Some of the movies out of competition include the Opening Gala film, Ismael’s Ghosts with Marion Cotillard and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Hedwig and the Angry Inch director John Cameron Mitchell. Two episodes of David Lynch’s rebooted Twin Peaks will also be shown at the festival.
The celebrities on jury duty at Cannes include Will Smith and Jessica Chastain, who are judging the feature film competition, and Uma Thurman, who is President of the Un Certain Regard competition, which honors films told in nontraditional ways. Director Pedro Almodovar is President of the Jury for the festival and he already sparred with Smith at a pre-festival press conference about whether movies that appear on Netflix and other streaming services should be considered. “I personally cannot conceive of, not only the Palme d’Or, but any other prize being given to a film and not being able to see this film on a big screen,” Almodovar said.
But Will Smith had a more open-minded approach. “In my house, Netflix has been nothing but an absolute benefit,” Smith explained, citing his children. “They get to see films they absolutely wouldn’t have seen. Netflix brings a great connectivity. There are movies that are not on a screen within 8,000 miles of them. They get to find those artists.”
Few could argue, however, about the Opening Gala fashion on the red carpet. Elle Fanning was beguiling in a decorative Vivienne Westwood gown, while Uma Thurman brought a blush to the festivities in the color of the night—blush. Model Bella Hadid wore a similar shade on the gala red carpet, which she attended with her father.
Not to be outdone, model Emily Ratajkowski played peek-a-boo on opening night in a thigh-split slip dress and some statement jewels.
Other red carpet standouts at the Opening Gala were Jessica Chastain in an embroidered Alexander McQueen dress, Julianne Moore in a glamorous red Givenchy gown, Naomie Harris in a flowing rainbow confection by Gucci, and Lily-Rose Depp in a goddess gown by Chanel.
And one has to wonder what Spanish actress Victoria Abril was trying to convey with her geisha-esque African queen gown on opening night. But as the French might say, “She had a certain je ne sais pourquoi.”