How can the festivities get any hotter than they already are? The weekend has arrived which means there are even more parties and more outfits. And oh, yes, there are now even more hordes of Cannes fans. They start camping out (some of them fully equipped with collapsible benches and gourmet picnics) in front of the red carpeted Palais as the sun comes up and wait more than 12 hours to catch a glimpse of the stars and the auteurs and their muses (if they can get them in.) It's all about access. Not a single ticket is for sale.
While veterans like two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine have parties thrown for him (on Friday night his new movie, "The Shiner," was the subject of a fete at the Riviera Hotel), others have to wrangle tickets. This weekend, movie producers, buyers and hangers-on were vying for Saturday night's coveted MTV party invitation (which has a well-earned reputation for always being one of the best of the fest) at the Carlton Beach with De la Soul.
In other Cannes bits:
"Mission to Mars" -- On a somewhat down to Earth note ("out of Earth," might be more accurate) the been-there, seen-that "Mission to Mars" never really got off the ground here. Brian De Palma arrived alone, sans stars Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins. Complaints have been growing that the Cannes' longtime king, Gilles Jacob, chooses the films arbitrarily and sometimes smaller films lose out big time. But, c'est la vie, isn't that the prerogative of any festival director?
Renee Zellweger -- Renee Zellweger is sparkling both in person and in the title role of Neil LaBute's unpredictable third movie, "Nurse Betty." Chris Rock is wonderful in his dramatic role, as is Morgan Freeman (you might have heard of him? He's a three-time Oscar nominee?) Greg Kinnear was terrific as the anti-romantic (you gotta see it) lead and it's nice to see Renee's back on track after some fine performances in forgettable films (does that sound like a familiar phenomenon?) because we'll see her next in "Bridget Jones' Diary."
Jodie Foster has had to relinquish her position as the Cannes Int'l Film Festival jury president because she feels the need to go make a few dollars, $12 million to be exact.
In the wake of the Screen Actors Guild pre-strike production frenzy, Foster has stepped in to replace Nicole Kidman in Columbia's "The Panic Room," directed by David Fincher. Kidman had to bow out because of an knee injury. Columbia actually wanted Angelina Jolie as the replacement, but Jolie decided to star in New Regency's "Life, or Something Like It" instead.
However, Foster's decision to exit as jury president has left Cannes president Gilles Jacob and his team in a bind, to say the least, as they now will have to scramble to find a replacement to run the 12-member jury. Still, the festival is handling the news gracefully.
In a statement to Variety, Jacob said: "The embarrassment and regret [Ms. Foster] expressed are equaled by our disappointment, but anyone can understand that for an actress, her profession comes first."
As for Foster, she said to Variety: "I hope with all my heart that it is only a postponement and that, if the Festival honors me with another request, I will one day become president of a Festival to which I owe so much, and this time for good."
The fact that Foster was picked for the prestigious position is a milestone in itself. The Int'l Festival has had a tenous relationship with the U.S. market in the past, and choosing Foster was perceived as an act of good faith by Hollywood heavyweights.
Now, unfortunately, the Festival has been set back considerably since finding a new president will undoubtedly cause more headaches. Foster was very easygoing about the other jury member selections, and the new president may be more particular.
Foster will next be seen in "The Dangerous Life of Altar Boys" directed by Peter Care, produced by her company, Egg Pictures.
Looks like Jodie Foster is going to put her French to good use.
The two-time Oscar-winning actress and sometime director has been tapped by the 54th Cannes International Film Festival to serve as the head of the event's jury this year, Daily Variety says.
"[Foster] is a very intelligent woman, and we are confident she will handle the rest of the jury in a diplomatic way," festival head honcho Gilles Jacob told Variety.
Foster is no stranger to Cannes and the French culture. The actress first set foot on festival ground back in 1976 for the screening of "Taxi Driver," which won the Palme d'Or that year, and Foster's mother is French. Foster speaks the language fluently.
The Cannes Film Festival kicks off May 9 and runs through May 20.