Cannes 2009 – of designer gowns and serious movies!
Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan  

You will have a hard time believing that the world is actually in the grip of an economic slowdown if you saw the red carpet pictures of the Cannes 2009 opening ceremony. Almost as if oblivious of the above-said fact, Cannes 2009 opened on May 13, 2009 at Cannes in the Southern France with the world cinema’s glitterati sashaying down the red carpet flaunting their priceless designer evening gowns and impeccable suits. The 62nd edition of the 11-day festival is considered to be prestigious and is among one of the oldest film festivals. This year’s Cannes will have the glamorous Sharmila Tagore on its international jury who raised a few eyebrows with her elegant Saris among the sea of skinny evening gowns.

Not to mention, the inevitable Cannes’ Bollywood staple Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was present at the Opening Night Dinner with hubby Abhishek. While she waved at the crowd and attended photo calls in her Roberto Cavalli strapless white gown, the media back home was quick
enough to cook a story on Sonam Kapoor’s absence from Cannes

linking Ash to it. Earlier, Sonam happily announced the media that she would attend Cannes as the face of L’Oreal alongside Ash. However, when she was conspicuous with her absence in the red carpet at the festival, it was speculated that Ash did not want her to ‘steal the thunder’. Later, it turned out that L’Oreal advised Sonam to be off from this year’s festival. For what reason, we have no clue.

At the festival, the Pixar 3D animation film Up opened with the credit of being the only animation film to have opened at the festival in its history. Up, about a 78-year-old retired balloon sales man is slated to be released in the US during late May 2009. As many as 20 movies from various countries compete this year for the prestigious Palme d’Or for the best film and other categories including Grand Prix, Prix du Jury and Prix Un Certain Regard that was introduced to recognize young talent.

Among the screenings, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon are the most talked about. My Neighbor, My Killer directed by Anne Aghion, being screened in the special screening section, features the disturbing tales of how Rwandan Hutus were incited to wipe out the country’s Tutsi minority.

Inglorious Basterds seems to have received an ambivalent reaction among those who have watched it in the screenings, according to an official review released by a British website. The movie will, however, only be released in the US in the month of August with release dates hovering around the end of 2009 in other countries. Nevertheless, as is customary to other Tarantino movies, Inglorious Basterds is also, as they say, ‘much-awaited’. Before we forget, the film’s lead Brad Pitt appeared with his lovely wife, the tattoo-wielding, Angelina Jolie at the screening putting an end to their split rumors. Interestingly, the couple earlier sparked rumors that their marriage is on the rocks and had not appeared in any public events together for about three months.

So when the curtains fall on May 24, 2009 at the Cannes Film Festival, considered to be the significant platform to showcase the European movies, one film would have received the exalted Golden Palm. But it would mostly be the D&Gs, Cavallies and Versaces that invariably give the flash bulbs enough work.

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