Marion Cotillard and Jacques Audiard were the luminaries on Thursday at Cannes, with the almost universally well-received "Rust and Bone" staking a claim to be in the awards picture (though some naysayers disagree). Cotillard in particular is drawing some very, very early awards heat, as well as proving irresistible to just about every photographer on the Croisette.
The film, director Audiard said at a press conference, was a direct reaction to his last movie, the prison-set Oscar nominee "A Prophet." According to the AP's Jill Lawless, Audiard described that film as "very male," while "Rust and Bone" was designed to be "full of light and space."
But Audiard's version of lightness can also be dark and difficult. "I said to Jacques [after reading the script], 'I'm a bit scared, I don't know how this is going to work,'" Cotillard said of playing a woman who loses her legs in an accident. "And he said, 'I don't know either.'"
Meanwhile, the groundswell of protest over the absence of competition films directed by women continues to grow: A petition now circulating at the festival has drawn more than 800 signatures, including those of "Toy Story 3" producer Darla Anderson and "My Brilliant Career" director Gillian Armstrong. (Also signing: Gloria Steinem.)
"We call for Cannes, and other film festivals worldwide to commit to transparency and equality in the selection process of these films," reads part of the petition, which is hosted at change.org. "We judge films as human beings, shaped by our own perspectives and experiences. It is vital, therefore, that there be equality and diversity at the point of selection."
As the petition was picking up signatures, though, IFP, the Calvin Klein Collection and euphoria Calvin Klein threw a party to celebrate Women in Film. The guest list wasn't long on women directors, but plenty of actresses were on hand, among them Naomi Watts, Jada Pinkett Smith, juror Diane Kruger, Jessica Chastain (right) and Shailene Woodley (left).
Ben Stiller and Chris Rock were there, too. They're not women in film, and they don’t have a movie in the competition – but they're two of the voices in "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," and the last few years it's practically guaranteed that DreamWorks Animation's big summer release will get a sneak preview at Cannes.
The Marche du Film marketplace isn't an official part of the Cannes Film Festival, but it's definitely a part of the Cannes experience. And amid the deal-making and schlock-hawking, director/writer/producer Guillermo del Toro showed up via video link on Wednesday to talk about the version of "Pinocchio" he's planning.
The film, del Toro told a overflowing room full of buyers (as reported by Stuart Kemp), will be done in 3D and stop-motion, and won't be ready until 2014. It'll be co-directed by Mark Gustafson and del Toro, who'd planned to executive produce until he found the lure of the dark, gothic adaptation too strong to resist. Daniel Radcliffe, Christopher Walken and singer Tom Waits are among the voice talent he's considering.
Finally, here are a couple of dispatches from late Wednesday night, in the wee hours as the post-premiere party for "Moonrise Kingdom" was winding down. In the New York Times, Manohla Dargis rhapsodizes about the dessert (which apparently involved lights and plastic cups of "haute cuisine soft-serve" embedded in blocks of ice), and responds to Bill Murray's question about how she liked the film by calling it one of Wes Anderson's "supreme achievements."
Vulture's Jada Yuan picks up the story from there, and says the party didn't really get going until Murray gave in to the entreaties of the film's young cast members and hit the dance floor.
"It was a scene of such next-level adorability that nearly everyone in the immediate vicinity pulled out a camera phone," writes Yuan, who says she later joined in a group circle dance that numbered at least 20 and was "better than chocolate," in the opinion of the movie's preteen stars.