with the Cannes Film Festival, the two weeks of glitz and glamour that take place every May. But handle it, we did. My favorite part of this year’s festival was the prevalence of fashion people, of good friends. And though it felt like fashion week with a packed schedule of cocktail parties and dinners, friends like Karlie, Joan, Rosie, Cara and Lily didn’t have a slew of fittings and shows. So, essentially, we could kill it in Cannes. Milla Jovovich, a seasoned pro at the festival, showed us the ropes (meet at the Martinez) and when to leave (which, unfortunately, we didn’t listen to).
The festivities were bookended by The Great Gatsby’s opening night party, a swell affair which would have been swell-er had it not rained, and the amFAR benefit, which was unique because the full spectrum of style was represented, from couture to Eurotrash. Apart from chauvinistic chubby old men trying to outbid each other (but it all goes to charity, so it’s OK), the highlight of the amFAR gala was the fashion show that Carine Roitfeld put together. The theme was gold, so there she was along the runway, cheering on not just the supermodels that had flown in for her, but also fashion favorites like her daughter Julia, Giovanna Battaglia and Anna Dello Russo. I witnessed an minute with Harvey Weinstein backstage, seeing a sweeter side of the notoriously not sweet man when he seemed genuinely committed to getting people to auction off those lots. And well done to amFAR, which raised more than 25million Euros (as in not dollars) at this year’s festivities.
Oh yeah, there were movies too. The highlights of my schedule were The Great Gatsby, The Bling Ring and, a personal favorite, Behind the Candelabra, the Liberace film starring Michael Douglas in opera drag and Matt Damon as his surgically altered, drug addicted lover. I’ve already given my two cents about the Gatsby with a review on this blog a few weeks ago, but to see it again was to get back on the Baz Luhrman Express for yet another colorful, saturated, optically exhausting trip. A personal highlight of this Cannes trip was sitting next to Elizabeth Dubicki at a dinner the night before the premiere, and discovering that the Aussie is just as sweet as she is sophisticated. Cate Blanchet: watch yo back!
The Bling Ring was a harder pill to swallow, merely because Sofia Coppola’s pace is so much slower and Cannes is permeated with a sense of frenzy. Seeing it the night after Gatsby was like going to a piano recital after spending the entire previous evening rolling your face off at a rave. But I adore Sofia’s brand of filmmaking, and this film had a few elements that she omitted from her previous cinematic effort, Somewhere. Notably, there was suspense and action and, to which I hope rich absentee parents around the world will take note of, a moral lesson. Much kudos too to Emma Watson, who did a truly marvelous performance playing a spoiled, delusional, self-promotional brat. As a friend described her performance, it was a convincing bit of American drag. And, may I just say, she looked marvelous in her mini skirts and temporary (at least they had better been temporary!) tattoos.
What is there left to say about Behind the Candelabra? My first though in seeing that film is that Matt Damon may be the most underrated actor of this generation. He was fantastic, playing both a hopeful, starry-eyed 17-year-old (which, for a man in his 40’s, is impressive enough) and a cracked out, bitter ex-boyfriend. He wore face prosthetics. And a thong. Acting! Michael Douglas was sensational too, playing a bedazzled, blinged out Liberace. And soon after the film starts and we see their affair take off, you forget that these are married men. You believe them. More acting! I will never understand how this film, with those two big stars and two of their best performances, landed in the hands of HBO. (Was the subject matter too gay? Perhaps, in a world where gays cannot still get married.) But then, this may be a good thing because those who would be afraid to go up to a movie theater and ask for two tickets to quite possibly the gayest film ever made can now see it in the comfort of their homes. Or closets, more precisely.
Captions, from top: Which one is not like the others? Milla, Joan, me, Lily and Rosie; Jessica Chastain, the queen of Cannes, with me and Karlie; Joan on the red carpet at the Behind the Candelabra premiere; my new crush, Elizabeth Dubicki; Cara and her new Leo the Lion tattoo; Harvey, the King of Cannes, and Rosie; Natalia in an Ulyana Sergeenko couture dress; Wendi Murdoch and Brian Grazer at the Gatsby afterparty; Isla Fischer, Jen Meyer and Dasha; Florence Welch onstage at the Gatsby party, and she was phenomenal; the wondrous Dita von Teese; Giovanna at the amFAR afterparty, with a friend; Olympia and Pucci’s Peter Dundas; Joan Smalls with Bubble, our mascot in Cannes; Rosie gives good frame; a surprise appearance from Mark Ronson; lapping it up with Carine and Rosie; Jess Hart in Alaia; Adrian Brody being THAT guy on a motorcycle; Karlie coming down to Gianluca Passi’s level; Stacy Keibler gives good body; Milla, learning how to do an over the shoulder from Chris Brenner; Carine Roitfeld cheering on her daughter Julia on the amFAR runway; Zach Quinto and I book ending the beauties Toni Garrn, Karlie and Joan; me having an intimate moment with my friends Rosie and Joan; Christian Louboutin on the lawn, playing photographer; the image of me, Karlie and Dasha that he caught.