Cannes Film Festival Report: Julianne Moore Talks ‘Blindness’ and More

Even a veteran star of red carpet premieres and Hollywood doings can be awestruck by the pomp and circumstance of the Cannes Film Festival as Julianne Moore, the star of opening night film, Blindness told us about her experience last night as she made her way up the famed Palais steps just hours after her plane landed in Nice.

“I was about to swallow my tongue! This is much more exciting than a movie premiere. Hell yeah, I was nervous. I mean even my parents know about Cannes,” she told us over lunch today at the Hotel Martinez.

One of the reasons she was a wreck was she hadn’t seen any of the film and would be viewing it for the first time with the black-tied audience.

She is definitely not a Cannes virgin and was actually here a year ago as the CLOSING night star of Director’s Fortnight, a less formal competition that takes place down the Croisette. Her controversial and daring film, Savage Grace (opening at the end of May in the U.S.) was the reason but she said the excitement didn’t compare to what she just experienced leading off this year’s 61st edition of Cannes’ Official Selection.

Moore is very high on Blindness which has been in the works for nearly a decade and is based on Jose Saramago’s best-selling novel about a strange occurrence in which many of the residents of an unnamed city suddenly lose their eyesight and are quarantined, eventually turning against each other. She feels it is very relevant to what is going on today.

“In a sense it says ‘wake up and open your eyes’ but it doesn’t judge,” she thinks. Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) raved about his star.

“She’s like a machine but in a good sense. She really goes deep,” he says. “It’s like she has a button that turns (emotion) on and off.” 

Moore will be vying for the Fest’s Best Actress prize when awards are announced on May 26. Another contender, a very pregnant (with twins) Angelina Jolie came into Cannes today to promote her animated film, Kung Fu Panda, and got the massive paparazzi treatment. She will be back Tuesday for Clint Eastwood’s competition entry, The Changeling.