CANNES: Need Tickets? Good luck

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 ZellwegerRenee 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.”