A total of twenty-two films are competing for the 65th Palme D’Or this year, all of them by male directors; the yearly film festival at Cannes opened today with a showing of Wes Anderson’s new film ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, starring, amongst others, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, and Edward Norton. A movie with a cast so A-List that I had to leave Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Frances McDormand and Harvey Keitel out of the top three, it follows the tale of two twelve-year-old kids embarking on an adventure of love whilst chased down by hapless adults, and has received lukewarm reviews thus far.
Opening any film festival must be daunting, but Cannes is the big one – Anderson will no doubt be disappointed with most of the reports coming from France, with words such as “forgetful” and “inconsequential” being bandied around. The director described the film as wanting to capture “the memory of what I wanted to have happened, and the memory of the emotion of falling in love as a kid, which is something that has never left me and I hope people will share”.
Other exciting offerings are to come over the next two weeks at Cannes: directors in the running include David Cronenburg, Ken Loach – and this writer’s personal favourite, Michael Haneke. Amongst the jurors on this year’s panel sit Ewan McGregor and Diane Kruger, a former winner of the Chopard Trophy at Cannes 2003. Autograph hunters and red carpet snappers will be seeing Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt, John Cusack, Reece Witherspoon, and Kirsten Stewart glide past them on their way to the event, which tends to set the tone for most critics seeing the movies after the event. A bad review at Cannes is, they say, a bad review everywhere, but a good one does not guarantee success – last year’s winner Tree of Life was later beaten by runner-up The Artist at the Oscars.