Cannes Film Festival Report: Gwyneth Paltrow and Penelope Cruz Take the Stage

Penelope Cruz and Gwyneth Paltrow have been giving the Cannes Film Festival paparazzi plenty to flash about over the last couple of days with Madonna, Sharon Stone and a return visit Tuesday night from Angelina Jolie still to come.

Paltrow’s new romantic drama Two Lovers world premiered in the 10:00 pm competition slot Monday night and was well received, earning Paltrow, co-star Vinessa Shaw and co-writer/director James Gray a five minute standing ovation for the simple and touching film that is looking for a distributor. Co-star Joaquin Phoenix was a no-show but with this cast Two Lovers should have no problems finding a home.

Paltrow is on a roll right now with her recent release Iron Man soaring at the box office and headed for at least $300 million in the U.S. alone. She was every bit a star as she posed for pictures up and down the Palais red carpet even though it started pouring rain when the film finally let out around midnight.

Meanwhile, the day before, we sat down for Sunday brunch with Vicky Cristina Barcelona stars Penelope Cruz and Rebecca Hall, along with writer/director Woody Allen, to talk about the incredible reception Allen’s hilarious new comedy (which also stars no-shows Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem) got at its out-of-competition premiere the night before.

Allen was in a talkative mood, covering everything from European sexual fantasies (he has them) to his creative process (the “idea” is everything, comedy, drama or musical) to the French kiss for Jerry Lewis (he thinks he’s a brilliant comic but “quarrels” with some of his film choices).

Penelope Cruz was happy to be back in Cannes where she has come many times with Pedro Almodovar films. She was taken aback by all the sudden praise and Oscar talk for her hilarious comic performance as the Spanish spitfire ex of Bardem and said Allen encouraged them to ditch the script and make up all their many Spanish language lines since Woody doesn’t exactly write in that language..

“We improvised so much. I thought he’s gonna get so mad at me for saying so many bad words!”

Ratings board beware!