• Day 74: A Year Without Candy Goes to Cannes

    Date: 2010.05.12 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

    I was among the many who had a tough time getting to today’s opening of the 63rd Cannes Film Festival. Last week’s freakish storm with 18-foot waves that battered restaurants along the Cannes seafront capped off months of annoying English-type weather on the Cote d’Azur. Even worse, the remains of the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland re-wafted over Europe this past weekend, closing Nice Airport for a day and disrupting flights from all over.

    One Los Angeles film critic had to take two planes, two trains and a bus to get here. Paging John Candy! Other friends of mine reported 10 to 12 hour flights from JFK (usually takes only seven to eight hours) because the planes had to “detour” around the volcash. Leslie Nielsen on line one!

    I only had to drive the 22 miles west from Nice to Cannes, yet I inexplicably zoned out and drove right past the Cannes exit. Saw a bit of scenic Frejus before turning around and heading back to Cannes. Good thing I didn’t space completely and drive all the way to Ikea in Toulon. (Though the cafeteria there does serve a delicious Swedish lunch.) If this is Wednesday, it must be Belgium?

    But we are reporters in the timeless war zone of the Cannes Film Festival and we will fight our way to the front (the Palais), pick up our badges and prepare to do battle. I’ve already walked into the wrong queue twice in a scant two hours, the familiar and scornful Non, madame, pas ici dripping from the lips of the army of Cannes gatekeepers.

    And after a lengthy respite from the rigors of entertainment reporting (and it is a snakepit) I feel myself adapting with frightening swiftness. I, too, am buzzing around the Palais and the Croisette with the same air of being terribly busy and officious self-importance.

    However, the real me is less introspective. Here’s what’s on my mind on Day One:

    1. Tim Burton reminds me of Dolly Parton. They both have such an obviously contrived look. Dolly, actually one of the most talented songwriters and gifted performers on the planet, will not, no matter what, give up her wigs and garish makeup and see-through stiletto heels. Burton, who’s the Cannes jury president this year, looks as if he must have a stylist with him at all times to maintain his wildly frizzy hair and two-day old growth of beard so everyone knows he is no poseur but a true artiste.

    2. I’m already missing the megawattage of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, festival mainstays, who aren’t coming this year and thus making my job harder. Shia LeBeauf and Carey Mulligan are the new It Couple but I know Brangelina and they are no Brangelina.

    3. I came armed today with almonds and raisins and water. But there is a Haagen-Dazs stand directly opposite the Palais where every other year I’ve enjoyed a scoop of pralines and cream. It does give a certain frisson of energy every day. Can almonds and raisins take its place? Hope so…..