— Kooky comedy and buffoonery were on the agenda Wednesday as the 65th Cannes Film Festival, with its trademark mix of high cinematic art and Hollywood glitz, kicks off on a light note.
US director Wes Anderson brings his whimsical touch with the opening film “Moonrise Kingdom”, a pre-teen elopement fantasy whose star-packed cast includes Bruce Willis as a small-town cop and Bill Murray as a morose parent.
But before the celebs grace the red carpet for the gala premiere, Sacha Baron Cohen’s zany alter ego General Aladeen, star of “The Dictator,” will try to hijack media attention with a stunt on the beach in front of the Martinez hotel. The “Ali G,” “Borat” and “Bruno” star, who turned up in military regalia at the Oscars and pretended to pour late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il’s ashes onto an interviewer, has already premiered his movie and is in Cannes simply to cause a stir.
Baron Cohen strutted his stuff on the beach here in a “mankini” in 2006 to promote “Borat.”
Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt and Robert Pattinson are among the Hollywood royalty who will join high-brow film-makers at the Riviera resort for the next 12 days at the world’s top film showcase. This year’s bash features druggy roadtrips, soul-searching drama and stylish gangland flicks and sees the return of such Cannes grandees as David Cronenberg, Ken Loach and Michael Haneke.
Star-wise, the 2012 line-up promises to dazzle with Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Jessica Chastain, Kylie Minogue, Kristen Stewart, Pattinson and Pitt just a few of the A-listers expected in town.
The festival will also feature its usual style of parties, high-stakes movie deal-making, and publicity stunts such as Baron Cohen’s beachfront intervention. Twenty-two films — none of which was directed by a woman — are vying for the coveted Palme d’Or award at the festival’s glitzy gala finale on May 27. — AFP