Contrary to the glitz on the carpet, there are only a few piddly bars inside the Palais at the top of that iconic staircase. The real action is down at the private tents on the beach, tucked away in the hotels, or sequestered in villas up above the fray.
There will be thousands of glasses of French bubbly poured over the next 10 days for film luminaries, wannabes, and vaguely connected personalities of questionable international prominence.
To sort out the proverbial Champagne Andre from the Dom Perignon, here’s TheWrap’s guide to the choice invites at the 2017 festival.
For great taste in film...
Amazon Studios’ “Wonderstruck”
Thursday, May 18
The film has a split timeline, but the party will be all 1920’s themed. With Perrier-Joue pouring by the beach after the afternoon premiere, this launches the festival party scene for real.
Don’t bet ever bet against Amazon.
For the Globes…
Hollywood Foreign Press Association in Cannes
Sunday, May 21
Lorenzo Soria and his Hollywood Foreign Press Association are truly a global organization, with their seaside soiree becoming a tentpole of the festival social scene. It is one of the few authentic, cross-film, cross-studio, cross-border crowds of buyers, bosses, and bigshots.
Jake Gyllenhaal (of Netflix’s “Okja”) will be on hand to accept a donation on behalf of the International Rescue Committee, the night’s beneficiary.
The Golden Globes are less than eight months away. Hey Harvey, “Wonderstruck”, Netflix, and Nicole Kidman, did you hear that?
For a classic, Cannes institution…
The amfAR Cannes Gala
Hotel du Cap
Thursday, May 25
If you flew in, did just this party, and flew out, you will have done “Cannes”.
This is a curtain call of all the notables from the festival along with the world’s convention of models, instagram stars, Leonardo DiCaprio, and supermodels by the dozen.
Along with Guy O’Seary’s Oscar night party, it is one of the tentpoles of the glamour social circuit. Call up your friends at Bold Films and Harry Winston (who are the presenting sponsors) to try to schmooze your way in. Otherwise prepare to drop major Euros.
The Weinsteins’ “Wind River” vs. Vanity Fair
Saturday night, May 20
The official screening of Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen’s snowy murder investigation goes head to head with VF’s cross-film gala at the Hotel Du Cap, about 25 minutes away. The Weinsteins will have their own bash. Choose Harvey and the Croisette …or the faux sheen of VF’s self-anointed prestige.
Focus Features’ 15 year Anniversary Party
Friday, May 19
From the early days of Adrien Brody’s Oscar win for “The Pianist” and new classics like “Lost in Translation,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and “Brokeback Mountain”, to mid-aughts winners like “Atonement,” “Milk,” “The Kids Are All Right,” and recent winners like “Loving” and the Eddie Redmayne’s character couplet- “The Theory of Everything” and “The Danish Girl” – the cinephile’s studio remains NBCU’s proverbial jewel box.
For 2017, they unveil “The Beguiled,” what’s being called “Sofia Coppola’s Civil War potboiler.”
“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Monday, May 22
For Global Dealmakers…
David Unger and Three Six Zero Entertainment’s Helicopter Brunch
Sunday, May 21
Unger’s offsite day party – accessible only by helicopter – has now become a festival staple. Invites are obviously limited, which makes them highly coveted.
Befitting Unger’s global client base, they will be pouring Armand de Brignac Rose’ from Jeroboams. (Those are the giant bottles, equal to 6 regular bottles of the pricey champagne.)
Last year’s guestlist included friend of the Party Report André Balazs, Lewis Hamilton, and Naomi Campbell.
For the socials…
Annabel’s x Chopard
Wednesday, May 24
London’s exclusive members club Annabel’s hooks up with one of the festival mainstays for a midweek social. Two nights earlier, Chopard booked Rihanna and two-time Super Bowl performer Bruno Mars for their signature event. That one will be more red carpet-oriented, while this one will be a “bash”.
For a peek at Paris’ social hierarchy…
Wednesday May 24
La Terrasse with Chanel
If nothing else, Hollywood personalities should go to this party to see one of foreign counterparts: hostess Albane Cleret.
Cleret is Paris’ social sorceress. She has no direct analog on the Hollywood party circuit. She is somewhere between Peggy Siegal and Brent Bolthouse professionally, with parties reminiscent of Seth MacFarlane and Jeremy Scott.
Her events carry the Parisian elite, a brilliant playground to explore a replica of a celebrity, socialite, and influencer culture exactly symmetrical to our own Hollywood hierarchy, but with a foreign cast of characters.
For a Culinary Hotspot…
Versini Pop Up
Five Seas Hotel – Rooftop
Various Events during the Festival
French-born, London-based restauranteur Jean Bernard Fernandez-Versini has his own world premiere at the festival: Versini.
Before it becomes a London hotspot – recasting the heaviness of fine French dining as a cocktail-infused vibe experience – “JB” debuts the concept at the festival. TheWrap will host its influencer dinner here on the rooftop on Sunday May 21. “Game of Thrones” actress Laura Pradelska is slated to be the resident DJ’s on the rooftop the same day.
Appropriately, French vodka Grey Goose is the beverage partner.
For those that stay until the end..
“You Were Never Really Here”
Saturday, May 27 (the second weekend)
Amazon bookends the festival by closing out the final weekend with a slew of Phoenixes: Joaquin, Rain, and Summer. All will attend the film’s party, a partnership with festival regular the Art of Elysium.
Paul Allen’s infamous yacht party returns, rumored to have a smaller and tighter guest list than in the past.
Spike Lee gets toasted by Wanderluxxe for his Netflix project “Rodney King” at the American Pavilion on Monday, May 22. (It’s a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood).
Jeweler de Grisogono allegedly hires (or barters) with lots of big names to come to their bash at the du Cap. They always have a strong turnout.
Cinémoi throws a Cannes Fashion Charity Gala at La Plage Royale on May 24, with tickets open to the public starting at 250 Euros.
The party continue further east in Monaco over Memorial Day Weekend: Lewis Hamilton hosts a Bootsy Bellows pop up with Euro club brand VIP Room as a Grand Prix Closing Party.