Cannes 2012 Daily Blog: Day 11

Day 11

“it’s a man-flick about love” drawled Texan director Jeff Nicols in our roof terrace interview.

Mud , the latest from the man who made Take Shelter , which screened first at Sundance and then Cannes last year, is a coming-of-ager about first love and idealism set against the murky depths of the Mississippi river.

It was a gentler start to the day than many this year, focusing on 14-year-old Ellis (a stand out from Tye Sheridan who appeared in last year’s winner The Tree Of Life ) as a young boy struggling with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage who meets titular Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a fugitive living on a island.

Not matching the visual delights of Take Shelter , it’s nonetheless another heartfelt piece with an unexpected turn from Reese Witherspoon as object of desire Juniper – she shares just one poignant moment with McConaughey in a role very much second to his grimy, man-child mentor.

“It’s about a boy desperately searching for a version of love which works” Nichols explained, “If there’s anything I want people to take away it’s that in love we get bruised and banged up but for some reason we always get up again.”

Set in the slow sweaty South, Witherspoon, who’d grown up in the area related “I grew up with my brother in a creek riding dirt bikes. When I read Jeff’s script it felt like home.”

We hooked up with Nicols and the cast on the 6th floor terrace of the Palais, stifflingly hot, almost like the setting of the film.

McConaughey, the young stars Sheridan and Jacob Lofland and Nicols were on form, while pregant Reese was feeling unwell.

Cannes is winding down now, and TF leaves tomorrow. Not our favourite of the fest but a heartfelt, well shot, accomplished and moving film apt to end the fest.

Day 10

David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis started the day to a mixed reception this morning on the Croisette.

His strange, talky, stylised drama follows Robert Pattinson’s super-rich financial whiz wending his way across Manhattan in a white limo to get a haircut.

It’s a grown up role for Pattison who impresses, with good supporting cast including Paul Giamatti, Juliet Binoche and Mathieu Almeric though the episodic nature and difficult material can be distancing.

Keep an eye on our Cosmopolis page for our full review soon.

Next up some total dudes.

Over at the rather swanky Martinez hotel we met up with John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey, Macy Gray, Zac Efron, David Oyelowo and Lee Daniels.

McConaughey was all deep tan and southern charm, while Cusack smoked a cigarette substitute (a robot cig, if you will), and sucked ice cubes from his empty glass of coke.

Macy Gray has terrific fake eyelashes, and of course that wonderful raspy voice, while Daniels was animated and opinionated.

Oyelowo was smart and articulate, while Efron was fresh faced and frank (“Sometimes the wardrobe wasn’t working and Lee would say ‘maybe you need to be in your boxers'”).

During our interview Macy and Zac agree to co-star in a broadway musical “He’s a big shot now, maybe he’ll help me out” while many of the cast will be reuniting for Daniel’s next film The Butler .

It’s the story of a White house butler who served 5 America Presidents.

McConaughey will play JFK (“of course”) with Cusack as Richard Nixon and Oyelowo as the son of butler Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker).

Alan Rickman’s playing Ronald Reagan. He actually is.

Next over to the Park And Suite for some face time with Maniac director Franck Khalfoun and producer Alexandre Aja. Sat on a table on the patio, it was at this point that the thunder and rain began so we had to take shelter.

Both were lively and passionate, accepting that their ultra violent film wasn’t for the weak of stomach, hoping only that it would be effective (even to those who walked out).

Their star Elijah Wood is apparently a massive horror fan and for them was a no brainer in terms of casting.

“Knowing that we wouldn’t see him as much as we would in a normal film it was important for us to have someone with such presence.” Khalhoun offered.

“There’s a tradition of psychos who are very romantic. Sad. Looking for a lost love or a lost mother. Something in Elijah had that childlike quality and charm.” Aja confirmed.

Quick spot of dinner with Airborne director Dominic Burns whose new film UFO is in the market place. It’s a mental looking sci-fi actioner with Sean Pertwee, Sean (son of Pierce) Brosnan and JCVD kicking some ass and taking some names.

We had a sneaky peak at the promo reel which looks loads of fun and features JCVD saying “And you are…?” before shooting the crap out of someone.

Off to the beach for a sandy screening of George Lucas produced Red Tails . The perfect feel-good schmaltz in a beautiful setting. Lucas himself showed up, with director Anthony Hemingway and star Cuba Gooding Jr to introduce it.

Lucas recalled his first Cannes for TX1138 in 1971 “Warner didn’t want us to come so we had to sneak into our own screening. The weather was terrible.” Before affirming Red Tails as “a labour of love.”

Hemingway called it “a monumental moment for me. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to share it with you.”

While Gooding Jr, a little tired and emotional, just screamed “vive la France!” a few times…

Day 9

Nicole kidman weeing on Zac Efron. John Cusack as a sweaty death row convict. Macy Gracy in a superb turn.

There was plenty to talk about on the Croisette this morning at the first screeing of Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy .

It’s a sweaty, spicy, hot and humid tale of sexual represssion and awakening that sees Nicole Kidman in a standout role as the ‘over-sexed Barbie doll’ corresponding with John Cusack’s greasy death row in-mate.

Exceptional performances all round, including Matthew McConaughey as the journalist investigating the mismanagement and dodgy evidence of death row convict Hillary Van Wette (John Cusack).

Response was mixed, but for TF it was a breath of fresh air – funny, engaging, reminsicent mostly of Clint Eastwoods’ Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil, with all it’s strange southern charm and eccentricity.

If it lacked focus (what was this film actually about?) and Macy Gray’s voice over didn’t always work, it was still exciting and compelling..

And my god, there’s a scene in a prison where Nicole Kidman mimes a blow job to John Cusack which is disturbing, weirdly erotic and just brilliant….

Last night we were caught up with Sightseers, the new horror comedy from Ben Wheatley who made Kill List . Sightseers is nothing like Kill List .

It is, however, excellent. It’s a small scale, little England take on Badlands or Natural Born Killers , full of Pencil Museums and Tram experiences.

Very funny, very observant and pleasingly violent, this was an absolute highlight.

Next the Carlos Regaydas’, Post Tenebrae Lux .


Some stuff happened in no particular order. Some kids played rugby. There was a weird devil. A couple went to the politest sex den in Mexico.

Intoxicating if you like that sort of thing, alienating if you don’t, it was a narrative-free experience that left us cold.

Liked the bit with the devil with the tool box. Liked the bit where the guy’s head falls off. Really didn’t get the bit with the UK rugby kids.

Quick drink with the marvellous E1 team and more drink and amazing BBQ and paella from the Monster Pictures guys from Australia

Amazing need for sleep.

D ay 8

It was a heady morning of sex and drugs for Total Film. After which we caught the first screening of Walter Salles’ On The Road

A long time in production and boasting a young starry cast, it was with anticipation we approached Jack Kerouac’s tale of the heart of the Beat Generation, which follows wide eyed young writer Sal (Sam Riley) and his molten relationship with the reckless Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) and his young wife Marylou (Kristen Stewart)

Gorgeously shot with a hip jazz score, Salles’ adap flits between parties and states, depression, exploration and exhilaration, a highly sexy and hedonistic journey of free spirits searching for experience and meaning.

Episodic by nature, Salles offers a showcase of the American landscape of the late ’40s and ’50s capturing the intoxication of youth and the era, through Kerouac’s Beat-hero alter-egos.

While Riley is sympathetic as Kerouac’s own cypher Sal, Hedlund doesn’t quite manage to make the very tough to like Moriarty (modelled on beat poet Neal Cassady) charismatic enough to convince as a magnetic force.

It’s Stewart’s turn as a liberated 16-year-old, though, that’s the biggest draw. At last cracking a smile, she’s a world away from Twilight lipbiting, baring all, and bringing energy and tangible sexuality that’s never less than captivating.

Lovers of the book may forgive the bloated length and meandering narrative – it’s an accomplished, stylish effort, though it’s more a film to get fleetingly drunk on than fall in love with forever.

We’re a little bit in love with Alexander Payne, however, who joined Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan on the Majestic beach for the ‘East Meets West’ conversation this afternoon, an hour long chat about modern cinema and film preservation.

Mostly interesting, Payne impressed with his extensive film knowledge and sure footed stance (“There is no place for product placement in film, it is corrupt, perverse and hideous” he confided, at the Louis XIII Remy Martin Cognac event).

He also chatted briefly about his next film Nebraska : ‘I’m making a little comedy, a very austere, small comedy, it’s a father/son road trip from the state of Montana to the state of Nebraska, and the father and son become stuck in the small town where the father grew up. It will be my first feature film in black and white.”

Bruce Dern, Wille Forte are stated to star.

Off the beach and up to the bar, next we sat down for a chin wag with Roman Coppola, son of Francis Ford, brother of Sophia, who wrote Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom – the festival’s opening movie.

We caught up about Moonrise , and his next comedy A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charles Swan III , starring Charlie Sheen, which he’s written produced and directed.

Charlie Sheen movie fact: the Jag used in the scene where Charlie Sheen turns up in Being John Malkovich belonged to Roman. True story.

Next over to the Olympia for Franck Khalfoun horror Maniac starring Elijah Wood, co written and produced by Switchblade Romance / The Hills Have Eyes remake director Alexandre Aja.

It’s not very Cannes , though we sort of liked it.

It’s a remake of the 1980 William Lustig exploitationer about a man with mummy issues, who spends too much time with antique shop mannequins.

VFX are impressive (and by that we mean the incessant scalpings look disgustingly realistic) and the killer’s-eye-view it maintains worked well.

Not a great story though, not at all scary, and not very PC when it comes to gender politics – we sat down to rumours of walk outs after the first ten minutes because of the extreme violence towards women.

TF is made of sterner stuff…

Unexpected sight of the day: Steve Buscemi and Garrett Hedlund getting sweaty in On The Road

Not entirely unexpected occurance of the day:
TF falls up some steps in a dark screening room and man handles FrightFest’s Alan Jones.

Market Movie Of The Day: Bro’

Danny Trejo, Colin ‘Scummy’ Morrison and Larry Fessenden star in a freestyle motorcross movie. Tagline “Crash. Burn. Repeat.”

Day 7

Tuesday on the Croisette started with a bang with the first screening of Andrew Dominik’s excellent crime thriller Killing Them Softly (previously Cogan’s Trade ), starring Brad Pitt.

It was exciting start to the day (check out our full Killing Them Softly screening reaction ) and one that was much needed after the lavish but somewhat punishing Adu Dhabi party (the ‘Abu-Dhabi-Do’) TF attended the night before.

There was booze. There was dancing. There was Kelis.

Our date for the evening was The King’s Speech and Moon producer Mark Foligno whose next project is Wasteland , a sparky heist movie starring Luke Treadaway. We were shown a sneak peek of the promo reel and it looks energetic and stylish, so we’re tentatively excited.

After we’d killed them softly it was off to the Carlton for a chat with Isabelle Huppert and Hong Sang-Soo about In Another Country .

Huppert also stars in Haneke’s Amour and while In Another Country is a gentle comedy and Amour is possibly the most harrowing movie we’ve ever seen, Huppert insist the two directors have similaries.

“People were trying to tell me there couldn’t be more different directors than Haneke and Hong Sangsoo and surprisingly there are more points in common that one would think.” She explained.

“On one hand Amour and In Another Country are two extremes, but the two of them had the same simplicity in filming, the same sense of frame, the same control in the writing and the cinematic language. It’s not so different. They both have this incredible and essential simplicity.”

Out of the Carlton, quick cup of tea, and we were off to Screen Australia to meet Boyzone’s Ronan Keating.

Keating is starring in Goddess , a new musical comedy drama about an isolated mother who becomes an internet singing sensation.

“I’m a marine biologist.” Says Keating (in the most surrreal moment of the day)

“He spends a lot of time at sea away from his family. There’s a comparison there, that’s kind of how I live my life, my wife was at home and I was travelling.”

Not the obvious choice of movie star but Keating was articulate and charming when we met, so you never know. He’s been after a movie role for a while, too.

“It took me 20 years to get here.” he revealed.

“It isn’t an overnight thing in any way. I’ve been reading for movies for years but I’d never been good enough to get them. But I worked hard, I studied, I learned the craft and was ready.

“I read for Moulin Rouge . I’ve read for Antoine Fuqua and Jerry Bruckheimer, I’ve done a lot of readings.”


Film he’s loved most recently : Avengers Assemble .

Film he love to be in: Bond.

Ronan Keating as the new Bond. There’s a thought.

Next off to the Grand for a sit down in the very welcome sunshine, where we bumped into Dexter Fletcher and producer Tim Cole.

Fletcher has a new project due to start shooting this year called Provenance , it’s a Western “with no ten gallon hats” apparently.

“It’s a story about a young man learning to leave his past behind and go on and do great things.” Fletcher explained. When we talked about influences PTA Anderson’s There Will Be Blood came up. British answer to that? We’ll see.

The evening’s entertainment began back at the Grand, moving swiftly on to the Bankside Films do up on the sixth floor of a harbour side appartment. Great view. Great prawns.

Tonight also holds the Fantastic Fest karaoke. We’re not sure we can cope. But if we do go, we’re singing Boyzone. Rude not to.

Observation of the day:
Homeless people in Cannes all seem to own a puppy and a kitten.

Market Place movie of the day: Naked Soldier . Tagline “Extremely dangerous”. And presumably chilly.

Day 6

Strangers abroad can be exotic and intoxicating (as in the case of Total Film ) but also crass and disruptive (as in the case of the bloke wearing a policeman’s helmet, comedy nose and union jack round his neck, shouting ‘vive La France’ at people on the Croisette this afternoon).

This relationship between the strange and the familiar is at the centre of Korean director Hong Sangsoo’s In Another Country , a thoughtful comedy drama of manners and marriages, gender and nationality.

Isabelle Huppert stars as ‘Anna’- a glamourous french director, a bored housewife and a blundering divorcee in the three segments that make up this sort-of-portmanteau.

The framing device is film student Wonju (Jung Yumi), writing a film script ‘to calm her nerves’ as she and her mother are troubled by her uncle’s debt.

Each segment imagines the drama and distruptions to the local residents of beach side Korean town Mohang when their french vistor arrives.

It’s funny – relying on gentle character-based humour; there’s a good bit where where Isabelle Huppert wails at a goat, and another where the local lifeguard sings a song about a lighthouse, but The Hangover this isn’t.

Performances are strong, observations keen – it’s an enjoyable watch but not one, we suspect will get much attention outside the Croisette.

Unlike Bonnie Wright aka Harry Potter ‘s Ginny Weasely who gets lots of attention – and she’s about to get some more.

She’s here with her very first short Separate We Come, Separate We Go , her graduation piece from her Film and Televsion degree at the London College Of Communication.

We caught the short this morning in a screening room which held just nine people – it’s a rather sweet, very personal story about a little girl who meets lovely David Thewis and learns to stretch her limitations.

Uplifting, though we must admit there was a moment just after ten-year-old Thea meets 40-something Norman and he invites her back to his house for a lovely cup of tea, that we thought it was going to go a different way… Phew.

Chatted with Bonnie after the screening about her short and her new projects.

Tonight is the screening of Ken Loach’s The Angel’s Share , a movie about Scotland and booze. Here’s our official Angels’ Share review , and if you fancy a taster, check out the trailer .

We’re off to brave the weather, gatecrash a party, and hopefully get some decent kip – we’re interviewing Ronan Keating tomorrow so we’ve gotta look sharp…

Oh, and don’t forget to read our reaction to the Django Unchained footage screened in Cannes .

Umbrellas broken in weather which continues to be ridiculous: 2

Umbrellas shilled to us by the umbrella mafia: Still 1. You fool us once, shame on you, you fool us twice…

Market place movie of the day: Big Boy .

Tagline “Ever asked yourself how grown up you really are?” It’s a ‘dance battle and drama’ from Thailand and the blurb isn’t very well translated: “The relationship of both never get along well. Pun always look down on Po lack of spirit and a loser.”


Day 5

There’s a new Cronenberg on the scene and he’s just as icky as his dad.

Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral , which TF caught late last night, is a bloody, pus-oozing, dissection of celebrity culture and specifically how we consume celebrity, that harks back to Crony Snr classics adding contemporary politics with vision and flair.

Antiviral imagines a world where super-fans can purchase strains of the same viruses their idols have been afflicted with.

It’s a complex mystery recalling back catalogue Cronenberg including, among others, Videodrome , Dead Ringers and Existenz – which Brandon worked on with David.

Visually fascinating, though at times lacking in focus, Antiviral is pleasantly disturbing and anchored by an intense and impressive performance from Caleb Landry Jones, as the bio-technician too married to his job.

It’s a twisty, sticky satire that we’re sure made Dad proud – very sure in fact, since he appeared at the screening along with his son to show support.

Full of beans and raring to go, the morning brought us Amour . A whimsical romcom to make Amelie look dour?

No! An unbearably heartbreaking drama about the degredation and humiliation of aging. This is the latest from perputual misery-guts and Cannes royalty Michael Haneke.

It’s tough but it’s brilliant, with extraordinary performances from Jean-Louis Trintignant as George (Haneke LOVES that name) and Emmanuelle Riva as Anne, an older couple dealing with the effects of a stroke.

Brilliant yes, but it left TF reeling.

Reeling all the way down the Croisette! Hideous weather has been a disaster for all but opportunist umbrella salesmen, with driving rain persisting all day, so we tracked, inappropriate of atire and soggy of foot, for a spot of brunch with BBC Films. They were putting on a do to announce their upcoming movie slate with includes the lavish looking Great Expectations , Stone Roses biopic Spike Island and Quartet , featuring Maggie Smith being all showstoppy. Dexter Fletcher was there and the quiche was nice.

The rain even held up our interviews with Antiviral stars Landry Jones and Sarah Gadon and Crony Jr, but at least it didn’t ‘dampen’ our spirits (groan).

Gadon, who plays celebrity icon Hannah Geist, was beautiful, thoughtful and frighteningly intelligent. Caleb Landry Jones was charming, hyper-active and anxious: he gave us a great interview before deciding to play some dischords on the piano in the restaurant where we met.

He’s also well up for reprising Banshee in the X-Men: First Class sequel, if he gets the chance.

“If they ask me to do another one I’m excited to dive a little further, show a little more of who he is, expand on it. It’s exciting! The ground work is there, I can now have fun with it!”

While Brandon Cronenberg was shy, smart and fascinating, and willing to humour the incessant questions about his dad:

“An early memory of mine was of the babboon from The Fly sitting on my lap. I was in kindergarten. He was really heavy”.

Market place movie of the day: The Cat . Tagline: “Two Eyes That See Death In Darkness…” Sounds like every cat we know…

Umbrellas broken in frankly ridiculous weather: 1

Umbrellas shilled to us at an extortionate price by Cannes umbrella bandits: 1

Day 4

Another of this year’s big American hitters left blood on the Croisette this morning.

In truth, Lawless isn’t as grim as director John Hillcoat’s last, The Road . (Mind you, the only thing grimmer than The Road the film is The Road the book.)

Still, his Prohibition-era gangster pic spills voluminous amounts of a certain fluid. And we ain’t just talking moonshine.

Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke play a trio of bootlegging brothers in 1930s Franklin County who become public enemy number one for sadistic special deputy Charley Rakes (Guy Pearce sans eyebrows).

Although the plot sometimes feels like little more than a series of reprisals, the action packs a consistently fierce sting.

And if it doesn’t boast the cumulative power of Hillcoat’s The Proposition (in which Pearce played a much lower-key role), it’s pacy, racy and engagingly acted, with smaller-role players like Gary Oldman (as big-dog gangster Floyd Barber) and Mia Wasikowska (the preacher’s daughter who snares LaBeouf’s eye) making the most of their screen time.

It’s adapted from Matt Bondurant’s true-story book by Nick Cave (who scribed The Proposition ), who joined director and cast for a colourful press conference.

Tom Hardy revealed the secret of his on-screen badassery: playing Scrabble between takes (“It’s kind of hard”).

Meanwhile, Cave expressed his fondness for “sentimentality and brute violence” and took no prisoners when one journalist suggested his film was a bit like another film: “It’s nothing like The Assassination Of Jesse James . Have you even seen The Assassination Of Jesse James ? They both have voiceovers? All good films have voiceovers!”

Marketplace movie title of the day: Zombieass: Toilet Of The Dead (tagline: ‘We are going to flush you’)

Word we’re proudest of on WordMole (for Blackberry): Fructose

Shop next door we’re a little wary of trying: Funny Food

Day 3

An object lesson in the power of advertising descended on Cannes this morning in the shape of the succinctly named No .

Following Tony Manero and Post Mortem , it’s the closer in Pablo Larrain’s Pinochet trilogy.

The director here turns his eye to Chile’s 1988 referendum – and the efforts to create a campaign urging people to vote for democracy, not dictatorship.

It’s Mad Men with mullets, with Gael Garcia Bernal as a sort of mini-Don Draper spearheading the seemingly impossible task.

Though the film has serious points to make about media control and manipulation, it’s also a deadpan delight, its humour more subtle than say, Wag The Dog .

Bernal is superbly understated, but the real ratings winner is the campaign itself, how it evolves, adapts and flirts with the absurd. It’s a big fat ‘Yes’

from TF .

The audience enjoyed too – the man next to your correspondent clapped his way through at least three layers of skin.

Elsewhere, we’ve been chatting with Karen Gillan about leaving Doctor Who and taking on her first leading role in a motion picture. Read all about it here .

One detail we left out? Being cabbed back down to the Croisette on a motorbike along some very steep, very windy hills. Our face in the side-mirror’s the

most extraordinary spectacle we’ve seen so far…

Only one more sleeps till: Lawless

Only eight more sleeps till: Cosmopolis

Number of proper sleeps we’ve had since getting here : 0.5

Day 2

It’s déjà vu all over again!

Yesterday we were on a junket for a DreamWorks’ animation with an all-star line-up. Today we were on a junket for a DreamWorks’ animation with an all-star line-up. It’s déjà vu etc. etc.

The film was Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted , which would explain why human-sized lions and penguins were outside one of the big hotels waving to the crowd.

As the title suggests, the animals have swapped the jungle for the continent in this one, joining the circus along the way. Remember the bit in the first Madagascar where one of them starts tripping on a tranquiliser dart? There are several sequences like that here, the directors (all three of them) going to town with the swirly , neon-y pyrotechnics.

Luckily, it’s not a case of Cirque Du So Lame. Sure, Melman the giraffe is still the wettest character in modern animation, but there’s plenty to distract from his whining.

The penguins of course – and King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), who gets amorous over a big bike-riding bear. (“You have a very hairy back… I like that in a woman.”)

Meeting the cast later, we learned that Chris Rock wants to be on Girls (the TV show), Ben Stiller didn’t realise he was funny until his late teens and that Jessica Chastain is a big Three Amigos fan. Also, Martin Short is a big Jessica Chastain fan.

In other news, we enjoyed the emotionally intense Rust And Bone (from A Prophet director Jacques Audiard) and the politically intense After The Battle (about last year’s revolution in Egypt).

Plus the singularly intense trailer reel we caught just before stepping into Madagascar : foul-mouthed kids, drug-dealing grans, the Pusher remake… again, again!

Day 1

The sun is shining, the moon is rising – Cannes 2012 is officially underway!

Last year the organisers eased us in with a comedy – Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris – a tactic they’ve repeated with 2012’s opener, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom .

Rather than some fantasy about empire-building werewolves, it’s a tale of a boy scout who runs away with a girl, pursued by a top-flight adult cast (Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Ed Norton).

It’s as mannered and meticulous as any Anderson outing, which’ll likely have a divisive effect. But TF was greatly amused and gently moved by it. Read our full review shortly…

In another corner of the Croisette, we took in preview footage of DreamWorks’ new one, Rise Of The Guardians .

Don’t worry, it’s not those boring owls again. It’s Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Mr Sandman, united in a sort of Justice League Of Extraordinary Avengers against the forces of fear.

The focal figure, though, is (Jack) Frost, a Wolverine-esque outsider with attitude invited to become a team player.

From what we saw, it feels less snarky and in-jokey than DreamWorks’ toons of yore, more How To Train Your Dragon . The 3D looked good – we flinched at a flying snowball – and the voicework on key, with a hairy, sonorous Santa (aka ‘North’) played by a hairy, sonorous Alec Baldwin.

Mr B was the star of the subsequent Q&A (with director Peter Ramsey and co-stars Chris Pine and Isla Fisher). Best moment? His response to the host misnaming Fisher’s character ‘Fairy Tooth’: “That’s a bar in Lower Manhattan.”

Quote-That-Sounds-Dodgy-Out-Of-Context Of The Day : “I know every vein on George Of The Jungle’s body” – Alec Baldwin

Number Of Gratuitous Ice Creams Devoured : None yet. We’re trying to be strong.

Film We’re Strangely Excited About Seeing Tomorrow : Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted . It’s the end of the trilogy. All those questions answered!

Day 0

Bonjour once more! Total Film has returned to Cannes. It only seems like 359 days since we were last here…

Last year gave us The Tree Of Life , The Trier Of Gaffe and Palme Dog winner The Artist . Did that ever get a release?

What will 2012 hold? We’re going to stick our necks out and say a few surprises, a few disappointments and sandy shoes.

The fun kicks off with Wes Anderson’s first non-fox-starring film since 2007’s The Darjeeling Limited , Moonrise Kingdom . The cast is strong. The buzz is good. We’re excited.

“Cannes belongs to each and every one of us,” says festival president Thierry Fremaux (apart from Lars Von Trier, presumably). “It is only by constantly analysing and encouraging debate about it that we will continue to make it the very best it can be.”

We’ll be here till Sunday week, constantly analysing and encouraging debate, so keep reading. Or we won’t bring back any presents.

Film We’re Most Excited About: It’s a tie between Moonrise , Lawless , Cosmopolis , Mud and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted .

Scheduling We’re Most Worried About: Michael Haneke’s Amour , 8.30am on May 20. We love Haneke. But first thing on a Sunday morning?

Amount Our French Has Improved In All The Years We’ve Been Here: Que?

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